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Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2018

Should You Become An Accountant?

The list of possible careers is an incredibly large one. To those trying to decide on a path for the rest of their life, it may seem to be an endless list. So many possibilities and a variety of specialties within each career path. There are many decisions to make when it comes to choosing a career for yourself. However, if you have already chosen a path to take, you are now in the position of needing information on how to achieve your goals.

One excellent career choice is that of a CPA. If you are interested in becoming a CPA or have already decided that this is the career for you, it is time to begin the process to achieve this. If you are not entirely certain, you still need to take steps to determine whether or not this is the best path for you and your life. This is exactly the type of information that you will find here. Details about what steps need to be taken to become a CPA, tips on deciding if this is what you want to do, and what all being a CPA entails.

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Before making a decision, you must first have all the information about what exactly a CPA is and what they do. This particular acronym stands for Certified Public Accountant. The goal is to assist clients in planning and reaching their financial goals. an accountant of this status has the option of working with individuals, small businesses, large corporations, organizations or any size, or all of the above. The most common areas of work are corporations, non-profits, organizations, government offices, and other similar companies.

The first step is determining if you truly want to be a CPA. While no one can make this decision for you, there are a few tips that can help you make your decision. The first tip is incredibly simple, research. Rest assured that research is your new best friend. First on the list of things to research is information about average salary, demand in your area (or the area in which you intend to work), and the exact requirements for your state. We will be talking about general requirements that must be completed regardless of what region you are in, but there are some that vary by state. During this stage of your research, you will be learning vital information about exactly what you will be getting yourself into if you choose this particular path. The more you research about what it is really like to be a CPA, the more you will understand, not only about the job but about yourself as well. This is a crucial point in the process of making a decision.

The second step is to study then take and pass the uniform CPA exam. This is a long, in-depth examination that is necessary to be certified as a public accountant. The exam takes sixteen hours to complete and it is entirely computer-based testing scenario. There are four distinct parts to the exam The first is Auditing and Attestation (AUD). The second is Business Environment and Concept (BEC). The third is Financial Accounting and Concepts (FAR), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). The final section is Regulation (REG). This exam is designed to assess the entry-level skills of the potential public accountant. This exam must be successfully completed to become a public accountant; however, there is no such thing as a national CPA license. This means that if you get a license in one state and later move to another state, you will have to get recertified under the regulations of that state.

There are a few other requirements. Some states require an ethics exam to be taken before you can become licensed. Other requirements including experience and other testing is determined based off of the state you are planning to practice within. So many requirements differ from one state to the next. This is where more research is a necessity. Search engines are a fantastic lifeline when it comes to determining what the requirements are for your region. It is generally best to stick to general search terms such as “CPA licensing requirements in *insert state here*”.

Before you can challenge the uniform CPA exam, you must have the opportunity to learn the information that you will need to pass the exam. Many states require licensing applicants to have at least one hundred and fifty (150) credit hours from an accredited college. You do not have to have a masters degree, but you do need to have a good education base. This can be in a myriad of educations courses. It is recommended to have at least some education in the realm of business as well as that of accounting. Many people wonder if there is a difference between an accountant and a certified public accountant. This is a somewhat difficult question to address because the answer can be thought of as both yes and no. Consider that all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. The main differences are time invested and education. Because of this, it is best to decide if this is what you want early on so as to get a jump on the courses and credit hours that you will need.

This article is meant to serve as a guide to help you navigate the steps to becoming a certified public accountant. This is a very respected position and will inevitable open many doors for you throughout your career. Many people choose to pursue a CPA license even when their ultimate goal lies elsewhere. Being a certified public accountant is a fantastic stepping stone to many other careers in business. On the long-term path, you can have a fulfilling career as a public accountant and then, when the time is right, move on to an even higher position. From there you can take your path anywhere that you should so choose. Hopefully, you have learned enough to get started on your journey to your ultimate career, regardless of whether that is as a certified public accountant or something even higher in the business world.

Author: Gregory Ortiz

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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