What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Accountant

Written by: 
Daymar College

Countless businesses and individuals rely on the professional expertise of accountants to manage their finances. Accountants provide a variety of services to their clients and have the choice to work in many different specialties and fields. They also can get their accounting degree or diploma from a top career college. After becoming an accountant, there are also certifications to become a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA).

What An Accountant Does Day-To-Day

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants prepare and examine financial records. The accountant ensures that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. Accountants and auditors typically do the following:

  • Examine financial statements to ensure they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations.
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time.
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency.
  • Organize and maintain financial records.
  • Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations.
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits.

Work from Home

After you have received your accounting diploma or degree, you have some opportunities as an accountant to work from home. Here are a few agencies that book work from home accountants:

AccountingDepartment.com – A virtual accounting provider for businesses of all sizes offering accounting positions that can be completed remotely.

Bookminders – a flextime accounting provider allowing accountants the ability to work from home and provide accounting to small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Accounting Specialties

There are many different specialties to choose from after becoming an accountant. They include public accounting, managerial accounting, and internal or external auditing.

Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks. Their clients include corporations, governments, and individuals.

Management accountants record and analyze the financial information of the organizations for which they work. The information that management accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers.

Internal auditors check for mismanagement of an organization’s funds. They identify ways to improve the processes for finding and eliminating waste and fraud.

External auditors perform similar duties as internal auditors, but are employed by a third-party organization. They review clients’ financial statements and inform investors and authorities that the statements have been correctly prepared and reported.

Different Accounting Fields

After graduating from an accounting diploma or degree program, accountants can choose from positions at government agencies, small businesses, large organizations, non-profit organizations and accounting firms.

Government - maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and spent in accordance with laws and regulations.

Small Business – manage all aspects of accounting for a small business including financial record keeping, tax preparation, payroll and benefits management. The small business accountant will monitor accounts receivable and manage vendor payments. They will manage the budget of the small business and identify opportunities to expand with loans from financial institutions.

Large Organization – accountants for larger organizations usually focus on one aspect of the trade. The larger organization accountant will be in charge of benefits, payroll, accounts receivable or accounts payable.

Non-Profit – accountants of non-profit organizations manage contributions, membership dues, program revenues, fundraising events, grants, and investment incomes.

Accounting Organization – accountants at an accounting firm work in teams to manage client accounts. Like large organizations, accountants will have specialties and focus on either one account or one type of accounting practice.

Accounting Courses

Ready to become an accountant but don’t have the time to attend classes in-person? To prepare for your future employment, career colleges offer accounting courses in:

Accounting I & II – routine for the day-to-day financial activities of a business are gathered and recorded. Helps enforce a company’s accounting guidelines and policies to record daily financial data to evaluate and monitor the company’s economic activities.

Managerial accounting – the process of identifying, measuring, analyzing, interpreting and communicating financial data as they pertain to the company’s goals.

Federal income tax accounting – an accounting method that focuses on the taxes of a company as governed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS dictates rules that companies must follow when preparing the company’s tax returns.

Payroll accounting – a company’s recording of its employees’ compensation including wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions, while also withholding payroll taxes for federal income tax, Social Security, Medicare and state income taxes.

Cost accounting – a study of the elements of cost, labor, material and overhead as it relates to accounting.

Accounting Certifications

Once you have become an accountant, you can become certified. Certification provides an advantage in the job market because it shows professional competence in a specialized field of accounting and auditing. Some of the most common certifications are listed below:

The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree, worked at least 2 years in management accounting, pass a two-part exam, agree to meet continuing education requirements, and comply with standards of professional conduct.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) to graduates from accredited colleges and universities who have worked for 2 years as internal auditors and have passed a four-part exam.

ISACA offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) to candidates who pass an exam and have 5 years of experience auditing information systems. Information systems experience, financial or operational auditing experience, or related college credit hours can be substituted for up to 3 years of experience in information systems auditing, control, or security.

Ready to become an Accountant? An Accounting Degree or Diploma Program from Daymar College can prepare you to enter the field of accounting that most interests you. You deserve a rewarding career, and online accounting courses from Daymar College can adapt to fit your lifestyle as you prepare for the future from the comfort of your own home. Earn your Associate Accounting diploma or degree with Daymar College Online.