15 Things You Didn’t Know About Studying Accounting
Dating back from history and etymology, accounting from a larger perspective is simply keeping records, it could have been of history or transactions, but narrowing it down to a career accounting is simply keeping the books of transactions, churning numbers and making later decisions from transactional records kept. Accounting is so important to every form of business right from the very creation, be it on a small scale, medium or large organizations, they are all in need of an accountant who would be responsible for the organization’s profit and loss. There’s a pride in studying accounting, for most of it, it is the clear career path one stand to benefit just like attending a medical school or law school. It is a straight forward course that guides students to their career dream of being an accountant, auditor, book keeper, etc. With stronger ambition one may end up a public auditor.
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Studying Accounting
Studying accounting can not be overemphasized that it is a very important course just like law, politics or science, impacting in society on all levels from the government to businesses organizations etc. Therefore we should take a keen look at some things we did not know about studying accounting or see oversight in order to enable us to make informed decisions concerning the course. Here are 15 things you did not know about studying accounting and hope it helps you to study more and love the profession.
- Studying accounting leads to a career path: many courses most students find themselves studying, for example, philosophy or English are not based on ambition, hence there is likely not one particular set career path it leads to. Accounting is a course that leads one to particular set career objective, though there is diverse accounting profession, from tax accountants to auditors the whole types of accountants have the same training and skills required generally for the different offices and duties.
- Growing job stability: this can be said to be another benefit to study accounting. Accounting is a profession that has been on the earth surface as soon as the man started transactions and businesses grew, though might have dated the profession to be about 7,000 years old, therefore it is a profession that has increasing job stability and can not fade away as long as businesses continue to exist. It is one of the very few professions that guarantees job security and is never lay-offs from this profession.
- Luca Pa cioli: he was a great Italian mathematician who is regarded as the father of accounting and bookkeeping. Luca first published his book on the Chronicles of double-entry accounting in 1494, and it is known that Leonardo da Vinci was one of his students.
- The flexibility of where to work: as earlier explained, an accountant is always needed in almost all facet of life, as long as there is a form of business, therefore it means an accountant can be found working in the government parastatals, huge business organizations, schools, banks even churches at times. There is no limit to the geographical location an accountant should be, hence accountants do have the flexibility to choose where they would like to operate. This is to prove that every industry needs an accountant no matter how small, so far a book keeping it done.
- Entrepreneurship is an option: a lawyer can go into private practice and own a firm, so also a doctor and many other professionals, just like these other professions an accountant also has a choice to own a firm. It is a personal choice and risk to take but you can study accounting to also go into private practice though it is reliable to back this with some years of experience in order to understand the market and know how to penetrate like every other business man. Therefore an accountant has the option of owning a business in his/her field.
- Avenue for professional growth: to be competent is not born out of sheer graduation from school, but out of hard work and experience. Agreeable other fields or courses provide opportunities for professional growth but with accounting, there’s a systematic and diverse way for personal and professional growth. Though it advisable after graduation, accountants should gain experience from the junior level or entry-level auditors or accountant in order to plan out desirable choice unprofessional growth either by further education or becoming a certified professional accountant.
- Profitable career path: aside ambition to attain up to a particular level in a profession, it is still paramount to measure up success alongside the financial earnings of one. Fulltime accountant with different organizations earns profitably around $70,500 per annum as a median salary according to the bureau of labour statistics (BLS), while senior accountant considerably earns about $100,000 per annum alongside many other incentives benefitted, such as vacations, healthcare and retirement plans etc.
- Accountants can only be respected: if you want to study accountancy and except to become popular, it is better to be for the right reasons. An accountant daily routine is not about glam and fun, it actually subjects you to serious mathematics and continuous examination of books, making sure they are all in order. Accountants for any organization is also another part of the engine that runs the life force of the organization day to day activities hence are usually where engines are, the backroom. An ambitious accountant has his fun from the work done, it is not always about celebrity recognition.
- Constant Education: an accountant does not end studies after graduation. It takes continuous education to keep growing in this field. So it is a rigorous course that will demand extra certifications as one proceeds in the field and even with the experience at different intervals there would be a need for some other certifications which consumes time and endeavour to accomplish, so it is advisable for entry level accountant to also further education and also every accountant keep learning about trends in vogue in order to be up to date about modification.
