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How to become an accountant

How to become an accountant

WHAT IS AN ACCOUNTANT?

To be a good accountant, you need to be able to do more than merely collect and record financial transactions. In order to better comprehend their financial situations, firms and individuals can use the information provided by an accountant's report. A company's financial performance over a specified time period may be evaluated with the help of this data, which is useful for both management and potential investors.

Accountants are responsible for the general administration of monetary resources. Financial reporting, budgeting, compensation, procurement, and taxation are all part of their purview. In certain businesses, this may also include an examination of financial records.

The field of accounting encompasses a wide variety of tasks inside an organisation, and there are many subfields to explore.

  • Management accounting involves forecasting and cost reporting based on a budget – this is a forward-looking function
  • Financial accounting involves creating statements for shareholders based on historical information
  • Tax accountants advise businesses and self-employed individuals how to complete their tax forms

WHAT DOES AN ACCOUNTANT DO?

Though the bulk of an accountant's work involves preparing and reviewing financial records, this is just the beginning of their duties.

In addition to collecting financial information, they must also analyse it. Investors and business owners will have access to the information necessary to evaluate the company's performance over time.

A typical day for an accountant may consist of, depending on their level of experience:

  • Preparing accounts and tax returns
  • Providing tax planning services based on current legislation
  • Managing colleagues
  • Auditing financial information
  • Financial forecasting and risk analysis
  • Meeting and interviewing clients
  • Analysing business plans
  • Compiling and presenting reports, budgets, business plans, commentaries, and financial statements
  • Dealing with insolvency issues
  • Negotiating the terms of business deals with clients

HOW DO I BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT?

Anyone can become an accountant if they put in the time and effort and don't need a college degree to do it.

To become an accountant, you can choose from a variety of educational paths. The AAT certification is the bare minimum for working in any field of accounting.

After that, you can become a chartered accountant by pursuing advanced certifications like the CPA,  ACCA or CIMA.

WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED TO BE AN ACCOUNTANT?

To succeed as an accountant, you need to be good with numbers because your job entails managing the company's finances. As an accountant, you need to have a wide variety of talents, but here are just a few of the most crucial and useful ones:

Attention to detail

In the accounting profession, it is not acceptable to conceal or distort information. Even small mistakes might have significant effects in the long run.

Enthusiasm

This is a fundamental requirement for any profession, and accounting is no exception. You'll need to bring a positive attitude and a firm conviction that the goal is worth striving toward.

Innovation

As the needs of business change, so must the standards for accounting. It's a helpful resource to have at your disposal if you have innovative thoughts and are prepared to change the course of accounting.

Organisation

In accounting, there is seldom much of a downtime. For this reason, it's crucial to have the organisational skills necessary to handle a full schedule with ease.

Time management

This is closely related to the ability to stay organised, as you will likely have a number of projects, each with its own deadline and set of priorities. It is crucial in accounting to have time management skills that allow you to complete your work by the due date.

Communication

Accountants are expected to be able to explain even the most intricate concepts in language that everybody can understand. There is no profession that does not involve some degree of collaboration with coworkers.

Adaptability

The innovation segment echoed the point that business and finance are dynamic fields that are constantly evolving to meet new challenges. Therefore, the ability to quickly adjust to new circumstances and evolve with the times is crucial. Predicting what will be significant in the future might be challenging, but it will pay off in the long run.

Credibility/Integrity

The most important thing is to earn the confidence of those around you, whether they be clients or coworkers. Having a good reputation in the banking industry will open doors to other opportunities and help you establish yourself as an industry leader, paving the way for a prosperous career.

Self-motivation

Whether you're just starting out in the field or have years of experience under your belt, this trait of self-motivation will serve you well. Having a clear end in sight can help you keep going when you hit a rough patch and start questioning your abilities.

Understanding

In order to be innovative in your field, you need to have a solid grasp of that field. Your typical day on the job may include client meetings, data analysis, and project management. For this reason, the ability to absorb new information rapidly is crucial.

Initiative

Working well independently is as crucial in accounting as working well with others. As a result, you'll be able to demonstrate your independence and earn more responsibility and trust. This is crucial if you plan to go freelance at some point in your career.

Commercial awareness

The ability of an accountant to evaluate a company's industry and competitive landscape is crucial. How it responds to economic, social, and political shifts, as well as how it can push forward and adapt, will all be covered. In the accounting field, knowledge on this level will serve you well.

Problem-solving skills

In accounting, you'll always face challenges, whether they're your fault or not, and the ability to adapt and find solutions is critical. Although not every issue can be fixed, honing the skills necessary to deal with those that can will serve you well.

Resilience

In any field, it is important to demonstrate that you are willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed. This is especially true for those just starting out in the field of accounting, where meeting deadlines, accommodating multiple clients, and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity are all daily realities.

HOW MUCH DOES AN ACCOUNTANT EARN?

Earning potential for accountants is high, depending on factors like career path, employer, practice size, and geographic location.

One of the many advantages of becoming one of our students is that we will continue to support you even after getting qualified. Recruiting experts that we collaborate with can help you land the job of your dreams. Make sure to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Here at Ujuzingo, we've made it a habit to support accounting and finance enthusiasts put their best foot forward as they search for opportunities that meet their skills and career aspirations, while also assisting employers in finding more job-ready applicants. Check out our accounting and finance courses or current job openings.