Accountants are financial professionals who analyze financial information and provide expert financial advice. They’re a corporate staple in today’s day and age. You’ll find accountants in every corporate office. Every business needs skilled accountants to track the company’s financial activities and ensure compliance with the law. As a result, accounting is a solid career choice for people with strong analytical skills and good educational backgrounds. Changing your career to accounting can be a great decision if you’re someone who likes working with numbers and has strong analytical skills.
Should you consider a career change to Accounting?
It’s normal to want to change careers. You might be dissatisfied with your current industry. Or you’ve discovered you’re better at crunching numbers than you originally thought. Maybe you just want a higher salary or better job security? In any case, the first step is to decide why you’re considering changing careers to accounting.
Accounting is an overall good choice if you want to change careers for the above reasons. This field has a 7% projected job growth from 2020 to 2030, which equals average job growth. So, it’s a safe bet.
What does an accounting career involve?
An accounting career revolves around recording and analyzing financial data to help businesses run better. You could work as a bookkeeper, budget analyst, or corporate accountant, among other positions.
In any position, you’ll likely oversee a company’s financial department, file their tax returns, and ensure they comply with financial laws.
What are the benefits of switching to Accounting?
You’ll gain these benefits by going into accounting.
1. Financial Expertise
You have to be an expert in finance to become an accountant. So, you’ll learn everything from how to file taxes to budget for a project. That’s a valuable set of skills. Becoming a financial expert lets you choose finance career paths like becoming a financial planner, fund manager, or investment advisor.
You could also use this financial knowledge for personal reasons. For example, you’d learn how to invest and save money. You could use that skill to save for retirement.
2. Advancement Opportunities
There are plenty of advancement opportunities in accounting. This field has many specializations, like corporate accounting and financial planning. Over time, you could progress to a specialized position after you figure out what’s best for you.
3. Good Median Salary & Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average accountant earns $77,350 annually. Accountants in finance and insurance make higher than $81,000 annually. Accounting’s average annual job growth means that there are over 130,000 new accounting jobs every year.
So, Accounting is a safe bet if you want a decent-paying and stable career. And, if you niche down and specialize, you’ll probably find a good lucrative career.
4. A Stimulating Work environment
Accounting is a cognitively demanding field. Top accountants are paid for their problem-solving abilities and expertise rather than for repeatedly performing tasks. This is a good career choice if you want a challenging and stimulating work environment.
As a top accountant, you’ll make important financial recommendations and help companies with their financial problems. It’s a good field if you want to leave an impact where you work.
How to make the career move to Accounting?
Use these four steps to become an accountant.
1. Take an accounting course.
Take an introductory accounting course to understand the field. You could complete an online course or attend a local college. Learn what skills and experiences you need to be a top accountant, and judge whether you can achieve them. Knowing more about the field will help you make an informed decision about whether accounting is right for you.
2. Pursue a degree
Having good educational credentials is important for accounting. Consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree if you don’t have one. Ideally, you should have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a related field like finance. Consider also completing a master’s degree if you already have an undergraduate one.
Not all universities need you to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance to enter a master’s program in accounting. So a master’s degree is an especially good choice if you completed an undergraduate in a different field.
3. Gain Relevant Experience
Relevant experience counts as much in accounting as in any other field. You could gain experience by joining an internship while you study. After graduating, you can advance your accounting knowledge by serving in related positions, like
- Budget analyst
- Financial analyst
- Accounting Clerk
- Tax analyst
Experience in any of these positions will improve your overall profile. Experience in financial roles is highly valued among potential accountants.
4. Become Certified
There are multiple accounting certifications you could choose from. Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) is one of the most popular choices. Becoming a CPA requires at least years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree, plus passing an exam, and exam and other requirements depending on your state.
You have to get certified since you may not be allowed to perform many accounting functions without a certification. For example, you cannot legally file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) without being a CPA.
In conclusion, becoming an accountant can be a good career choice. It’s a booming financial field with a ton of prospects and high demand. Good accountants are hard to come by, and most businesses invest a lot to retain accounting talent. You need a good financial education and strong analytical skills to be a talented accountant. Also, you’ll want to receive appropriate certification. A well-educated and skilled accountant can have a decent career with good financial prospects and long-term employability.