How to Learn Accounting without an Accounting Background?

When it comes to business concepts of sales, purchases, and overhead, the first thing that comes to mind is accounting.  Accounting aids in making informed and strategic decisions that help in businesses grow in the right direction and at the right time.

As a subject, Accounting may be considered quite tough to grasp as it requires meticulous financial recordings and tedious ledger management, coupled with complex concepts that need intensive practice. While this is true to some extent, learning accounting is not impossible as it is based upon basic math skills. With our comprehensive and easy-to-learn accounting guide, you can get started and manage your business details and finances or get your dream job.

 

Capitalize on E-Learning Programs and Online Courses

In this digitally advanced age, everything has evolved. Now ordering food is just a click away, entertainment modes have become immensely diverse, and even education has shifted to online mediums. So, why not avail the opportunity and get started with any of the e-learning programs offered by numerous well-known schools, universities and colleges.

Learning online is more convenient than the conventional college-going experience. The world is now a global village with no boundaries, and any prospective learner from any educational background can enroll in their desired e-learning courses. These online programs are well developed as per modern market needs, ranging from basics to advanced levels. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunity and build your skills by learning from famous institutions like The University of Michigan, Udemy, Coursera, MIT, and many more that too free of cost!

For accounting, the options are simple with courses like the following to consider:

Choose a Suitable Learning Method

Several learning options like online learning, YouTube videos, e-learning diploma programs, and onsite learning are available. But, every prospect has its pros and cons. One must pick the most suitable medium as per our requirements. So, before selecting any accounting learning programs, one needs to consider the following factors:

  • When it comes to learning supplementary skills like accounting, computer basics, language, or any soft skills, budget is one of the significant factors that impact the preferences of aspiring students. E-learning programs are very cheap, and most of the time, fundamental courses are less costly. So, select your desired lessons as per your learning requirements and budget.
  • Analyze and decide beforehand the key gains that you desire from your accounting course and keep track of your learning and professional outcomes even during as well as after the completion of your online course
  • Management is the most substantial aspect of after-college learning or supplementary education. So, organize your calendar accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Knowing your optimal learning style and habits is also crucial. Some people are good kinesthetic learners, while some are auditory or visual learners. So, select courses as per your learning styles to connect with like-minded peers. This approach will amplify your learning capacity manifold!

Follow the learning method compatible with your coveted outcomes, budget, learning style, and schedule.

 

Devote Time to Learning

Irrespective of the learning methodology you choose, devote ample time to it. Accounting concepts construct gradually, so investing enough time in deep learning each topic is crucial to building a conceptual foundation.  Avoid rushing while learning basics as a strong foundation needs clear concepts. Keep practicing accounting problems daily as that will enable you to progress toward your desired educational goal.

 

Concentrate on Real-World Application

Keep in mind that learning accounting equations and principles does not require memorization. Accounting is the game of practice, so always apply your understanding to real-world problems. For instance, online accounting courses incorporate a case-based teaching methodology that provides the students with an opportunity to take on real business problems and real-world challenges.

Furthermore, attempt to recreate scenarios that you might have experienced during the course of your career. Applying concepts and equations to subjective experiences can help learners connect with real-world problems and practical solutions. It is also significant to understand accounting is not something one can understand overnight; it needs time and repeated practice.

 

Do Network with Accounting Professionals

When we connect with the peers and professionals from our relevant field, it gives us more analytical and practical insights about the subject. Such communities not only help hone our accounting skills but also provide motivation and support. These accounting networks are supportive platforms for newbies as they have also experienced similar challenges in the past and are open to helping others through their accounting journey. Along with professional growth, accounting networks also develop a community spirit and sense of belonging amongst online learners.

 

Wrapping Up

Whenever we learn a new skill, the most notable aspect is to take control of that learning. Before taking on something that is not quite compatible with our educational background, degree, and experiences, we need to put aside the inevitable fear and be prepared to move outside our comfort zone.

Learning the fundamentals of accounting will not only help you diversify your skillset, boost your confidence and performance in organizations but will also assist you in making more intelligent decisions. Therefore, whether you want to supervise your finances or are interested in pursuing a book-keeping or an accountant job in your dream organization, learning and practicing the basics of accounting can help get you started.

Now, consider the perfect solution for you to excel in your accounting career and get paid what you are worth.

Author Bio: 
Maliha Safiullah is a Former Correspondent for 60 Minutes, Channel Nine Australia and is a published writer having worked as a Feature Writer for Dawn News, Pakistan.

Do I Qualify to Start an Income Tax Preparation Service?

The IRS is not restrictive in who may start an income tax preparation service, other than they require a person to get a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To get your PTIN, go to the IRS.gov website, and it will direct you to the online application. It costs under $40 and takes about 15 minutes to complete the application to start a tax preparation service and receive the number. Generally, those having a felony conviction for tax fraud and other forms of financial crimes are not eligible.

A few states such as California have additional qualifications. If you want to prepare taxes in these states, you may have to take a test and register with the state licensing department. If you want to determine if your State is one of these, call the state department over licensing, or check it out online. They can tell you of any special requirements for tax preparation services.

Most municipalities require you to have a business license. This fee could range from $50 to hundreds of dollars. To research what it will cost you, search on “business license cost for (your city)”. In most cases, you can also complete the application online.

Contrary to a common misconception, a person need not have an accounting degree or be a CPA to prepare taxes. In fact, no specific education is necessary although it is a good idea to understand the basic definitions in the tax law before you hang out your shingle.

Though the income tax software does the hard work, a tax preparer should understand how to determine income tax status, who qualifies as a dependent, the process for calculating itemized deductions, and how to read the tax tables. With this simple knowledge and the help of software, a person can prepare more than half the returns they may be asked to prepare.

