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Guide to Become an Accountant

Majors Overview November 20, 2012

Do you have an inclination for decoding complex and highly-technical data to arrive at simple and strategic conclusions? Do you have a knack for making budgetary recommendations in the light of the previous years’ financial performance? Are you an accounting or finance degree holder prowling the market for a great employment opportunity and competitive compensation? If you have answered in the affirmative, accounting may be the answer for you.

In the cutthroat corporate world and in the intense financial brawls participated by companies, making the right business decisions and making sound budgetary projections can make a huge difference. The rivalry between corporation can boil down to ones who can financially survive the tremor of recession and delicate state of the economy. A sound budget plan can spell the difference between surviving in the tough market or eventually winding up and liquidating. If you envision yourself immersed in this highwire business scenario, accounting may be the career for you.

An accountant is a professional who seeks to untangle the intricate tapestry of a corporation’s financial status to arrive at a practical figure for the annual budget and corporate plans. A report is concocted from the company’s historical data and the present state of its coffers. This report is typically used internally as a helpful tool during boardroom deliberations on determining the feasibility of certain projects and plans. It can be the basis for identifying the demand for budgetary cuts or adjustments as the need arises. However, these accounting reports can be used for external purposes, including compliance with certain reportorial requirements by government agencies, required documents by auditors, and annual report for the company’s stockholders. All in all, it can be easily gleaned that an accountant’s function is quite significant in the smooth operation and overall survival of the business.

Academic Qualifications for Accountants

If you have a great interest in a career as an accountant, the requisites include a degree in finance or accountancy. Although a bachelor degree would normally suffice, some companies might require an applicant to have a master degree. Other qualifications might include securing a designation as a certified public accountant (CPA) or getting the necessary certification from certain regulatory boards or accounting institutes, including the Institute of Management Accounting or IMA.

Required Skills to be an Accountant

Due to the tremendous amount of figures and numbers involved in the job, an applicant should be quite proficient in mathematics. You should have critical-thinking and analytical skills that can help you make sense of the historical data and come up with a sound conclusion. You should have stellar communication skills, an extraordinary knack for summarization, an ability to interpret the figures, and know-how on spreadsheets and other computer applications to craft easily-comprehensible presentations.

These are just some of the requirements to become an accountant. Although it may seem quite a tedious process, it will prove to be all worth it due to the myriad of opportunities and attractive compensation package that await you. As corporations increasingly recognize the important role that accountants play in the thriving of the business, the demand for these professionals is rising correspondingly. From manufacturing to construction and everything in between, these accountants are in demand. In fact, for a decade starting in 2006, there is an expected 18% growth in accounting jobs sector.

Accounting Statistics

accounting jobs

Top Schools with Accounting Programs

School Name Tuition Size Degrees Granted Degrees Granted By Type
University of Phoenix – Online
Phoenix, AZ
$10,025 249,490 1,862 Certificate (63), Bachelor’s (1,799)
University of Illinois
Champaign, IL
$26,670 31,473 719 Bachelor’s (369), Master’s (348), Doctoral (2)
Kaplan University – Davenport
Davenport, IA
$15,627 54,043 608 Associate (273), Bachelor’s (291), Master’s (44)
Colorado Tech – Online
Colorado Springs, CO
$11,660 27,912 566 Associate (349), Bachelor’s (217)
University of Texas – Dallas
Richardson, TX
$20,340 11,532 553 Bachelor’s (239), Master’s (314)
University of Texas – Austin
Austin, TX
$30,006 38,168 553 Bachelor’s (253), Master’s (297), Doctoral (3)
University of Houston
Houston, TX
$15,025 29,298 538 Bachelor’s (393), Master’s (144), Doctoral (1)
CUNY Queens College
Flushing, NY
$10,407 15,894 518 Bachelor’s (442), Master’s (76)
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
$14,026 21,905 472 Bachelor’s (301), Master’s (171)
Keller Graduate School – Illinois
Downers Grove, IL
Unknown Unknown 465 Certificate (89), Master’s (376)

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