Earlier this year, Business Insider released its list of the 30 most lucrative, in-demand jobs. And yes, accountant was one of the listed roles. So, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why become an accountant?
Well, whether you’re starting your career or planning a career change, this article is my explanation of the many benefits of becoming an accountant. I hope it helps you as you make your plans for a profitable, fulfilling accounting career.
Why Become An Accountant? 6 Accountants Respond
While planning out this article, I thought about my own path into the accounting world. There are, of course, many different reasons why people consider becoming an accountant. Don’t worry, I’m not going to recite the many platitudes and worn-out clichés you’ll find in most blogs. Instead, I decided to see what other accountants had to say about why they chose to become an accountant.
“I wanted a position that others respected…”
It’s completely normal to want others to respect our choices in life. So, it wasn’t surprising to me when I discovered that a desire for a respected career drove many people to become accountants. Kushagra Vashistha, a chartered accountant from India, explains that he wanted the same respect that his relatives (also accountants) commanded in his hometown. Norman Symons, who studied at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, echoed the high perceived value of the title of Chartered Accountant.
“It opens so many doors of opportunity to you.”
Steve Livingston, founder of a UK accounting firm, observes that being an accountant opens up many doors that would otherwise be closed to you. Obtaining skills such as interpreting financial statements prepare you for a successful career in any industry. Mark Gandy, CEO of financial consulting firm G3CFO, says he’s had many opportunities outside finance, such as mergers and acquisitions, ERP implementations, and marketing.
“I’ll always have a job.”
In response to an AICPA survey on becoming an accountant, Lisa Simpson, CPA, CGMA says she pursued accounting because of her logical nature. Now that she’s an accountant, Lisa appreciates her job security since,”people will always need someone to assist them with finances.” Many accountants enjoy a comfortable salary, whether they’re working as a staff accountant or CPA freelancer. There is a high demand for accounting professionals who know how to advise clients on financial matters.
“I love helping others succeed.”
Certified public accountant Carl Mayes became an accountant to “help people’s dreams come true.” I can echo this sentiment. As an accountant, I’ve found working with clients to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role. Being an accountant, you can play a vital role in helping people make their business visions and financial dreams a successful reality.
A CPA’s Tips For Becoming A Successful Accountant
As an accounting professional myself, I’ve found the world of accounting to be tremendously rewarding. Don’t get me wrong: there are days when I’m tired, stressed, and question why I ever chose this field. But, for the most part, I’m thankful for the many skills and experiences I’ve gained while working as an accountant over the years. If you’re interested in becoming an accounting professional or CPA, here are my tips for making sure your accounting career is rewarding:
1. Be ready to continue learning throughout your career.
Most accountants start off interning at a Big 4 accounting firm like Deloitte or PwC. But whether it’s your first internship or your 3rd accounting job, there is always plenty to learn as an accountant. If you’re working as a staff accountant, you’ll need to master the company accounting software.
If you strike out on your own as a freelance accountant, you’ll need to learn how to sell and grow your business. As a firm leader, you’ll have to vet new hires, perform employee reviews, and many management and leadership tasks.
2. Learn to harness, not fear, technology.
As accounting software has improved, many accounting jobs have been replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). This reality has many people reconsidering a career path in accounting. But accountants who learn to endeavor to master these emerging technologies will remain relevant and achieve above-average success.
3. Focus on more than spreadsheets and financial acumen.
In a 2014 HBR article, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman highlighted the skills that leaders need for each level within an organization. The top skills they highlighted were the abilities to motivate others, solve problems, communicate clearly, and act with integrity and honesty.
Many finance professionals exclusively focus on obtaining an accounting degree from a prestigious school and strengthening their technical competency. However, beyond their knowledge, a good accounting professional will also hone their soft skills, such as communication, strategic thinking, and interpersonal communication.
4. Build connections with those around you.
It’s an unspoken rule in business to be courteous to everyone, since you never know who you are talking to. One of the biggest career growth hacks is to connect with those around you. Whether it’s at in-person conferences or in online communities like Facebook Groups, make a personal goal to try and connect with people. Relationships are key to great career success, just like competency.
Why become an accountant? It’s worth it!
Becoming an accountant can provide you with the opportunity for a better salary than many other positions. There are also a diverse range of career paths within accounting, from audit and compliance work to client accounting services and virtual bookkeeping. Whichever path you choose, I hope that you can use the tips in this article to find the path that’s right for your goals.