CPA Jobs for Entry Level Accountants

CPA jobs come in all different shapes and sizes. To ensure that you choose the career path that is right for you, it is important to begin searching for the general CPA job opportunities that exist long before obtaining your CPA license.

1. Public Accounting: Undoubtedly, most college professors swear by the notion that serving a 2-3 year stint working in the field of public accounting is the only way to secure a high-paying CPA job in the future. Although working in public accounting offers many advantages, many entry level accountants fail to properly weigh the costs and benefits of slaving away at one of the Big 4 firms, which includes Ernst &Young (E&Y), KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), and Deloitte.

Benefits:

Work Experience – Unparalleled work experience in the field of audit and tax. Although many employees new to public accounting will be forced to perform repetitive tasks, there is no denying the fact that an entry level accounting position at one of the Big 4 firms will offer tremendous exposure to the industry as a whole.

Resume Booster – Love it or hate it, having 1-3 years of work experience at one of the Big 4 firms carries a lot of weight when looking for a new CPA job, especially as compared to other candidates from lesser known public accounting firms. While adding this experience to your resume does not guarantee you the job of your dreams, it does nothing but help your chances. Tack on a CPA license and you may find yourself with more job offers than you know what to do with.

Costs:

Busy Season – Perhaps the two deadliest words for an entry level accountant are “busy season.” To be frank, the word “busy” actually seems understated when you consider the fact that you may find yourself working anywhere from 60 -90 hours per week January through April or May. Do the math and you may not like what you’re actually being paid per hour.

Repetitive Work – Although the general exposure to the accounting industry as a whole is important, most entry level accountants are forced to perform the same menial tasks over and over again. This is why many candidates feel that they “didn’t learn anything” while working at a Big 4 firm.

2. Industry Accounting: Although these types of CPA jobs are rarely praised in our accounting programs in our universities, the truth is that large corporations such as Exxon, Google, and IBM need accounts just as much as the next firm, and chances are, they offer many benefits that the Big 4 simply can not. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little biased (I’ve had experience in both public and industry), but I happen to think of many industry positions as the “hidden gems” of the accounting profession. And, because many college graduates are already sold on obtaining a position at a Big 4 firm, many of these hidden gems are literally yours for the taking.

Benefits:

Work/Life Balance – Contrary to popular belief, many entry level industry accounting jobs offer higher starting salaries than the Big 4 firm. And if that is not enough of a reason to investigate further, working 40 -45 hours a week (at most) will allow you to maintain a social life, keep your health in check, and possibly even obtain a CPA license early in your career.

Niche Focus – While an entry level accountant at a Big 4 firm might have exposure to a considerable amount of different industries, entry level accountants in industry positions become experts of their niche. Having a niche focus is imperative for people who would like to achieve the status as a “specialists,” and paid accordingly I might add.

Cons:

Patience – Some people complain that promotions are hard to come by in the world of industry accounting. While I’m sure this is true of some companies, my experience in oil & gas has been just the opposite. Raises and promotions happen virtually every year, and furthermore, it seems reasonable to wait a little longer for a management position given the fact that you are only asked to work approximately 40 hours a week and you are arguable overpaid for your position as it is.

Repetitive Work – It seems that this is required of all entry level accountants regardless of chosen career path. In industry accounting positions, there will be days when you are bored to tears and think to yourself “am I really adding any value to this company at all?” Don’t worry; this feeling is completely normal in both industry accounting and Big 4 entry level accounting positions.

Regardless of the CPA job that you choose as an entry level accountant, make sure that you properly evaluate all of your options before diving head-first.

Starting an Accountant Career – Difficult, But Rewarding!

Diving into the accounting field can be a difficult yet rewarding experience for any aspiring business professional. Accounting has been a practice for a very long time. There sole duty is to monitor and assist account holders with their financial knowledge and expertise pertaining to all laws and regulations that are required by the government. Accounting is the art of recording, summarizing, classifying and making decisions concerning the account data. Becoming a successful accountant you will have to display some powerful characteristics in areas such as: information extraction, record keeping, and account preparation. These qualities are taught in colleges and universities all over the country and some even online.

Finding the necessary education will be the best option for you to begin an accountant career. Accounting degree programs are found in most major universities across the United States. They provide you with extensive knowledge in all facets of the accounting industry. While a bachelors degree will hold more ground there are many colleges and universities that offer 2 year associate degrees. With a 2 year degree you will be able to jump into entry level positions immediately allowing you to fill your resume with experience and extensive knowledge from on site opportunities.

