What Qualifications Do I Need to Become an Accountant? 

If you have a flair for numbers and your numeracy skill is on a unique level, then accounting is your thing. Accountants can work in any setting where there is cash flow (inward or outward), from the entertainment industry and government to the business world and to the religious world, accountants are needed virtually in every bustling sector. 

Contrary to the past where accountants are just known for handling legal tenders, the profession has since evolved into them giving financial prospects and insights, auditing and counselling the management board on financial management. 

Accounting has many sub-fields that you can specialise on, whichever you will be choosing, you need to be qualified and that brings us to the qualifications part. 

Qualifications Needed to Become an Accountant 

First, you should be great at maths, have top notch analytical skills, develop a sharp eye for details and be tech savvy, it’s the 21st century digital age you can’t do without technology. That’s about the few basics you need aside from the circle of academic qualifications. For the academic qualifications you will start with: 

A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting  

Although you can skip these degree route if you don’t have the resources to go the university, but if you really want to ascend the career steps of the accounting profession, you need to walk in armed with a degree. With a degree, you can easily further your qualifications to give you an edge by becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 

Associate Degree

This degree can be gotten in the classroom or on online. It provides you with the cornerstone on accounting with which you can step on and go higher. It gives you access to accounting entry level positions like a billing clerk, account receivable clerk or a book-keeper. A minimum of two years can give you this qualification.

A Diploma in Accounting 

This is an alternative for you if a degree is not feasible. You can run a diploma in accounting in an accredited college for about two years and then gain entry level position in accounting for some small firms to start with. You can work as a clerk or staff book-keeper and this could give you a head start. You should however strive to study further as you work. Some of the Diploma qualifications you can get from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) include:

  • AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate 
  • AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma 
  • AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma 

Certified as an Accountant 

Getting certified as an accountant is one of the best things that can happen to your accounting career. It places you on the portals of promotion and it comes with a lot more prestige and you can work in a lot of places other accountants without the qualification only dream of. If you have a degree in accounting, you can further your qualification to Master’s level before you can become eligible to obtain this qualification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). You will be required to sit for the exams which will be tougher than what you are used to. After which, you’ll be placed under the supervision of licensed CPA while working to prove your mettle. 

Other certifications you can get include; ACCA (Association of Chartered Accountants) and CIMA (Certified Institute of Management Accountants).  

If don’t have a degree in accounting, coming this far will be very challenging for you. However, there are online accounting degrees you can bag to become an accountant, you just need to find out.