Now that you’ve finally graduated it’s time to start thinking about your career. Although this is a very exciting period of your life, it can also be quite stressful. You’re probably wondering whether you even have enough knowledge and skill to work as an accountant and what your next step should be. However, the best thing you can do is simply stop wondering and come up with a solid plan. Here are 4 ways to kick start your accounting career.
Take the CPA Exam
It’s no secret that the CPA exam is what holds many accounting students back. Even though it can be intimidating, you should start preparing for the exam as soon as possible. Just remember that the time and effort you put into learning will be worth it once you pass, since it will provide you with countless opportunities. One of the best ways to start studying for the CPA exam is to enroll in an online review course. Keep in mind that it’s crucial you do proper research before paying for an online course. Note that there are many websites that offer review courses but only a handful will really prepare you for the exam.
Research Different Companies
If you want to be successful, you shouldn’t just accept the first offer you get. Ideally, you would want to get a job at a firm where you can constantly improve your skills as an accountant. However, before you do any actual research, it’s important to first decide whether you’d like to go into public or private accounting. It’s also important you choose a branch of accounting you would like to work in. This can be anything from financial to forensic accounting.
Now that you’ve decided on a specific type of accounting, it’s time to do an online search of companies in your area that would hire you. Simply by doing a Google search you’ll be able to find a ton of information that will help you determine which companies you’d want to work for.
Get an Entry-Level Job
This is something you should accomplish while you’re still in school. Note that it’s essential to have any type of work experience in accounting before you start applying for a full-time job. In case you’ve already graduated but haven’t worked as an accountant so far, this should be your number one priority along with passing the CPA exam. You don’t have to search for a golden opportunity. You can simply apply for a volunteer position or an accounting internship. Remember that the main goal of getting this job is to have something you can put on your resume.
If you’re looking for an entry-level job, you should think about working as a financial or credit analyst. You should also consider becoming a mortgage underwriter. In case you choose this job, you’ll basically be responsible for determining if attempts to secure mortgages should be approved.
Practice Your Communication Skills
Although companies will definitely look into your work experience and education, they’ll also pay close attention to your communication skills. Know that effective communication is extremely important in accounting since you’ll spend a lot of time helping management make good decisions and showing investors how their business is doing financially. This is why companies only give accounting jobs to applicants with exceptional communication skills.
You’ll get a chance to show off your communication skills as part of the job interview. To prepare for this, you can set up a mock interview with a friend. Simply print out some questions you find online and give them to a friend. Respond as if you’re really in an interview to see where your flaws are. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by anything. After the mock interview is done, ask your friend for feedback to see how you presented yourself.
It’s also a good idea to record yourself while answering typical accounting interview questions. Listening to these recordings will help you determine whether your answers are any good.