Being an expert in information extraction is another key to having a successful accounting career. Being able to find a company’s finances and expenditures details takes tremendous organization and dedication. Accountant careers consist of accessing and sustaining accounts with clients. These clients expect punctuality and attention to detail to ensure that their money is always in safe hands. The beauty of an accountant career is that everybody needs accounts in the business world today. With the necessity of financial monitored accountants the job market has risen substantially for those seeking employment.

Record Keeping is another key component to an accountant career. The ability to keep detailed and organized records of all necessary expenditures and finances is the number one task of an accountant. If you are pursuing an accountant career it will be great for you to have a strong grasp on math and statistical calculations. This will serve as an important tool when you are attempting to keep accurate and precise records for the businesses or individuals you work with. Monitoring the income and spending habits of their clients is very important as well. This holds strong especially if you work for clients who are paid for performances or speeches in which the IRS would be notified.

An accountant will keep all the necessary documents and paperwork that will keep their client out of trouble from the IRS. The accounting field is not an easy career choice but it can be extremely rewarding for you and your family. It takes a very competent person to be able to monitor many accounts with precision and the utmost accuracy. If you are pursuing an accountant career make sure you receive all the possible training you can find. As with starting any business it will take knowledge and drive to be successful.

Why Accounting Certifications Will Get You the Best Accounting Jobs

Are you intending to pursue a career in Finance? Then investing in an accounting certification will be one of the smartest moves you will ever make.

Why? If you want to learn golf, do you ask your twenty-four handicapper neighbour or do you run to your locally qualified golf pro? When you buy a house do you get your mate to complete the legal forms or do you find a qualified lawyer who’s been trained properly in real estate conveyancing?

It’s the exact same with Accountants. Yes, there are people out there who can do financial bookkeeping, know the difference between a debit and a credit and can complete a tax return. But who trained them? How do they keep up with the latest laws and accounting standards? What happens if they make mistakes?

So, let us be clear. Potential clients who need accounting services seek out certified accountants.

And they are willing to pay for your expertise.

In no particular order – since they are all important – here are some of the key reasons why potential clients and employers recognise the importance of an accounting certification:

Rigorous Training – most accounting certifications require at least three years of supervised on-the-job training as well as completing exams. They are not easy and nor should they be. Qualified accountants are in well paid jobs and are trusted advisors.

Ongoing Education – once you are qualified, it doesn’t end there. It is just starting. Accountants have to keep on learning and training to make sure they keep up to date with all the changes to company regulations and accounting standards. It’s the key way to protect clients from negligent and unprofessional services

Big Brother Watches – the best accounting associations (Certified Practising Accountants, Chartered Accountants, CIMA) ensure that their members continue to be up to standard,. That means every accountant has to report back to their institute/association on a regular basis and prove that they have really have undertaken ongoing education.

Disciplinary Action – if you’re unprofessional and upset a client whether through negligence or fraud then guess what? The client can (and usually does) complain to your accounting association. And you could be in serious trouble that results in losing your certification. Clients like this fact – they know you are highly motivated to behave ethically and in their interests.

The Benefits of Outsourcing the Accounting Service

The accounting department is responsible for the management of money and funds. Therefore, company accountants are a very important group of people because they play the critical role of determining how the company is spending its resources. If the company resources are poorly managed, the company is likely to fail. The department plays a significant role in billing, making daily payment of transactions, preparation of tax returns and other accounting roles.

It is very important to have a department that is efficiently running. As a result of growing competition, companies need accountants who can manage funds efficiently and offer the right financial advice. Considering that companies are taking every initiative to boost productivity and cut back on cost, many of the companies are taking every initiative to outsource the role of accounting. This has led to the growth of specialist accounting services. The benefits of outsourcing the accounting services include:

· Focus on the core business

Outsourcing helps the company to focus on the key aspects. Therefore, the company gets an opportunity to make use of its available resources optimally, translating into increased productivity. When the company outsources the accounting function to external agencies, the company gets the opportunity to focus on other key functions such as human resources, marketing and operations management while the agency gets to manage the company’s finance professionally.

· Reduces the work load

Outsourcing the accounting function helps to reduce the companies burden of work. This translates into improved quality of work. The external sector can play an important role in preparing the accounts, preparing tax returns, advising on financial matters and auditing the company’s accounts. This ensures the company’s records are ready at any given time and the company’s funds are not misappropriated.

· Save substantial amounts of money

Outsourcing means the company does not have to hire many employees in the accounting department. In fact, it may consider hiring one person to play the oversight role. The company will not have to spend money on salary and training the accounting department. As a result, the company can benefit a great deal from making substantial savings. These savings can be channeled to other key functions.

