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Accounting has more to it than just money. It requires clever planning and construction for the prosperity of a company. It is a field in which problem-solving and communication skills are essential. One must also have the competence to work in fast-paced environments for long periods of time. The workplace for an accountant would be in banks or private offices. Even though I can genuinely say that the career of my choice does not completely revolve around high pay, I am delighted to be informed that this is a decent paying occupation.
As of 2019, accounting has an average annual salary of $65,900 specifically in California, which breaks down to around $32 per hour. The outlook of this career is certainly promising; within the next decade, the accounting industry is estimated to grow 10% due to the breakout of technological tools. A typical day as an account payable consists of releasing invoices and calculating all due payments of a company. This field has increasingly become competitive and is seeking people who have great communication skills and are collective.
A flexible accountant is prepared to face different environments, persist in being calm in frustrating situations, take on different jobs on call, and think rapidly. A high school diploma is important for opening up more job opportunities. The required level of education is a bachelor’s degree which is attainable with 4 years of experience and skill. First, you must choose between a CPA and accountant. The main difference between a CPA and an accountant is that a CPAs are able to obtain a certified license and generally have more background.
Within the first few years of a CPA, one must acquire key skills like learning how to prepare taxes, analyze financial budgets and then building your way up to gain a certified license. An accountant is critical to the prosperity of companies, without one the company usually fails.
Some that hire accountants would be hospitality business for example. With endless transactions in restaurants and hotels, they are always in search of new accountants to perform financial reports daily. A company like Hilton Hotels Corporation is an example of places that are willing to employ individuals who will make sure that all expenses have been paid for in time and give financial recommendations based on the expenses. There are more than 570 locations worldwide ranging to Europe. Hilton hotel was first established in 1919 in Texas and was founded by Conrad Hilton. The size of the Hilton corporation is universal and has over 169,000 employees. The main motive for Hilton is to increase demand by establishing branches globally and to maintain a strong relationship with customers in order to attract new ones. Accountants are expected to retain customers by their broad knowledge and communication skills. The branches include Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton Garden, etc. On the main website of Hilton, it states, “We drive positive social and environmental change across our operations, our supply chain and our communities” exemplifying how Hilton’s staff members are expected to maintain a great relationship with customers not only within the country but globally. Furthermore, another employer that would hire someone seeking to pursue this field would be Microsoft. Another valuable skill to possess in accounting would be knowledge of technology and programs. With incoming technological advancements, accountants must be able to anticipate finance software and automated programs. Microsoft was founded in 1975 initially for their computers to serve as basic programming interpreters. Today, its areas of focus are primarily businesses. Your salary will increase over time are your work. Microsoft’s UK director states, “Helping accountants understand the world of digital transformation, the world of cloud, the world of Software as a Service (SaaS), is incredibly important,” showing that the traditional techniques of an accountant must be replaced by new automated procedures as it has more endless capabilities and methods to offer in this digital era.
Steps to become an accountant include receiving a bachelor’s degree in order to get an entry-level position. Through this, one must be constantly on the search for internships. To become a successful accountant, you must gain learning experience and become a master of all your mistakes. Then, if you want to acquire a greater knowledge consider acquiring a master’s degree. As some schools encourage you to join a master’s program, you have greater job flexibility and salary will increase. This program includes managing classes in tax advising and financial analyst. The best way to get an internship is to start searching for openings as early as possible. Firms tend to hire in the fall. The last step is to obtain a license if they want to stand out. People who want to become a licensed CPA must pass an exam. A newly employed CPA earns around $65,000 annually as compared to one with 20 years or more experience which is $150,000.
In the interview, I examined someone who was working in a company right across the street from my house called Andpak. It is a packaging supply store in Morgan Hill that processes materials for airplanes, factories, and electronics. The person I interviewed was Mai Nguyen, an account payable. The first question I asked was what do small companies like Andpak look for in new hires. She answered by saying “our company looks for faster learners and friendly people who can get along with others especially as a small company you need that in order to get our name out there.” In her position, she typically makes around $60,000 as an account payable. She told me that starting pay for anyone looking to be employed is about $50,000 and you would need to work your salary up by skill and experience. Another question I asked was what a normal day would look like and she responded by saying,” we try our best to satisfy all our clients regardless of any condition.” Mai explained how Mondays are the busiest as there would be the most mail in the inbox. Her favorite part about her job is getting the flow back from any rough days in the company. She is responsible for responding to any incoming invoices from clients emphasizing the need for friendliness and knowledge behind this occupation in order to attract new customers. The third question I asked was about how long it would take to qualify as an accountant. She said that it usually takes four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree. With Associate’s degree programs it generally takes two years. She also discusses that at entry level you would take on a job as a staff accountant, bookkeeping, or tax analyst. Finally, I wanted to know any type of advice for starting in this career. I stated “What is the most important thing I should learn to get started in this career,” she replied with “You must carry the passion of dealing with numbers at heart. Work smart, not hard because in today’s world technology will be your friendly tool and can process information with the click of a button. Finally, my last piece of advice would be to constantly ask for internships with big companies because it is very competitive nowadays especially with these technology reliant jobs.” Mai emphasizes the significance of building connections with top-ranking individuals to increase your chance of landing a spot in a higher paying position.
In conclusion, this career matches my occupation because I am open to working with and communicating with new clients to fulfill their needs. I enjoy being around an environment in which I need to work on my skills with technology and programs because as hi-tech evolves it becomes more difficult to understand, but I do believe that as time goes on I will become more exposed to tech-reliant procedures. Some of the strengths I possess are my adaptability and problem solving which would benefit this field because many employers seek graduates who are fast-paced workers that are resilient to any obstacles. After experiencing a face to face interview with a qualified accountant, I match most of the skills and qualities necessary to become an accountant except technology. I also plan to practice my interview skills through mock interviews in order to ensure that I gain a great first impression and stand out. The pay is decent with a mean of $60,000 annually, though I must acknowledge its rapid work environment and its potential cause for mental health issues. I’ve learned that a business’ success relies on the quality of information such as financial plans for any economic pressures that are prepared by the accountant. A resilient accountant is able to execute workload regularly regardless of any financial downturn. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.” The demand in this field growing exponentially which means that there is more competitiveness involved in the process. If I were to select a job title in accounting it would be a CPA or Certified Public Accountant. I genuinely believe this career is suitable for me. Lastly, my family, specifically aunt and grandparents have a background in finance and accounting which will help boost my level of understanding. To me, they serve as role models that will help guide me through barriers I face along my journey of accounting.
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