“What training is needed to become an accountant” is a good question and probably prevents many people from becoming an accountant in many cases. People often think that being an accountant is convoluted and too hard. I disagree. I think being an accountant can be challenging at times, but it can also be enjoyable if you are well prepared and motivated.
Now back to the question of what training is necessary to be an accountant. Well the answer is a bit complicated. It depends on what type of accountant you want to be. If you want to be a CPA you typically have to attend college and obtain 150 credits in order to sit for the cpa exam. If you simply want to be a staff accountant, you only need a college degree.
In some cases you might not even need a degree. For example, if you just want to help a bookkeeper out, you don’t need to have a college degree. You can use this experience to learn about whether you really want to be an accountant or not.
If you want to be a simple bookkeeper yourself, you really only need to get an associate’s degree from a community college or a similar college from Devry or University of Phoenix. I would warn against getting a degree from one of those online universities like a Devry or Univeristy of Phoenix as they are very expensive and will most likely put you into significant college debt. Community college is good enough for a simple bookkeeping position.
Accountants are in high demand these days as not many people want to be accountants anymore. Whatever type of accounting path you choose, you will have a high degree of employability.
As far as other training to become a successful accountant, there are many things you can do to train yourself. You can train yourself by taking a variety of excel courses on Lynda or Youtube. Whatever type of accountant you choose to become will largely hinge on your use of excel. Being a master of excel will set you apart from your peers.
Another type of training you will need to become an accountant is CPE. CPE stands for continuing professional education. If you want to know what it is truly like to become an accountant, you should test out some free CPE courses online in various accounting subject.
CPAs need to take CPEs in order to stay current with their CPA certificate. CPE courses range in all different subjects. They can cover topics such as: taxes, auditing, managing, international accounting standards, fraud examination,etc.
Your company will also make you take soft skill training such as being able to manage people, dealing with clients and other skills that pertain to your company’s business. It really depends on what type of accountant you are. For example training for a public accountant versus a bookkeeper would vary greatly.