Overview of Accounting
Accounting plays a crucial role in any organisation, as it informs all business decisions. Accountants are an indispensable part of the business world.
People graduating from an accounting course have many careers paths open to them, from accounting to IT, management and strategy development.
Accountants can choose to become Certified Practising Accountants (CPA), Chartered Accountants, or members of the National Institute of Accountants (NIA).
Anyone studying a finance or accounting course at university or TAFE can join the NIA. It has a mentorship (three years) and postgraduate program delivered by the University of New England that, once completed, will make you a Professional National Accountant.
The requirements to becoming a CPA are similar to the NIA. Complete an accredited accounting course, become an associate member, then do the CPA Program and three years of mentored work.
The Chartered Accountants Program combines three years of work and study. You need an approved degree or diploma to get in.
You can also study business-related courses at TAFE to get some entry-level accountancy jobs.
Careers in Accounting
There are a few types of accountancy jobs, including management accountants, financial accountants, liquidators, treasurers and taxation agents. They often work in private practices.
The main difference between managerial and financial accounting is that managerial accounting is done for people within an organisation and financial accounting is done for those outside it.
Liquidators take charge of a company when it is in financial trouble, treasurers plan short and long-term financial moves, and tax agents prepare tax returns and provide tax advice.
Accountancy jobs are expected to grow very strongly to 2015, according to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
A survey of CPAs shows graduates in Australia can earn $30-50,000 per year.
Skills needed in Accounting
Accountants should be good communicators and comfortable working with accounting software.
Good scores in Year 12 English and maths are essential to get into most courses, while accounting and economics subjects are helpful.
Accounting & Finance