The first training you need to become an accountant is to obtain an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in accounting, business or a related field. Then you start applying for jobs in the accounting industry depending on your area of interest. The options are many. As a recent graduate, you will likely start off in an entry-level position either with the government or a private firm under the supervision of a certified accountant. This will give you the experience you need to start the certification process required of all accountants. The certification route you follow depends on the type of job you do.
For public accountants, a certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is necessary. This is also a broad field in the area of public accountant with many types of certification. You can obtain a certificate for the Certified Information technology Professional, which is for an accountant working in the public domain that has expertise in technology and can bridge the gap between business and technology. There are also state specific requirements for working in this area so it is important that you research these requirements to ensure you have all the credentials you need.
If you work as an accountant and aspire to a management position, you will need to have a CMA certificate – Certified Management Accountant. In order to meet the requirements for this certificate, you do have to attain a minimum score on the entrance exams for a graduate level degree in accounting. The other requirements that you must meet include at least two years experience in the area of management accounting, agreeing to meet continuing education requirements and compliance with the standards set down for professionals in this field. You will also have to pass a four-part exam that deals with such topics as analyzing financial statements, the policies associated with working capital risk management and valuation.
The position of internal auditor is one that is also an accountant position. To obtain the certification you need for this job, you need to have at least two years experience as an internal auditor and a passing score on a four part exam/ An internal auditor works with a specific company auditing the company’s books. This is also a position held in state and federal governments, as all the departments require auditing of their incomes and expenses. The Institute of Internal Auditors offers the courses required for the CIA certification as well as certification for CCSA (Certified in Control Self-Assessment.), CFSA (Certified Financial Services Auditor) and CGAP (Certi9fied Government Professional Auditor).
If you work with a government department as an accountant, then you can also obtain certification as a Certified Government Financial Manager as long as you have two years experience working in the government at this job and twenty-four hours of course work in financial management. There are three exams for this certification dealing with topics of government accounting practices, the practices of financial management and reporting as well as budget development and planning.
There are so many areas in the accounting field for which you can obtain certification, once you do get a job as an accountant, it is a necessity that you continue with your studies so you have the credentials needed for higher paying positions.