Have you seen any firm without an accountant’s office? If you are in the initial phases of your business development with limited resources, you can manage the bookkeeping. On the other hand, large firms might need a whole department for it if they deal with complex and multiple operations simultaneously. When we hear the word accountant, we think of riles like in-house auditor, maintenance of financial records, and taxation. Accounting and bookkeeping are pivotal in any organization. An accountant contributes to assisting in designing corporate strategies, reduce costs, and mitigate risks.
There are many roles that an accountant has as a part of a company. Many employers look for people not only with an accounting degree but a diverse set of skills that can benefit their company in the long run. They look for an individual with different knowledge related to accounts and financial aspects of a business. Besides hearing about accountants, you might know about the term CPA or certified public accountant. Every CPA can be an accountant, but not every accountant is a CPA.
Why is CPA different?
A certified accountant is a person who has cleared a particular type of exam to get the license or certification. The designation of CPA is highly in demand after an accountant position. Accountants do not need to go through tests and exams to get the license. Being a certified public accountant also enables you to have a legal duty of acting in the best interest of your clients. CPA is known as fiduciaries, whereas while a non-certified accountant cannot work like one. There is always room for more inductions in the career of accountants and CPAs with the rising economic changes.
Students and practitioners who aim becoming a CPA will need to build financial, mathematical, and business skills along with other personality traits. Here are a few qualities that might help you embark on the journey of a good CPA.
1. Ethical standards
If you have already got the certification of a public accountant, then you must know that there are some specific ethical codes that you cannot avoid. There is no substitute for ethics in accounting. A good CPA adheres to all the ethical standards of their profession and other applicable laws and regulations. A CPA also has a legal duty to act in the best interest of their clients. Breaching ethical code can expose any practitioner to the disciplinary actions by professional organizations. You can face situations that will test your integrity, and some moral dilemmas can divert you from the code of ethics.
The term CPA refers to a certified public accountant, which means that you will be dealing with different people. You will also be working in the preparation or checking financial statements. Compromising the information of your clients, or official information during your work may violate ethical codes. Practice the art of keeping information confidential and sharing it on a need-to-know basis. A loss of data by an accounting firm often leads to claims of damages and can end up your career. Confidentiality is an integral part of the accounting profession, be it an accountant or CPA; they cannot share or discuss everything they know.
3. Be organized
Dealing with taxations, financial records, or audit reports cannot delay your tasks or afford to lose a single paper. Being organized is very important as it will help you access the necessary information that you need at that time. Organizing your documents and computer files also come handy in compiling your reports. Tax seasons can bring increased workload for CPAs, a single error by their end can lead the company into a financial crisis. Your organization skills can help you climb your career ladder if you keep them intact.
Innovation and creativity are more related to the fields of arts and humanities, but you can also induce it in your area of accounting. The problems and solutions that we study in our textbooks are usually frequent and experienced by many people. However, different issues can arise that are not in our books. In such scenarios, your ability to think out of the box can help you find a better solution. As a public accountant, you can use your creativity in meaningful ways. You can utilize your knowledge and experience by auditing a client to improve the quality of another assignment.
While dealing with numbers and financial statements, you cannot ignore any minute detail in your work. Attention to detail becomes indispensable while you are dealing with numbers the whole day. Accountants and CPAs shall check their work thoroughly while compiling any official reports for their clients or employers.
6. Understanding business issues
Once you can prove your mettle as a certified public accountant, you pave your way for many other job opportunities. Many business firms prefer accountants with a brief knowledge of business issues. You can contribute to providing ideas about business strategies, or you might provide your assistance in matters that are directly or indirectly points to accounts or taxes. Your decisions and analysis reports shall aim towards the financial improvement of the company.
7. Effective communication
Last but not least, you cannot execute your tasks without communication. Communication is an integral part of any profession. If you are leading a team of some professional, you will need to communicate to convey your expectations and tasks to them. As an accountant, you shall be able to send the message without ambiguity across your working channels. You not only need to be a skillful communicator verbally but also in the written medium. You shall possess commendable skills in writing reports, memos, or emails. Your preference as a CPA shall be to remove ambiguities of your clients. You cannot satisfy your client without removing their confusion and conveying your point of view.
After accounting qualification, a certified public accountant is the most sought profession. Being a CPA ensures the employers that you possess all the necessary credentials fit for their organization. You can offer a wide array of services to your clients and employers that come from experience. The designation of a CPA provides a secure job as they are always in demand and preferred by many firms. The bureau of labor statistics (BLS) assumes that there will be 10% of the increase in CPA jobs between 2010-2026. Usually, the projected job growth for every field is about 7%, in the case of CPA, it is 10%, which entails more opportunities for aspiring to be a certified public accountant.