Accounting is a quickly growing career field. By the year 2016, there will be an estimated 1.5 million accountants in the United States. There are several different types of accountants. Forensic accountants work for the court and investigate various law-related financial documents, such as those related to crimes like money laundering and bank fraud. They also look into records related to bankruptcy and divorce filings.
A public accountant, also known as a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, works for either individuals or companies. A CPA can either start up their own firm, taking on private clients, or work for one organization, going over and verifying only their particular financial records.
Government accountants and auditors work for the IRS. Their tasks vary – they work with other government organizations, keeping track of their financial documents – or they can process and verify citizens tax returns. They are the ones who do the audits that people and businesses so fear.
An auditor is a type of accountant. While an accountant keeps track of records and verifies them, an auditor goes over them more thoroughly. Whether a financial record is noted for being suspicious or the situation just calls for a second look, an auditor is the one who goes back over it.
The average salary for an accountant in the United States depends on which state the accountant resides in. In Cleveland, Ohio, an accountant makes $58.580 per year. In a larger metropolitan area like New York City, an accountant’s average salary is $73.910. An accountant living on the west coast, in Los Angeles, for example, makes $64.050 a year.
In order to become an accountant, you need a four-year degree in accounting. Classes that you will take while in school range from economics to auditing, and from business writing to tax preparation. Make sure that the school that you attend is accredited in the field. It is also recommended that you have at least one summer internship with an accounting firm. This will give you some connections in the field, as well as sense of what to expect once you graduate.
After receiving your degree in accounting, you need to take the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. The CPA exam is broken down into sections: Regulation, Business Law, Financial Accounting, and Auditing. Once you pass all four sections, you will be awarded your CPA license.
There are other certifications that you can receive. They include becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner, an Accredited Business Accountant, and a Certified Internal Auditor. Which certifications you test form depends on what type of accountant that you want to become: forensic or government, public or auditor. A forensic accountant or government accountant or auditor would become a Certified Fraud Examiner, while someone aiming for their own accounting firm would become a certified Elder Care Specialist or an Accredited Tax Preparer or Accredited Tax Advisor.
While a Master’s degree is not required, it can be helpful. Obtaining one in business administration or accounting will help you if you wish to open your own accounting firm in the future. The wise thing to do would be to get a job as an accountant after graduating with your Bachelor’s degree, and then go to school to get your Master’s degree while working. This way you gain experience in the field while you learn about it further in the classroom. With an MBA, or Master’s in Business Administration, you will learn more advanced business and managerial skills. A Master’s in Accounting, however, will teach you further about accounting and allow you to gain expertise in one specific area of the field.
Becoming an accountant will take at least five years – four in the classroom obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, and one studying and taking the CPA exam. Whereas, if you want to specialize in one particular type of accounting, a Master’s degree in necessary.
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How to Become an Accountant – http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-become-an-accountant