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Preparing for an Accountancy Career: Top Tips to Ace This Field

If you want a brighter future, you must consider a career in accountancy. Expending your time, energy, and money in an accounting degree, and moving onto become a certified public accountant (CPA), is one of the best investments you will ever make.

Besides, the demand for accountants and auditors is on the rise, especially since businesses are established every day. Besides, even during periods of recession, the economy still needs financial records for analysis. Hence, there will always be new opportunities for accounting professionals. If you are considering embarking on a career in accounting, you are definitely on the right track. Continue reading this mini guide so you can stay informed on the details you need to know. 

The Perks of a Career in the Accountancy Field

Forging a career in accounting equates to security. You will find many in-demand jobs that offer a lot of perks to those who pursue this path. You can work in many different industries or establish your own firm. Not convinced? Here are the six top advantages of making this your career choice.

Forging a career in accounting equates to security. You will find many in-demand jobs that offer a lot of perks to those who pursue this path. You can work in many different industries or establish your own firm. Not convinced? Here are the six top advantages of making this your career choice.

1. Gain a Better Comprehension of Finances

After many years of understanding the complex task of managing money, you will gain knowledge and experience that other people will willingly aim for. In addition, getting your degree in accounting opens your mind to many other things beyond managing ledgers, making financial reports, and analyzing statements. Studying accounting includes coursework in the following areas:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Business laws
  • Tax laws
  • Corporate finance
  • Spreadsheet analysis
  • Banking 
  • Financial management 
  • Supervisory skills
  • Leadership

When you analyze it, all these skills apply to any occupation. This means potential employers will benefit immensely from accounting job candidates who have a strong proficiency in these skills. In turn, you can apply these skills to other occupations like being a fund manager, financial planner, banker, etc. 

2. Strong Demand for Accounting Specialists

The demand for accountants has been at a consistently high rank since time immemorial. Since accounting involves money management, it is a major driving factor that moves the economy. As a result, every business ever established, from small enterprises to large corporations, needs at least one accounting professional to manage the books and ensure the company’s financial health. 

In fact, big conglomerates establish an accounting department with several accountants and bookkeepers to keep track of their cash flow, credit, loans, and future projections. This service spans all industries, assuring prospective accountant’s career security and longevity. Moreover, it is evident that this strong demand for accountants will continue to remain strong in this century and beyond.

3. Offers Opportunities for Career Advancement

Even as an entry-level junior accounting associate, you have the potential to increase your salary pay grade within a year. Besides, establishing the right connections assures continued professional growth. When you combine your accounting skills with mentorship, training, and seminars, you can further hone your skills. With the right knowledge, you can engage in specialization and become a: 

  • Tax Accountant
  • Controller
  • Auditor
  • Payroll Clerk
  • CPA
  • Corporate Financial Officer (CFO)

Moreover, when you combine accounting with other skills, you can curate an exemplary resume that prospective employers will run after. Clearly, possessing knowledge of accounting principles serve as a rock-solid foundation for advancing into high caliber positions. Today, companies expect their accounting and finance departments to generate more than reports and power points. You must be able to analyze, explain, recommend action, and forecast. 

4. Enjoy Highly Competitive Pay Grades

Because the nature of this job requires in-depth knowledge and high skill levels, you will find enticing entry-level salaries. Recent job studies show that an entry-level accounting graduate can earn around P205,000 annually. The more years you practice, the higher it becomes. The potential to earn increases tremendously when you pass the CPA board exams. 

Notably, the pay rate depends on the region, as well as if the company is private or operated by the government. Some professionals decide to open their own firm because they can earn a lot more. Though establishing a firm comes with overhead costs, you can command higher retainer fees from various clients. 

5. Learn Skills and Gain Contacts to Start a Business

It is very common for accounting professionals to venture into entrepreneurship. This typically happens after several years of working. While on the job, you will meet a lot of contacts and expand your network. Through this, you may feel very comfortable starting your own company. You can engage in consulting, establish your own firm, or even put up a business that sells goods and services. After all, you can easily do the books and monitor the cash flow. 

