You have selected to be part of an interesting profession option. Accounting as a profession has and will always be an in-demand profession. If you glance through the morning newspaper, you may notice that there are plenty of employment opportunities available. Alternatively, you may even find these opportunities on employment websites.
The job environment has been quite turbulent recently. However, the quantity of employment openings for accountants is 37% higher than in other categories of employment openings in spite of COVID.
More companies have transitioned to working remotely, and thus, more accountants are being hired than ever before. But how do you become an accountant as a fresher? Let us take a look!
Things you must know about the accounting world
Accounting has been necessary for human beings from the beginning. Either people were good with numbers, or they were skilled at maintaining records and transactions. Now, those who excelled at maintaining these records began getting employed with businesses to maintain trader accounts.
Eventually, as trade grew to be a local and later an international phenomenon, demand increased for good accountants. Accounting as a profession became specialised to meet growing demand.
These are some essentials to know about when you look for an accounting job as a fresher. Accounting is a really lucrative field, and if you really wish to learn where accounting as a career can take you, make sure to read this article → climb the stairs of a successful profession in accounting.
You may be a fresh graduate in commerce or someone who is about to complete graduation. Whatever your situation, your goal is to get a good job in the field of accounting or finance. Let us look at the steps required to build your career in finance and accounting.
Step 1: Choose the correct course for yourself
Are you astonished? You are in the process of getting a Bachelor of Commerce degree, or already having the degree under your belt. According to Statista Research Department, employment chances in 2022 for a BCom Graduate in India is tipped at 43%. Add a few lakhs of new commerce graduates passing out every year. It is very clear that just a degree may not be sufficient to land that really cool and high paying accounting job that you are dreaming of.(Let’s face it you are still a fresher).
You need to show more specialisation in your resume. Show that you have that little extra. Most companies these days hire people who specialise within their field of knowledge.
Here is a list of some programs you can complete to gain a competitive edge.
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
Based in London, UK, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is a reputed institute recognized across the globe imparting world-class accounting qualification. Qualified professionals from CIMA are working successfully in various fields of finance and accounting.
The program is made up of four levels:
- Certificate in Accounting level
- Operational Level
- Management Level
- Strategic Level
You can join different levels of the program on the basis of your qualification. If you have passed 12th Standard, you can start at the base level. On the other hand, if you are a CA, you can start at the highest level.
CIMA is affiliated with American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA), Durham, North Carolina, USA (which offers the Certified Public Accountant program in the United States). This gives the added benefit of receiving Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). With a CGMA designation in your resume, you have a marked distinction over your competition.
You can balance your time with flexible study options. In India, you can complete the CIMA program through IMS Proschool. Get in touch with us today!
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
ACCA is a global body of chartered certified accountants. It has its headquarters in London, UK. The best part of this course is that it can be completed while you are still in college. The course is designed to equip you with various aspects of corporate accounting and finance. ACCA also provides you with the advantage of flexibility in terms of studying and appearing for examinations.
You can clear different levels and modules. Certificates are awarded as per completed Levels and Modules. The levels and modules are:
- Applied Knowledge Level
- Applied Skills Level
- Ethics and Professional Skills Module
- Strategic Professional Level
- Financial Modelling Curriculum
ACCA offers the following certifications for Global Professional Accountant (GPA)
- Diploma in Accounting and Business from ACCA (for Students who have passed 12th Standard)
- Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business from ACCA (for B. Com Graduates).
ACCA also offers Global Professional Accountant Comprehensive (GPA Comprehensive). This is awarded on clearing the Strategic Professional Level.
Since the course follows International Financial Reporting Standards, it is widely accepted by Companies all over the World. Once completed, you can look for ACCA jobs with the best organisations at a Global level. Given the kind of extensive training, ACCA jobs for freshers are always in demand after completing the course.
Another reason to choose the ACCA course is because it is globally recognised. It is renowned in over 180 countries with more than 2,00,000 members. Hence, it is a great way for individuals seeking to make this a successful career. What’s more, you may even pursue this course while working at another job!
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Certification Course
This Certification is conducted in India jointly by NSE Academy, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and IMS Proschool. IFRS Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Delaware, United States. It aims to standardise accounting rules to make them transparent and comparable across the globe. Guidelines are mandatory to be followed in 120 countries. India is already in the process of complying to IFRS Guidelines. If you are keen on a career in accounting, knowledge of IFRS is a must. You can complete a short IFRS Certification Course with any one of the convenient study options provided.
- Classroom Learning
- Live Online Training
- Self-Study Option
Once you complete this certification, you will be among the accounting professionals who are knowledgeable in globally accepted rules and standards of accounting.
Step 2: Gain Corporate Exposure
You have the basic qualification in accounting. You have taken (or planning to take) Step 1 to get qualified. You have now planned the education you want to complete. You are now ready to take the second step in the process of getting an accounting job. You need to get good corporate exposure. That is where internships and volunteer work can help. Reputed businesses will hire an accountant with some practical experience. One to two years of practical accounting work is what they will look for.
While studying, look out for internships with accounting firms or chartered accountants. While you get the much-needed qualifying criteria while in college, you will get valuable practical experience while working as an intern. Do not worry about the pay. As an intern, the payment you get may only be enough for pocket expenses.
However, at this stage the payment or stipend received does not matter. You will be exposed to the work culture and various aspects of an accounting job. It adds to the actual years of experience even before you take up a job as an accountant.
Prospective employers will always prefer someone who has worked in real-life scenarios. As a bonus, there is a good possibility of landing a job in the firm you are doing an internship with.
- Volunteer Work
You can also volunteer to work as an accountant for non-profit organisations such as NGOs, religious places, housing societies, local groceries etc. You will be able to apply the knowledge gained through graduation to day-to-day accounting for these organisations. The salary they offer may be extremely low.
There is a possibility that you may not receive any payments as a volunteer. As discussed earlier, payments do not matter at this stage. Recommendations from these organisations will be a positive consideration while businesses interview you. A good report on your credentials is desirable.
Step 3: Work on demo projects
One more important step you can take in your journey to an accounting career. While still studying and working volunteer or intern jobs, work on a demo project or pseudo project. One skill you will acquire is researching and finding solutions. This will help you a lot during your interview with a prospective employer.
Employers always look for focused, career-minded individuals who are constantly looking to learn and improve. Demo projects or pseudo projects prove your determination to make an impact in your chosen field.
A career in accounting and finance is a demanding and rewarding career option. However, many commerce students graduate every year. It is very easy to be counted as mediocre in the crowd of accountants applying for accounting jobs. It is your responsibility to stand out in the crowd. Get in touch with us today to know more about the best accounting course for you.