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Here’s How to Plan a Career in an Accounting Job

The accounting field has evolved over the years and goes beyond stereotypical number crunching. Dream accountant jobs can be yours provided you earn the necessary qualifications, are open to learning, and up for challenges.

If you are passionate about gaining experience in this field, you can intern with experienced accountants while pursuing your studies. This practical exposure will give you valuable insights about the work involved.

Here’s what you need to make a career in an accounting job:

Preferred Qualifications 

The listed degrees and certifications make you eligible to apply for a job in the accounting domain:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a specialisation in accounting increases your theoretical knowledge and may further generate your interest in this line.
  • You can appear for certification exams which once you clear, give you that extra edge. In Singapore, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are considered prized certifications.
  • Pursuing a master’s degree in accountancy after gaining relevant work experience improves your job prospects and allows you to negotiate a higher salary.

Essential Skills

As a certified professional in the account’s domain, you must be aware of the skills that facilitate your progression. Sharpen these essential competencies to succeed in your accounting job:

  • Display organisation skills to effectively keep track of data and meet deadlines.
  • Time management helps you prioritise tasks and do justice to the demands of your role.
  • Demonstrating leadership skills by being proactive, and taking ownership to enhance your career.
  • Being adaptive by embracing change so you can grab lucrative opportunities that facilitate your growth.
  • Effective communication allows you to network, plus collaborate better with your team members and colleagues.
  • Analytical skills equip you to precisely interpret the data at your disposal and draws your attention to accounting discrepancies.

Employment Opportunities

Organisations recruit professional accountants to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and explore rewarding growth avenues.

The most promising accountant jobs you can aim for after acquiring the corresponding certifications include positions of:

  • Chartered Accountant – which qualifies you to dispute arbitrators and earn prestigious auditor appointments in companies.
  • Company Secretary – allows you to actively assist in legal formation, incorporation, amalgamation, reorganisation, and winding up of companies.
  • Cost Accountant – where your responsibilities revolve around collection, assimilation, analysis, and report preparation of financial information.
  • Financial Analyst – covers a broad spectrum allowing you to specialise in credit, budget, investment, or risk analysis.

Broadly, accountant jobs cover:

Public Accounting

As a public accountant, you strategically partner with clients for auditing, analysing financial statements, minimising liabilities, and preparing tax reports. Joining as a fresher CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exposes you to different aspects of the accounting field. It also opens up avenues to eventually transition to more challenging leadership roles.

Industry Accounting

Here you work directly for your employer as an auditor, budget developer, or financial information analyst. Evaluating internal controls helps you identify loopholes that adversely impact the effectiveness of the company. Gradually, as you gain experience in financial reporting systems, you can look forward to advancing your accounting career.

Government Accounting

Releasing accurate financial statements, meeting tax deadlines, and making required disclosures are your key responsibilities as a public sector accountant. You must carry out your duties while ensuring expenditures and revenues comply with applicable central, state, and local regulations.

Career Path Mapping

Accountant positions are critical and hence, every business and institution in Singapore seeks such professionals. As you climb the career ladder, each role demands a specific skill set.

Once your fundamentals are in place, you can choose to diversify and explore positions like:

  • Managerial accountant
  • Financial planner
  • Forensic accountant
  • Internal auditor
  • Tax agent

After gaining sufficient and relevant exposure, you may even consider sole proprietorship as one of the viable accounting career paths. You get the flexibility to decide your hours of work and choose clients that help sustain your private practice.

Make a smart choice by opting for the accounting field and ably support entities as their financial backbone. Besides equipping yourself with the relevant knowledge and skills, focus on rewarding accountant jobs that play to your strengths.

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