Today, accounting ranks high as one of the best options for incoming college freshmen. Most likely, this is due to the nature of the profession. With this degree, you have a place in the job market or venture out on your own. Even people with disabilities can readily practice accounting. In addition, you will always have the potential to earn big because there is a strong demand for people who can do effective money management. 

6. Gain Greater Understanding of Tax and Business Laws

A good accounting curriculum exposes you to both taxation and business laws. As an accountant, one of your primary responsibilities will be preparing tax returns. Failure to do so on time and with accurate data can adversely affect personal, business, and even legal repercussions. Thus, you are required to study these laws. 

When you understand the law, you can better serve your clients. If you open your own business, you can leverage your knowledge to make sure that your company rakes in a lot of profit legally. At the same time, you know what deductibles to avail of to reduce your tax dues. With the right knowledge, you can avoid BIR investigation and audit. 

Usual Career Paths for Accountants/Bookkeepers

To fully grasp what kind of career paths you can pursue with an accounting degree, you must first know what duties are expected of an accountant. An accountant is a financial professional. If you engage in this profession, you will examine, analyze, and prepare financial records for organizations or individuals. In this job, you will be dealing with a lot of numbers to create statements and records. All of these combined will show the financial health of a business or individual. Common tasks expected of an accountant are the following: 

  • Collaborating with both internal and external auditors for thorough auditing work
  • Prepping and reviewing income statements, payrolls, expenses, and budgets
  • Create accurate profit and loss statements after careful assessment
  • Conduct in-depth analysis of data such as expenses and revenue trends to make forecasts and recommendations
  • Preparation of account entries in the ledgers
  • Establish careful guidelines and implement them for proper accounting control
  • Manage, maintain, and evaluate financial databases
  • Give advice on computer software and filing systems
  • Help with tax preparations
  • Assist with business registration

You will commonly find public accountants, management accountants, government-employed accountants, and internal auditors in the accounting sector. Though each of these positions has a specific job description, all of them include some general tasks. No matter what position you land in, you will have to audit accounting systems and procedures, prepare taxes, comply with laws, and assist in finding ways to minimize costs while boosting profits. Depending on the company, an accounting graduate can pursue these career paths:

  • Accounting Managers
  • Accounts Payable or Receivable Clerk
  • Junior or Senior Accountant
  • Accounting Supervisor
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Office Manager
  • CFO 
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Payroll Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Credit and Collection Clerk

Now is the perfect time to be working in the accounting and finance industry because they have a promising job outlook, even for novice professionals and those looking to shift their careers. However, if you are serious about shining in this profession, you must identify your goals, work on your abilities, and find ways to strengthen your skills. 

How to Land a Job in this Field (tips to get your dream accountancy job)

When you get your diploma, you have certainly reached a major milestone. Without an iota of doubt, you are ready to get out there, conquer the world, and make a name for yourself. But, at the same time, you may also feel a bit anxious about whether you will find your dream job. Do you have what it take to get into the position you want?

Well, there’s great news for you. Though experiencing post-graduation anxiety is totally normal, you can curb this feeling because you will find many excellent opportunities in the fields of accounting and finance. Best of all, unemployment rates in this niche have always remained quite low. In fact, many employers are eager to find the right talent for their vacant positions. 

Since the odds are in your favor, the only thing you must do is prep for the job applications and interviews. Then, when the opportunity presents itself, be prepared to seize it. Here are some tips to help you find your dream job. 

1. Read the Job Descriptions Thoroughly

As you search for a job, read the descriptions thoroughly. Most of all, you must be honest with yourself and make sure you meet all the criteria. In case you don’t, you now know what areas you need to improve. 

