If you are a person who not only has an easy time with numbers, but also actually enjoys working with figures, a career in accounting may be perfect for you. Here are a few tips on how to get the training you need.
- Continuing your formal education is key to getting your training. You can continue to work at your day job while you are learning the basics of business accounting. If a traditional college setting will not work with your schedule, then look into the possibility of obtaining your accounting degree via a distance learning program. Many accredited institutions offer excellent programs that allow you to complete your coursework based on your own timetable. As a bonus, check with your current employer about helping out with the expense. Many companies have programs that will help employees further their education.
If college seems like a daunting task, consider a good technical school. Many offer fully accredited associate degrees in accounting. While that will not get you to the point of overseeing an accounting department, it will be sufficient to help you land a position as an accounting clerk.
- Your employer may also be a means of getting some excellent on the job training for an accounting position. If you have proven yourself to be dependable and express an interest in obtaining a degree in accounting, your Human Resources Manager may keep you in mind for any positions that come up in the Accounting department that do not require a degree. This will help you to assimilate the way accounting principles work in a real-time business environment. Your daily experiences may also help you to understand the principles you learn in class as well.
- As with any skill set, practice makes perfect. Take advantage of any connections you may have that involve persons who work in the finance industry. As an example, offer to work as an assistant volunteer book-keeper with a non-profit organization (Note - you will most likely be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement), such as a local community group or a house of worship. The slower pace of those types of organizations will provide you with time to learn the basics of accounting and be able to ask questions more freely than perhaps the pace of a larger for profit business would allow. You may learn of opportunities to take part in evaluations of new accounting software, as well as new versions of older, more established programs. Any information you can gain in this manner will help you to ask questions at work or in the classroom that may not have occurred to you otherwise.
One other avenue to mention is the number of accounting seminars and workshops offered today. Many are scheduled to last anywhere between one and four days. While these workshops do often award CEU's and may be of some value, it is important to understand that they do not replace a degree or experience. In fact, you may find that prospective employers would much rather integrate you into their own system and then allow you the opportunity to attend seminars and training conferences that are focused on the application of accounting principles as it relates to their industry; in other cases, your employer may choose to send you to seminars that center on bringing you up to speed on the latest release of the accounting software used in your business. The bottom line on accounting seminars and training conferences is that they are of less value when you are preparing for a career in accounting, but may be quite valuable once you are actually working in the accounting field.
If working with numbers is something that gives you a great deal of satisfaction, accounting may be the perfect fit for you. Using the resources at hand, whether at a traditional university or through accounting classes at an online college, you can get the training you need and have a rewarding career.