Accounting is the practice of accountancy. This means that it involves creating, reviewing and overseeing financial records and documentation on the basis of established accountancy principles. It is also used to analyze and track an organization’s economic and financial activities for the purposes of conveying the information in a way that is concise and useful to the organization’s management and stakeholders.
How to become an accountant
Although it is possible to become an accountant through acquiring experience, it would take years for anyone to trust you enough for tasks that are beyond the level of bookkeeping without your earning a related degree. The best way to become an accountant is through earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or through a similar program such as financial management are business. This is because both of these degrees usually include some accounting courses as part of the syllabi. In most countries, an accountancy degree takes between 3-4 years to acquire. It is a four-year degree in the US.
What does an accountant do?
Some of the tasks that any accountant can perform include:
- Conduct annual audits
- Reviewing the tasks performed by bookkeepers
- Handle daily financial records of the company
- Aid in preparing budgets
- Verify that the company’s tax preparation complies with federal regulations (although they cannot sign off on the documentation or present their client before the IRS without the appropriate certification or license)
- Prepare tax returns and financial audits, even though they cannot sign them
- Advise in financial strategies and budget planning
Is accounting hard?
The answer depends on what your skillset is and what you mean by ‘hard.’ In this article, we examine some factors that can help you in determining whether accounting is for you. But, when assessing whether accounting is hard or not there are two main factors that tend to influence people’s opinion on this: their ability and affinity in handling financial documentation, performing calculations and problem solving, and their tolerance for precise, detail-oriented and repetitive work.
Some people genuinely enjoy accounting and find that the rules and applications of accountancy principles make sense to them. They would obviously consider accounting ‘easy.’ While many accountancy students can perform accounting well, they find the work tedious and boring. This is where tolerance comes in. Whether this aspect of accounting is manageable to them or not depends on their personality. Many accountants are fine with doing work they find boring, as they consider the job security and financial remuneration to be worth the long hours and ‘boring’ work.
Accounting certifications and licenses help to broaden your job options and the type of work that you are able to perform. They also improve your marketability and job security, depending on where you live and what you are interested in. We have compiled an overview of some of the more popular forms of accounting certifications here.