Overview of Accounting and Finance
Accounting and finance is a diverse industry for people who like working with numbers and analysing trends. Jobs in this area include accountant, actuary, economist, business analyst, financial planner and many more.
There are several study options for people who want to work in accounting and finance. Usually, people choose to study commerce, accounting, business or finance at university.
Studying Accounting and Finance
Studying accounting can lead to becoming either a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA).
To become a CPA, you should study an accredited undergraduate accounting course (which takes about four years), become an associate member of CPA Australia, complete the CPA Program and do three years of mentored work.
And to become a chartered accountant, you need to do an accredited business/commerce degree or diploma and complete the Chartered Accountants Program, which combines study with mentored work experience and takes at least three years.
People who study TAFE certificates and diplomas in business, business administration, financial services or accounting can work in entry-level accounting jobs.
To be a qualified financial planner, you need to get RG146 compliance, which you can obtain by doing a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning).
To become an actuary Fellow with the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (FIAA), you need to study an IAA-accredited actuarial course to honours or postgraduate level, study four more half-year subjects with the IAA, then do mentored work experience and a professionalism course.
People who want to work in finance should do an economics or finance as a degree, recognised by the Financial Planning Association of Australia or the Australian Institute of Banking and Finance.
Careers in Accounting and Finance
An accounting degree can lead to careers in many areas, not just in accounting and finance, but also marketing, IT, business and management.
Graduates of economics and finance degrees can work in stockbroking, financial planning, banking, insurance, superannuation and funds management.
Actuarial studies covers quantitative risk management and modelling and you can use a degree to work as an actuary and in many other financial areas.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) expects actuary and accountancy jobs to grow very strongly, and financial broker/dealer jobs to grow moderately until 2015.
DEEWR statistics also show that people working in accounting and finance earn between $1200-1500 a week, while economists can earn $2115 a week.
Skills needed in Accounting and Finance
To get into most finance or accounting courses, you need good scores in Year 12 English and maths.
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