Choosing a career is a daunting choice, but if you are good with math, and have a passion for business, accounting is a rewarding career.
An accounting diploma or degree can open different career options for you. Many people consider accounting to be the primary language of business, because most business objectives are communicated as numbers. An accounting degree helps the student focus on the financial records of companies, individuals, corporations, and organizations.
You don’t need to understand advanced calculus to succeed as an accountant or bookkeeper. Accounting requires addition and subtraction, and some multiplication and division, but nothing that is out of reach.
By pursuing an accounting diploma or degree, you will be a qualified candidate for in-demand bookkeeping jobs. MTI College at Sacramento offers an A.A. in Business Administration with Concentration in Accounting and an Accounting Technician diploma program to help you start your career.
Traits of an Accounting Professional
Working as a bookkeeping clerk, accountant, or accounting technician requires a few characteristics. If you are good with numbers, that mathematical aptitude will help you balance ledgers, fill out financial documents, and analyze spreadsheets.
Another hallmark characteristic is organization. Many accounting professionals say that accounting is more about keeping things organized than hardcore math. If you obsess over putting things in order, accounting may be a great choice for you.
The easiest way to get started in a bookkeeping career is as an accounting technician.
What Does an Accounting Technician Do?
Accounting technicians, called bookkeeping clerks, accounting clerks, and auditing clerks at some companies and organizations, produce a wide variety of financial documents. Depending on their specific position and the size of the organizations they work in, they can record financial transactions, update financial statements, and check records for accuracy.
No matter the title, accounting technicians provide vital services to the financial health of their companies. They also enjoy excellent compensation and a good job outlook throughout the country.
Responsibilities of an Accounting Clerk
The specific responsibilities of an accounting clerk can vary a bit from position to position, depending on the type, size, and complexity of the business. Their general responsibilities are relatively universal, including using booking software, online spreadsheets, and databases, posting financial transactions using computer software, receiving and recording monies in various forms, such as checks, cash, and vouchers.
Other responsibilities may include inputting costs and income into spreadsheets and databases using software applications, producing reports, balance sheets, and financial statements, auditing accounts, figures, postings, and reports, and reconciling discrepancies in accounts, reports, and postings.
Qualifications for Becoming an Accounting Technician
The qualifications required to gain a position as an account technician can also vary somewhat from company to company, or organization to organization. Some employers are willing to hire account technicians with little to no formalized training and education, providing them with the tools to learn their position on the job, while others may require post-secondary education or experience.
However, the general qualifications required are somewhat similar and include basic computer skills; comfort using spreadsheets, databases, and bookkeeping software; a detail-oriented personality; some general math skills; and unquestionable integrity. Accounting technicians have important responsibilities that require efficiency, accuracy, and above all, integrity to effectively execute.
What is the Typical Career Path for an Aspiring Accountants?
Though most full-fledged accountants begin their career as an accounting technician or bookkeeping clerk, many continue the path to become an accountant or CPA.
Bookkeepers usually have a diploma or Associate’s degree, while accountants typically have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. What’s the difference? Accountants can create financial statements, prepare tax documents, and conduct ledger audits for companies.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are distinct from accountants. To become a CPA, you must pass a special exam and take extra college credits. This is the highest title you can hold in general accounting, as CPAs are authorized to legally represent taxpayers to the IRS, as well as prepare tax documents.
Most accountants focus on a specific area of work, such as Forensic Accounting, Public Accounting, Government Accounting, and Internal or External Auditors.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Accounting Degree or Diploma?
Associate’s accounting degrees or diploma programs usually take ½ year to 2 years to complete, Bachelor’s about four, Master’s about six years, and PhDs about eight years.
What Types of Jobs Can You Get With an Accounting Diploma or Degree?
With an accounting diploma or degree, you can pursue a career as a bookkeeper, accounting technician, or full-fledged accountant. But there are other career paths where an accounting diploma can be useful, including:
- Financial advisor
- Loan officer
- Payroll specialist
- Financial analyst
- Compliance analyst
Many of these jobs require additional skills beyond math, accounting, and organization. Most related jobs have you working alongside or with other people, so interpersonal skills are important.
Compensation for Accounting Clerks and Accountants
Accounting technicians typically enjoy a good standard of living. The 2019 median salary for accounting clerks was $41,230 per year, with additional employer-paid benefits. (Median pay in 2019 for accountants and CPAs was $71,550.)
Next Steps to Starting a Career in Accounting
If you’re hoping to pursue a career as an accounting technician, and begin your bookkeeping career, MTI College of Sacramento can help you get started. If you are interested in administration in accounting, MTI College offers an A.A. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting. We offer students the opportunity to become educated in the latest concepts, applications, and software making graduates highly valuable to employers. Fill out our online application or speak with an admissions counselor today!