How to become an Accountant
An accountant is a person who practices accountancy. Accountancy involves working with financial information that helps the corporate entities and tax authorities allocate the resources. The decisions associated with the allocation of the resources are always done by the accountants. To become an accountant, you need to possess university degree in accountancy.
Legally practicing accountants in the U.S. need to have certificates issued by the Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Non-statutory accountants need to be certified by the CIA (Certified Internal Auditors), CMA (Certified Management Accountants) and ABA (Accredited Business Accountants). The legal associated with the former genre. The latter genre has more work in hand and therefore, more steps to climb.
The uncertified accountants work under the strict vigilance of the certified accountants. CPAs receive legal license to practice from the state. It is usually the state government which confers the legal license. CPAs are supposed to provide auditing services to individuals and companies. In the U.S. and across the globe too, there are CPA firms that are hired for accounting, tax and financial advisory services. There is an examination designed and framed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). They also grade the fresh candidates.
A certified accountant gets a certificate from AICPA. The AICPA sets technical standards for maintaining the professional ethics, financial statements and auditing. CPAs are always licensed by the state where they reside or practice. Every individual state has a different set of rules and regulations. An accountant after the successful achievement of state CPA license can also opt to practice in the Internal Revenue Service. Such CPAs have the same rights, duties and freedoms that attorneys share.
Now, an accountant with the CPA certificate has the right to make recommendations to Congress.
The CIA examination takes place in four levels and usually, accountants with a CIA certificate usually lands auditing positions in the private sector. CIAs are not allowed in public service. Even in case of the CMA and ABA, their services and skills are only confined and relegated to only companies.
Tips and Advice
With the expansion and movement of the global market, accountants are no longer stipulated to just taxation and litigation. In the 21st century, they are hand selected by the financial institutions to deliver lectures to students, amateurs and working professionals. It is not uncommon for accountants to freelance and graze around in the firms they reside in.
The trend of permanent accountants is slowly slipping by the wayside because the certified ones command lucrative packages. If you wish to achieve the legal certificate then a summer job would help you in gaining that pivotal knowledge. It would be easier for the candidate to crack the CPA exam with a fair idea of the profession.
Even the accountants with a CPA certificate are asked to perform a service to their country. For example, to perform this service in government managed departments and institutes for taxation and litigation cases. Auditing is also done by the non-certified accountants but in the end of the day, they need the CPAs to sign off on their work.