- Accountants have a patron saint: Yes, accountants do have a patron saint, the author of the very first Gospel of the new testament Saint Matthew. He was actually a tax collector before following the call of Christ, at the time in a place called Capernaum. The roman catholic church celebrates this Saint and apostle on the 21st of September, as the feast day dedicated to him. Therefore he is the patron saint to tax collectors/ accountant, stockbrokers and accountants.
- Accountants brought about Al Capone’s conviction: accountants has also made history one the years, though a particular accountant may not be celebrated personally, their hard work is worth celebrating. For a huge and deep crime lord Al Capone, the FBI has been on his trail and yet could not find substantial evidence to apprehend and convict him. History will forever be made as to when an accountant actually got evidence to convict Al Capone, which took just charges over tax evasion. Ever since 1908 accountant has always been on the FBI investigation team.
- You will need to learn a lot of Maths: yes, accounting entails a lot of mathematical calculations, that is why it’s true to say that maths is everything in accounting. The profession deals mainly with numbers, spreadsheets and other computer programs used in the audit. Doing audits in accounting is quite really important. The mathematical calculations you would need in accounting are basically the normal fractions, ratios, averages and a little bit of algebra, when necessary.
- Accounting classes are fun: although all classes are taking with all seriousness, it’s still fun. Most people do not know this, because the profession appears all mighty but it is a great field. You would be able to learn a practical skill that you can actually put to use in your field and job. In accounting programs you get to work on the computer and learn so many new software, you will also learn on how to design spreadsheets, solve problems, and really using your mind and your intellect to learn and work. Gone are those days whereby, accounting is done on only books, these days, everything can be done online using software and no single book is needed.
- Your learning does not stop: even after obtaining your degree and after graduation, you still need to continue learning and add up to your skill. Accounting has a lot of sides and new things keep developing every day, therefore, if you want to practise your accounting profession for a long time, you would have to keep studying at every opportunity you get. You can take up classes for further studies to keep updating yourself and your skill.
- Accountants can be very busy: there is some time of the year when accountants are really busy, most especially around the end of the year towards the beginning of a new one. Most accounts are needed to be closed during these times of the year. If you work for a firm or you are a company accountant, you have the normal none to five jobs and this could be really tasking and take up all of your time. Although accounting is fun it can also be stressful at times and you may need to take a break in between your work.
Types of Accounting Professionals You May Not Know Are Available
Accounting professionals can find employment in all sorts of different work settings. If an organization trades with money in any form or way, it absolutely needs an accountant as one of its staff. Below are some examples of the different types of accountants that are in existence.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA): these are known as the upper-class accountants who are recognized as experts in any firm or organization in which they work. This CPA is always in charge of an organization’s accounting records, taxes and financial standing. While some of their work involves mainly taxes, their involvement also tends to be more concentrated than just working with taxes. A Certified Public Accountant role can be likened to that of a trusted advisor, who is always ready to help its client plan and meet his or her financial goals, while also assisting in other fiscal matters which may require the help of a CPA. These other fiscal matters could include accounting book reviews, consulting and litigation services. For one to become a CPA, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited accounting program before going on to obtain certification by passing the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Forensic accountant: these are professionals to help to analyze the different financial records of its client in order to ensure they are compliant with the setup standards and guidelines. Forensic accountants are always brought in to uncover errors, omissions or even detect an outright fraud in some cases. A forensic accountant must possess adequate unique skillset, and must have the curiosity of an investigator; almost like a detective. The forensic accountants often work in either investigation or litigation support. In some cases, forensic accountants can serve as expert witnesses in court proceedings. For you to become a forensic accountant, you need to, first of all, earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After graduation, you will be required to take some certification examination to prepare yourself for the field of your choice.
- Auditor: is known as the accuracy experts in an organization or company. Many organizations, from commercial businesses, government-owned companies and non-profits organizations, are all required to conduct an annual audit to ensure their accounting records are correct and up to date. Auditors are usually brought in from outside of an organization to analyze the numbers without been bias on the issue. This is mainly the reason why external auditors are always brought in. These accounting professionals are tasked with examining the financial statements of the organization, inspect their account books to uncover any fraudulent act and also help in organizing and maintaining their financial records and assessing financial operations to provide recommendations for improvement. For you to become an auditor, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting just like in any other accounting field. Earning an accounting certification after graduation often improves your job prospects as well.
