5 Things I wish I knew before becoming an accountant

5 Things I wish I knew before becoming an accountant

When considering pursuing a career in accounting, it is important to know about the daily life of an accountant. It’s only logical to want to invest in something that you know is for you. To learn whether accounting is a good career choice for you or not, you can look to practicing accountants themselves.

In this blog, we have listed things most accountants working in accounting firms wished they would have known before becoming accountants. Read on to get the behind-the-scenes scoop you’ve been looking for.

There is a niche for everyone

Though most people believe that there is only one path for graduated accounting majors, that is not always the case. There are actually many different types of accountants in this vast field. An accounting graduate can teach, get into marketing, become an auditor, organize a new business, and much more.

Despite what most think accounting isn’t just a mundane number-crunching job. There are numerous positions that are exciting and cutting-edge. Examples include forensic accounting, becoming a start-up CFO, working as a tax coach, etc.

While many believe all accountants are alike, our experts agree that accounting career options are broad and able to be catered to your area of interest. Once you master the fundamentals, you’ll have the ability to specialize according to your personal skills and interests.

Relationships are crucial

Stereotypes often portray accountants as introverted business professionals isolated in cubicles. It may surprise you to learn that their human interactions are frequent and highly necessary for success. Many accountants enjoy personal connections and getting to really know their clients.

However, the importance of relationships is not limited to what accountants enjoy. Connections accountants make in their first few years with clients and colleagues still contribute to their success in the future.

Developing great relationships with your clients and coworkers can play a critical role in your accounting career. Financial matters can be a sensitive topic, but being warm and approachable allows people to trust you.

Accounting jobs can adjust to your lifestyle

Not everyone can drop all current responsibilities for a new 9-5 career. If you have people depending on your time, you might be hesitant about the disciplined workweeks you perceive in your future. But think again – it doesn’t have to be this way.

Some accountants love being self-employed because it allows them the freedom to do as they please. Your daily schedule as an accountant solely depends on what kind of life you want to have as an accountant. There are ways to build your accounting career around your desired lifestyle. Whether that’s working for an established firm versus being self-employed, working in public versus private accounting, or full time versus part-time.

Preparation for the dreaded CPA is worth it

Although a 14-hour computer-based test may not seem like something you’d like to do in the near future, this exam is definitely worth it. Comprised of four sections, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, seems more than a little daunting. While there is no ignoring the rigor of this test, it would be a mistake to overlook its importance in cultivating a successful career in public accounting.

Not all companies require that their accountants pass the CPA, and independent accountants are able to acquire clients without this credential. However, experts emphasized that being a licensed CPA can greatly improve your job opportunities and earning potential. So, if these factors are important to you, consider investing the time and energy into taking the CPA exam.

It’s normal to learn on the job

When working as an accountant there are many instances where you initially might not know what to do. For example, during your first auditing opportunity, you might think you don’t remember mastering this part of auditing in your college courses.

However, there’s no need to panic. 90 percent of work as an accountant had to be learned on the job because the tasks are so specific to the specific industry or role. College is essential for introducing students to the fundamentals of basic accounting concepts and previewing the various careers in the field. Yet, you shouldn’t expect the learning to stop once you earn that diploma.

You’ll also be expected to keep up with policy changes and evolving techniques in the industry. So, if you are someone who is willing to confidently take on the challenge of hands-on learning and professional development, accounting may be a great match for you.

Conclusion

Although being a full-time accountant might seem like an intimidating task, we hope that this blog and the five points we taught you helped ease your nerves enough to start your accounting journey and pave your way to being a certified public accountant today.

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