· Cut down on office space

Office space is not cheap. Therefore, it can help a great deal to do away with the offices which were previously used by the accounting department. This can translate into substantial savings. Alternatively, the offices can be used for other productive uses.

Accounting and Financial Planning Services

Almost any type of business will benefit from hiring the help of a professional accountant. Accountants are also able to help individuals manage their personal finances, and make all of the appropriate tax payments. This article takes a look at some of the most popular accounting services, what each of their benefits are, and how you can go about finding the right accountant for your needs.

Accounting

A chartered accountant will be able to provide many different types of accounting services, depending on how involved you want them to be within your business. A chartered accountant will typically take care of the bookkeeping for your business or for your personal finances. Chartered accountants may use specialist software such as using MYOB, Quicken or Cashflow Manager.

They will be able to prepare a range of financial statements for your business, and they can also provide monthly or quarterly reporting if it is required. These statements can be used for budgeting and forecasting.

A chartered accountant will also be also to set up a full accounting system, which will help you to get clear on what your personal or business financial situation is at. Once you are clear on your financial situation you will be able to make more effective decisions regarding your company.

Taxation

A professional accountant will look after all forms of taxation that may apply to your business or to you personally. This can include the preparation of tax returns for individuals, partnerships, trusts, companies, and superannuation funds.

They will provide advice on all forms of taxation, including capital gains taxation, foreign derivation and exemption, and tax planning for high net worth individuals.

Accountants will also be able to advise you on tax effective investments, which will benefit and save your company money in the long run.

Financial Planning

Financial planning services are whereby a professional is able to give expert advice on a number of matters that relate to wealth and financial planning. This can include information on a variety of topics including investment advice, creating wealth, retirement income streams, estate planning, and how to self-manage superannuation funds. They can also offer assistance on life investment and life insurance products. A good accountant or financial planner will be able to provide custom advice, tailor made for your specific situation and financial circumstances.

The best place to find a chartered accountant or financial planner is online. All major companies will have a website where you can view details of the services that they offer, along with their contact details. Always choose an established company to ensure that you will be receiving a high quality service. You may want to have some questions ready to ask the company when you first make contact with them. These questions can include:

• How long have they been practicing for?
• What are their professional qualifications?
• What associations are they members of?
• What clients do they currently work for?
• How do they calculate the fees?
• Is the work outsourced or done personally?

Guide To Writing An Effective Accounting Resume

Finding work in accounting can seem difficult at first, especially if the applicant is inexperienced. Most employers want their workers to at least have an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree is even better. This will open doors that would otherwise be closed to a job hunter without experience working in accounting.

While in school, an array of specialized accounting topics will be taught. If one appeals to you more than another, take the initiative and make that topic your main focus. It could be tax preparation, benefits management, auditing, or accounts payable/receivable. The important thing is that it interests you, and you are willing to learn more about it. Ask your professors or others in your department about the internships available. There is often little or no money in it, but the benefits reaped in experience can be invaluable when you graduate.

After graduation, and hopefully an internship, the most important factor is the accounting resume. Resumes are generally considered to be the only source for determining whether or not the applicant will be interviewed, and those who read them usually make their decision in less than a minute. Some people hire a resume writer; this is fine, although you could save time and money by doing it yourself. An uncomplicated format usually works best for an accountant resume.

Who You Are: Always start with your full name, and how you can be reached. Be sure to list your address, telephone number, and your email address.

Objective: Explain your enthusiasm about the current position, but also list your future career ambitions. It is best not to generalize each resume, but reflect the nature of the exact position you are applying for. This section can also be used to summarize skills, qualifications, or education. Your career objective should not be any longer than 5 or 6 sentences.

Summary of Qualifications: This section is where experienced professionals can shine. Results and accomplishments related to previous jobs and projects should be summarized here. You don’t necessarily need accounting experience to get the job; identify and summarize your relevant experience. If you worked in a wait-staff capacity while in school – you should summarize the skills that you have developed.

Accounting Education: Always list your education in reverse chronological order. Degree program, graduation, and the name and city you graduated from go here. Certifications and licenses should be mentioned here as well.

Accounting Skills: Most accounting firms and departments now use software to manage their books, and seek applicants with solid computer skills. You should list the accounting or personal finance packages that you have experience with belong in this section.

Accounting Experience: A resume for an accountant is just like any other resume in this regard. Use the specific job title you had (even if it was just your internship), company name and telephone number, and what duties you executed. Just as in the education section, your last job should be the first one you mention.

