How to Become an Accountant in the US: 5 Things You Need to Know

Becoming an accountant in the United States can be demanding and rewarding. Being an accountant requires critical thinking, analytical skills, and good communication skills. 

Furthermore, it is an occupation that can lead to further studies. There are many accounting programs available at various universities throughout the country. In this post, we outline five things you need to know if you plan on becoming an accountant in the United States.

Decide between becoming an Accountant and a CPA

The decision between becoming an accountant and becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) will depend on what type of accountant you want to be. If you want to be a professional accountant involved in strategic planning and management, then a career as a CPA may be a better option for you. 

On the other hand, if you are interested in auditing companies or public bodies, then a career as an accountant may be a better option for you. It is important to note that being a CPA does come with certain benefits. CPAs are involved in audits of various businesses, industries, and government entities.

CPAs are licensed to audit financial statements. As a result, they can ensure a company complies with certain regulations. If you’re studying CPA, you can check this CPA review course comparison to help you choose the best CPA review course.

Earn a bachelor’s degree

Becoming an accountant requires an undergraduate degree. As a result, it is important to research Accounting degree programs to lead to a successful career. Some of the best accounting schools include the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Florida, Texas A&M University, and Northeastern University. 

Most schools offer several undergraduate accounting degree programs. Research the various Accounting degree programs that are available. The degree program to choose will depend on the specific accounting job you seek. Additionally, it will depend on the specific areas of accounting that you are interested in. 

Once you have narrowed down your degree program, you will need to consider the cost of your degree. As a result, you need to determine if online accounting degree programs are right for you. Furthermore, you should also look into scholarships and grants available.

Pick an accounting speciality

Numerous accounting specialities are available to business accountants. Some of the most common accounting specialities include Auditing, Tax, and Audit-Related. It is important to research the various available accounting specialities before deciding on a speciality. 

Some of the best accounting specialities include: 

As a result, you can pick an accounting speciality aligned with your interests, career goals, and experience level.

Each speciality offers a unique set of skills you can use as an accountant. However, depending on your goals as an accountant, you may be able to fit into more than one area. For example, someone who wants to be a management consultant may be able to take on auditing clients as well. 

Other factors to consider when deciding between specialities include the types of clients you want to work with, the practice environment in your area, and the job environment in your area.

Get licensed

To work as an accountant in the United States, you must get licensed. The licensing process will vary depending on the state in which you live. However, all states require accountants to take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. 

The CPA Exam is a four-part exam that tests your knowledge of auditing, taxation, financial accounting, and business law. Once you have passed the CPA Exam, you will need to complete a certain amount of work experience before being licensed. The work experience requirements will vary depending on the state in which you live.

Find an accounting job

After completing your education and passing the CPA Exam, you will need to find an accounting job. The best way to find an accounting job is to network with other accountants. You can also search for accounting jobs online, in newspapers, and in job databases. 

Once you have found a few potential accounting jobs, you will need to apply for the position. To increase your chances of being hired, you should tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific accounting job you are applying for.

Becoming an accountant in the United States can be a great way to start or further your career. It’s not difficult and with hard work and determination, you too can become a successful accountant.