- Management accountant: When making important strategic decisions, business leaders need to know the status of an organization’s financial health and how it could be affected. It is then the responsibility of the management accountants to provide this information so that good decision can be made and followed regarding the future of the company or organization. Some of the common duties of a management accountant are basically; planning and budgeting of the organization funds, support the external financial reporting, risk management, profitability analysis and so on and forth. In addition to the technical accounting skills, these management professionals must possess the skillset and ability needed to organize information and put it forward to the appropriate authorities in a concise format for business executives to comprehend and carry out. To become a management accountant, you have to earn an accounting bachelor’s degree from a prestigious institution. You will also need to undertake a professional examination to become a certified management accountant.
- Cost accountant: Businesses are always trying to improve their processes in an effort to save money. This is then the duty of all cost accountants. They are responsible for the examining of an organization every expense and they also help to conduct a profitability analysis and budget preparation whenever necessary. The cost accountant analyzes every cost or expenditure made in relation to labour, materials, production, administration and all other necessary expenses. All of this information is then compiled and communicated to the business owners to help them identify the various ways in which they can improve their financial efficiency. To become a cost accountant, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance and be in equipped with strong math and statistics skills. You may also be required to take a Certified Cost Accountant (CCA) accreditation examination to boost your career prospect.
- Government accountant: accountants are also needed in various government parastatals. This could either be in the state or federal government level. All government agencies have the need for accountants to keep track of money, both in profits and expenditures. These professionals have the duty to make sure hard-earned taxpayer money is spent in a wise and prudent way. These accountants also help government agencies to plan out their activities for a fiscal year. Some government accountants are employed for agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are responsible for auditing other private businesses and individuals when invited. To qualify as a government accounting professional, you must definitely possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Many government accountants may also hold a master’s degree in accounting, finance, taxation or business administration to maximize their productivity.
- Project accountant: A project accountant is one who works on a project-by-project basis. This person oversees all aspects of a project that might affect the overall cost, including preparing and collecting invoices, approving expenses, verifying employees’ billable hours, planning and maintaining budgets and ensuring the team is meeting project deadlines. There are many types of projects that a project accountant may work on, everything from a new product launch to the construction of a new facility. Project accountants typically work with project managers and other professional colleagues, so strong communication and interpersonal skills are necessary. Most project accountants hold at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some employers prefer hiring candidates who have also obtained other certification, such as a CPA or CMA credential.
- Investment accountant: Investment accountants work in the fast-paced fields of the finance and investment sector. These investment accountants are known to work for mainly brokerage and asset management firms. These investment accountants are very knowledgeable about stocks, bonds, ETFs, currencies, precious metals and other forms of investment particulars. The primary responsibility and duty of an investment accountant are to maintain their clients’ investments while adhering to state regulations and set outlaws. The investment accountants may also play a role in helping to develop their firm’s key financial strategy. To become an investment account, you must earn at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics or even business administration. You can also go on to earn a CPA degree and other forms of certification n order to become Personal Financial Specialists (PFS).
- Staff accountant: Staff accountant is one of the most common jobs in the accounting field. These staff accountants are the generalists of the accounting world. They have a wide variety of responsibilities, which can include and vary from preparing financial statements, maintaining a company’s general and subsidiary accounts, performing account reconciliations, maintaining payroll records, cash management and supervising clerical employees. Above all, staff accountants are usually employed in either small, medium or large businesses. Anywhere money is involved, they tend to help in their bookkeeping activities. Those staff accountants working for large companies may find themselves performing more supervisory duties in relation to their other accounting duties. The specific job duties assigned to these accountants will vary greatly depending on the position they are given in the organization. Earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting is a fundamental requirement to become a staff accountant in any organization. Any additional education or certification such as earning a master’s degree or other forms of accounting certification could also improve your job prospects.
In conclusion, accounting is an interesting course to take on, especially for those interested to imbibe in churning calculation and making numbers their words. As an accountant, you must be willing to learn new things everyday and be ready to work with developing software, use basic math techniques and be a problem solver. You must also be a great team player and be able to communicate very well with people. If you are planning on taking on the accounting profession or you are already in the field, you have a great future ahead of you.