Activities: Managers like to see action words in this section. Include student athletics and activities (but, please, limit them to college if you’re over the age of 25). List any professional or service organizations you are a member of, or if you volunteer. You should strive to deliver the message that you’ll make a welcome addition to their team.

Resume writing is not rocket science; by keeping yours free of underlining, italicizing, and unusual fonts you’re much more likely to be accepted. Stick to a simple Sans Serif font if you’re applying for the job over the internet, and a Serif font if you will be delivering the resume on paper. A professional resume writer isn’t a necessity, but if you’re feeling befuddled, it might be the right path to take. A good resume is going to be the opening door to your career in accounting.

Online Accounting Degree Program

Should there be thoughts of you wanting to venture the accounting field, you have to take up educational qualification before you can work towards your goal. The accounting degree program is possibly the best ideal option for you. But need not fret of not being able to attend a traditional college campus for lectures as the online schools are now made available everywhere. With internet access and a computer, you can perform distance learning through online classes to strive towards your aim. With the degree in hand, you need not be worried about jobs as there will be diverse working opportunities anticipating for you.

Due to the fact accounting is a proficient industry; the online accounting degree will provide you the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare you for the professional working arena. The scope of education consists of subjects such as marketing, cash flow, payment methods, sales, and anything essential in the accounting field. Like the common accounting program in traditional colleges, online schools do provide coursework given through distance learning. But the classes will be scheduled according to your convenience and time, giving absolute flexibility to you.

The art of accounting is one of the most prominent careers throughout the world. Almost everything that deals with money will need accountants to navigate the accounts. Hence, an accounting degree program is indeed very valuable in the society. In fact, with the increasing demand, it is said that an accountant can easily earn more than US$60,000 a year even with little or no working experience. With higher qualifications, you can be promoted to wider career paths and higher wages. Individuals who intend to be a certified public accountant can further continue the master’s degree or PhD via the online schools.

Aside from the professional CPA, there is other bright array of options for accountants to consider. With an online accounting degree, you can choose to work as auditors, certified internal auditors, bookkeepers, certified management accountants, tax professionals, among the many else. The online distance learning is certainly worth your time and effort as it can elevate your working level to a higher stage, providing greater financial guarantee and more comfort in life.

Choosing An Accountant – It’s Child’s Play

Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey games are popular with young children and parents alike. Just put on a blindfold, spin around a few times and enjoy as the person struggles to stick a pin into the picture of a donkey that’s missing its tail.

Traditional games like this are definitely my favourite, but, what worries me is when we take this approach to choosing the professionals who handle our personal and business matters.

Take the decision to choose a GP. Most people pick one near their home. And even though the receptionist is always rude to them and they can never get an appointment when they want they never change their GP.

I’m no exception to this – my GP is close to my home and my dentist is the first one that accepted me as an NHS patient.

We take the same approach to choosing an accountant. But while your doctor or dentist has to be qualified and is regulated, your accountant may not be qualified at all.

In fact anyone can call themselves an accountant. It isn’t necessary to have qualifications in the area or any experience. You can wake up one morning and decide, “I’ll be an accountant today!” Yet most people don’t even ask the question.

It is important to make sure that your accountant has qualified through one of the main accountancy bodies such as, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants (either ICAEW or ICAS) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). These bodies hold their members to account in the event of bad practice, and so you’ll be afforded some protection if things go wrong.

So, how can you make the right decision when choosing an accountant? Here are some handy tips which should help you sort the wheat from the chaff:

First things first, try to choose an accountant before you start your business. Your accountant will then be able to help you get the structure of your business right from the start – after all, a decent accountant will want to help you with your business plan as well as help you with tax planning.

If you need an accountant just for your personal accounts, don’t start looking for one two days before the tax return deadline. Give yourself a fighting chance to find a good one before January 31st.

Now, some people will go on personal recommendations. But who’s to say that just because your mate down the pub says his accountant is “OK,” that they really are any good or suit your needs?

Accountants differ widely in qualifications, skills, experience, friendliness, and it is crucial that when entering into a business relationship that will, if successful, last the life of your business, you choose carefully.

Look at what your business actually needs from the relationship; if you are a small business and you require a degree of handholding, don’t opt for a practice that specialises in multi-nationals. It is wise to have a list of your ‘must haves’ and look for the accountant that ticks most of your boxes.

The next area to look at is fees. How much does the accountant charge? Do they offer fixed fees? If they’re the old fashioned type then an hourly rate will be the norm and I would suggest you avoid them. Go for fixed fees so that you know what you’re getting and at what price – that way you won’t get a surprise when the bill arrives at the end of the year.