2. Highlight Your Best Assets

Prepare a killer resume that highlights your best assets. Make sure your resume reflects your personality. On top of that, you must find a way to make it stand out against the rest. Chances are, the ones reviewing your resume will also be holding other resume files. Though you can exercise a bit of creativity in terms of the layout, don’t go overboard. Take note of the following:

  • Use paper with good quality
  • Make sure the ink is dark
  • Choose a font that’s very easy to read
  • Work with a good layout 
  • Edit your work to make sure it’s free from spelling errors
  • Send it out with a killer cover letter
  • Complete your contact information
  • Highlight your academic achievements, skills, and other activities

3. Do Your Homework

Research, the company you are applying to so you can show them your best assets. This way, you can prep your resume and cover letter to address the needs of the company. Your efforts will show that you have initiative and you go the extra mile. On top of that, you can feel confident about acing written exams or interviews. 

4. Hone Soft Skills

Though you are a degree holder who’s updated on the latest accounting principles, you must also work on your soft skills to get that second interview. Here are some soft skills that you should strengthen to make yourself more marketable:

  • Communication: Though you may be well-versed in chatting and conference calls, you must also be confident with face-to-face meetings. As an accounting professional, you will meet a lot of clients and industry partners. To help you out, join local organizations to hone your communication skills. You need to feel at ease when you talk to people. Find a way to network with others so will feel at ease for your interview. 
  • Critical Thinking: In this job, you must exemplify that you hold amazing critical thinking skills. This means you can solve problems and come up with solutions. This quality helps you understand yourself and others better. When you can analyze and deduce information and then apply the most important parts, you can change any situation. As a result, you promote growth and find success more easily. 
  • Adaptability: Employers love people who can adapt to any environment. Prove to them that you are highly adaptable. After all, you will be dealing with various cleans and facing constant changes in government regulations, taxation laws, auditing, and accounting practices. This field is highly dynamic, so you must evolve with the changes without falling apart. 
  • Organization: You must find a way to showcase your organizational skills. Your workplace must be neat and orderly, but most of all, you must know how to prioritize your tasks. As a professional, you will be dealing with multiple clients and deadlines so staying calm amidst pressure is a priority. Highlight that you know how to set your priorities and schedule tasks because you value meeting deadlines and strive hard for less revision work. 
  • Team Player: Showing that you can work with others well makes a world of difference. Companies value team players who know how to collaborate with other people. Knowing how to cooperate with others proves that you can thrive in any setting. Thus, in a way, you become instrumental in creating a stronger company culture. 

Interview Tips So You Can Best Prepare for this Career

As you prepare for your job application, you need to be ready to face written examinations to prove your mastery of accounting principles. Most entry-level positions start with a written exam. Moreover, you must be prepared to face really tough questions during your dream job interview. When you sit down with your prospective employer, the last thing you want to happen is to freeze up. To avoid this situation, you have to be prepared.

Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. When you don’t make plans, your nerves will go haywire. In your panic, you won’t be able to think calmly. However, with the right steps in facing your interview, you don’t have to waste the years you spent studying for exams and training. Here’s the list of the most commonly asked questions in interviews. Apart from prepping your outfit and grooming yourself, you should master these items for your interview.

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Why should the company hire you?
  • What value will you offer the organization?
  • Be prepared to say something about yourself.
  • What are your achievements? 
  • What soft skills do you have that make you a great employee? 
  • Why do you want to work in this company?
  • How do you prioritize your tasks? 
  • How will you handle tight deadlines?
  • How will you appease unhappy clients? 

When you think through and plan answers for these anticipated inquiries, you can give better answers and speak confidently. With ample preparation, you won’t be caught by surprise, and you can also minimize nervous feelings. If you practice your responses in advance in front of a mirror, you also build up your mental game. You can prepare concrete examples to back up your statement. Best of all, the more you prep and practice, you won’t panic or freeze when the interviewer asks you a tough question. 

The more knowledge you have, the more equipped you will be. Most of all, you must follow a career path that feels right for you. You don’t have to go with a traditional trajectory. If you feel more passionate about a specific, go for it. Choose opportunities that ensure advancement so you can climb up the career ladder. 

Now that you’re all set to pursue a career in accountancy, you must keep in mind that your training and education will not end once you graduate from college and receive your diploma. Instead, you have to strive hard and make an effort to continually learn and grow in this field. In addition, since financial trends, government regulations, laws, and other practices change, you must also work hard to evolve to stay updated at all times. 

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