A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification is a highly regarded professional certificate that may open the door to many career possibilities. As a consequence, the vast majority of newly certified public accountants choose to pursue a career in either public accounting or corporate accounting.
A position in public accounting may lead to work with one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Starting wages at Deloitte, PWC, KPMG, and EY are among the highest in the industry. They also provide the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. It is possible to acquire significant expertise in taxation, forensic accounting, advice and advisory services, and auditing by taking a position with one of these companies.
There are several more options for those interested in pursuing a career in public accounting outside the Big 4. It is estimated that there are approximately 46,000 public accounting companies in the United States, according to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). A few of them are tiny, but many of them have a large number of employees and a large number of activities. Obtaining employment with one of these companies may pave the way for a long and fruitful career in accounting, auditing, taxation, or other related areas.
The second alternative is to pursue a career in business accounting. This kind of position is often referred to as a private accounting position. If you decide to work for a big company, you could begin by assisting with accounts payable, payroll, or financial reporting functions.
But what qualifications are required to work in these positions? What is the optimum personality type for a CPA to have in order to be successful?
For starters, the capacity to put in long hours is an absolute necessity. Consistency and “stick-to-itiveness” are generally regarded by employers as assets. If you are assigned a task, you must do it to the best of your ability. This, on the other hand, is a universal characteristic that will help you excel in any career.
CPAs must acquire a number of unique characteristics in order to progress in their professions. Listed below is a succinct explanation of nine personality characteristics and soft talents that may help you advance in your professional accounting career:
A desire to keep up with the latest trends and developments
It is important not to fall into the trap of believing that after you have passed the CPA test, you are done with studying. The owner of a CPA license is regarded as an expert in the disciplines of accounting, auditing, taxes, and related subjects; as a result, you must maintain and continually enhance your knowledge in these fields. This will allow you to stay on top of the most recent advancements and offer you an advantage in your professional life.
In order to maintain your CPA license, you must at the very least fulfill the criteria of the Continuing Professional Education program. Maintain your professionalism by treating this seriously; the information you acquire will assist you in doing your duties more successfully.
A deft touch with numbers
If you don’t have a strong understanding of mathematics, it’s unlikely that you would have pursued the CPA in accounting certification. When working in a public accounting company or for a business, this skill will be very beneficial since a major part of your job will entail dealing with numbers and statistics.
It would help if you got into the habit of double-checking (and triple-checking) the financial accounts and reports that you produce. Concentration and patience are required for this, but it is well worth the effort to spend a little additional time double-checking the job that you produce. Even a little error in a financial statement may have a disproportionately significant impact on the company’s financial position in the future.
If you submit a report that is inaccurate or includes a mistake, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
The capacity to maintain the confidentiality of information
As an accountant, it is probable that you will be engaged in the production or review of financial statements at some point during your career. It would be unethical for you to disclose to others the private information that you have access to as part of your job responsibilities.
Being dishonest with your employer or a customer may also be against the law in certain cases. As a result, the loss of information by an accounting firm may result in a substantial claim for damages and, in certain cases, result in the termination of your professional career.
Successful accountants must acquire the capacity to maintain the confidentiality of critical information. When sharing sensitive material with others, be sure they have a legitimate need to know about it; otherwise, you may put your company at risk of a legal lawsuit if you accidentally disclose private information to unauthorized third parties without permission.
Exceptional organizing abilities
The job that CPAs perform often requires them to adhere to tight time constraints. In order to complete the duties that have been given to you efficiently and on time, you would need to do the following:
- Organize your papers and digital files in the following ways:
You should be able to swiftly and easily obtain the information or records that you need at any time. You won’t have the luxury of spending hours looking for a certain document that you’ve misplaced or forgotten about, so make the most of your time by organizing your files effectively.
- Work effectively with time constraints:
Many CPAs find tax season to be a challenging time of year; you may be required to work late or on weekends. No matter how much work you have on your hands, you cannot afford to make any mistakes since a mistake on your side may result in financial damages for your customer. It would be beneficial to maintain a great organization.
- Take a look at the larger picture:
CPAs must pay careful attention to every aspect of their job in order to succeed. However, they should not lose sight of the broader scope of the job at hand in the process. As you go up the corporate ladder, this capacity becomes essential, and excellent organizational abilities will become increasingly necessary as you advance in your position.