It is important that you actually like your accountancy team; they’ll be advising you on some pretty vital stuff and so you have to be able to a) trust them enough to take their advice and b) feel comfortable enough with them to be completely candid about your finances. So choose people you click with, it is not unprofessional to be somewhat instinctive about your decision.

Also make sure you ask about how responsive they are. If they’re only interested in dealing with you once a year to sort your tax return and annual accounts then say goodbye to them, if that’s not what you want.

A good accountant will want to speak to you regularly and will be happy to see you at your premises at a time that is convenient to you, even if that means when you finish work at midnight.

Ask the accountant what happens when they take time off. Some smaller firms are part of a national network of accountants which helps them plug their knowledge gaps as well as ensure they have high quality cover should they fall ill or be away on holiday.

If you’re leaning towards a small accountancy practice, ask yourself what back-up they have if a tricky tax issue crops up. After all, when you go to your GP, you expect them to know a little about most medical ailments and to send you to a specialist if needed.

Choosing an accountant doesn’t have to be pot-luck. Make sure you have a strategy and don’t just pick the first person you come across, after all, not all accountants are created equal!

Where Do Accountants Work?

So just where do accountants work? It may seem that job opportunities in this field are limited in a down economy, since accountants’ work is concerned with managing money, but the fact is that there are always numerous job opportunities in this field. Businesses, organizations and wealthy individuals will always need accountants, even when money is tight. Regular people also need accountants to help with their taxes. If you have a knack for numbers and good organizational skills there are many places you could work as an accountant after getting a college degree and becoming certified.

One of the most common accounting positions is the public accountant. While working at a public accounting firm you will be able to help people and businesses audit, manage and track their spending. You may also specialize in financial consulting, tax planning, investment tracking, retirement planning and other services.

You may also choose to work in a government office as an accountant. Whether you work for local, state or federal government offices, your duties will include auditing records and working with teams of other financial professionals. This is a steady job with excellent pay and benefits.

Large businesses and corporations often hire their own teams of accountants to work in-house. If you take this type of job you might track receipts, sales and spending, or you might work as an internal auditor to catch any potential mistakes or suspicious-looking activities that may raise attention with the IRS. You may also help to reduce spending, and plan the company budget.

If you have an interest in law enforcement you may also consider becoming a forensic accountant. This job involves working with law enforcement agencies on criminal cases that have to do with embezzlement, fraud and other financial activities that may be illegal.

There are many places where accountants can work. You may even start your own small firm and work with individuals or small business clients on your own if you have more of an entrepreneurial spirit. As long as we have a financial system, this job will be in demand.

Why Your Accounting Business Needs Accounting Logos?

If you have entrenched in your accounting business, you might ignore the importance of an accounting logos but if you won’t keep up with the changing marketing trends then you might not be able to survive in the big pond of accounting world.

Most of the accounting business owners end up with accountant logo design that is not up to the mark, these two reasons lessen the exposure of accounting businesses in the market. It would speak volume about your accounting business to the world whether you are there or not. accounts logo should be therefore given uttermost importance in overall marketing strategy of your business.

A business that has been in the field for years may not depend a lot on branding identity in the form of logo but that doesn’t mean they won’t need it. On the other hand, an accounting entrepreneur who has just dipped his toes in the arena of business must emphasize on the need and importance of his business identity because a new firm always need a marketing vehicle to represent its face value.

Imagine what your client would think if there is no logo on your business card, wont it leave an unprofessional image on the minds of your potential customers. This is why, most of the start up businesses are not able to grow in market and this is why we emphasizes a lot on the importance of a professionally designed accountant logo design for your company.

Now, lets discuss the important features and qualities of it in detail. As accounting solely deals with numbers so a logo should also show what is the nature of business is. There is no need to incorporate elements that look fancy and irrelevant to the image of accounting rather make sure it is simple and well-thought.

Keep in mind, a logo will not only save your company’s face but also act as brand ambassador, marketing and advertising vehicle for your organization, which doubles the importance. It is crucial that you bear these three things in mind while hiring a professional graphic design company.

Another important thing that must be reflected through your accounting logos design is your company’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition). To define it in simple words, it is the uniqueness of your product or organization that sets you apart from the rest. This quality eventually turns into a selling reason!

Therefore, I know you are now convinced of the extreme importance of an accounting business identity and the features that are incorporated in it. Finally, it will be better if you will get it done by a professional logo design company to get a more professional piece of art.

Bobby Sherman works as a Senior Design Consultant at a Professional Logo Design Company. For more information on accountant logo design find his competitive rates at.