Nonetheless, the more income tax knowledge a person has, the more confident they will feel and the more returns they will be able to complete. Furthermore, the more complex a return, the higher fees, and the more income per hour a person will generate. For instance, a simple return may only generate a $75 fee. Yet, a more sophisticated return could earn hundreds of dollars and take less than one additional hour to complete.

The upfront investment, though not a qualifier, is among the lowest of any new startup. Other than the PTIN and business license fees mentioned above, the tax preparer needs a computer, printer, and tax preparation software. TurboTax and H&R Block, to name a couple, are not good software for the tax preparation business. With these individual packages, you will be limited in the number of returns, and your ability to complete all returns.

Instead, you will want a more robust package designed for professional tax preparers such as Intuit ProSeries, TaxWise, and Drake costing well over $1,500. These software packages are designed to be efficient, accurate, and for unlimited number and sophistication of returns. Take time to make the right choice, because you will likely want to use the same software for at least five years.

In summary, most people with basic knowledge of tax law and the help of a software package can thrive in a tax preparation business.

Reasons to Pursue a Career in Accounting

If you’re good with numbers and interested in a well-paying, stable career path, it may be time to turn your attention to accounting. In fact, according to the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, the employment of accountants is projected to grow by four percent by 2029. 

 

If that’s not reason enough to strongly consider this career, here’s another statistic from the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections: The median annual wage for accountants, as of May 2019, is $71,550. This is much higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, which sits at $53,490. And although the pay is certainly an influencing factor for most when choosing an accounting career path, it isn’t the only reason why it’s become so popular.

Accounting Career Paths

Unlike some career fields, in which there’s only one path to travel, there’s more than what meets the eye when it comes to accounting. Generally speaking, you’ll choose one of the following routes:

 

  • Managerial: Managerial accountants generate documents that are used internally within a company. This can include documents such as those used for tax purposes and recurring expenses. 
  • Financial: Financial accountants generate documents, such as balance sheets and a variety of income statements, which are used by outside parties, such as investors. 

 

By understanding the similarities and differences between managerial and financial accounting, it’s easier to decide which path you’re most passionate about.

 

With that in mind, let’s examine some of the most common types of accountants:

 

  • Staff Accountant: For many individuals with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, this is the first job they seek. Reporting to a CPA, you’ll take on responsibilities such as creating financial reports and analyzing a variety of data. You’ll also use a variety of tools, such as a cash flow calculator, to track progress and make informed decisions. 
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): From the outside looking in, it’s easy to believe that CPAs focus on nothing more than the preparation of state and federal tax returns. However, this career path goes much deeper than that. For example, companies often hire a CPA to oversee other accountants. 
  • Investment Accountant: Investment accountants typically work for financial management or investment management firm. With this career, you have the opportunity to help individuals and companies make better investments, such as sharing advice on how specific decisions will affect their taxes. 
  • Project Accountant: As the name implies, project accountants are hired to manage a specific project. Some of the tasks they may take on include preparing invoices, maintaining budgets, and managing and approving expenses. In many cases, project accountants are hired on a contract basis. 
  • Cost Accountant: The primary responsibility of a cost accountant is to maintain cost efficiency on behalf of an organization. However, unlike a project accountant, these individuals are generally hired on a full-time basis. 
  • Management Accountant: There’s no shortage of management accountant responsibilities, which often include external financial reporting, budgeting, and creating reports on the overall financial health of an organization. 

While these are among the most common accounting career paths, there are others to consider as you gain experience and come to better understand what you’re most passionate about. However, no matter the type of accounting path you may choose, there are plenty of benefits as well.

Top Reasons to Become an Accountant

There’s no shortage of reasons to become an accountant, but there’s something you must remember: It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach your goal, so you must be 100 percent confident that it’s the right career path for you.

 

Here are five reasons to consider this career:

 

  • Above-average pay: As noted above, the median annual wage for accountants is more than $71,000/year. 
  • Job security: Every organization needs accountants, so job security is typically high. 
  • Career advancement opportunities: As you gain experience and knowledge, you can seek out career advancement opportunities within your company and at other employers. For example, after several years of working as a staff accountant, you may want to consider becoming a CPA.
  • The opportunity to be your own boss: There may come a point when you realize that you no longer want to work for someone else. As an accountant, you can start your firm, such as helping individuals and/or companies with tax preparation.
  • Puzzle-solving fun: Accounting isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but if you like working with numbers it could be the perfect career path.

What’s Next?

Now that you better understand the reasons to pursue a career in accounting, it’s time to answer one very important question: Are you ready to head down this path?

 

If the answer is yes, assess your situation and decide what you need to do next. Become trained and certified Professional Bookkeeper. Once you have the right education and training, it’s time to land your first job. With the help of our job placement assistance program, it won’t be long before you have a career that puts a smile on your face, money in your pocket, and joy in your heart. Contact us to discuss how we can help you succeed.

From Ministering to Serving as an Accountant

For Clay Glassford life has purpose and meaning, who knew the adventure he would take when he decided to become an accountant. With a decision, hours of committed study he found the confidence to start his accounting business and has not looked back since then.

Listen in as Roger and Clay discuss this journey and the impact it’s had on his life in a positive way.

Clay shares some tips and advice that apply to everyone starting and building a successful accounting & bookkeeping business.

Learn the turnkey process to having the premier accounting firm

Become a Professional Bookkeeper

Become a Profit First Professional

How to Write a Great Accounting Resume

How to Write a Great Accounting Resume

Crafting a resume, no matter what you field of expertise, can be a challenging task. Yet in a market as competitive as accounting, the need to create something unique and impactful is that much greater. Fortunately, these tips can help in the process.

Start with a clear career summary

An effective resume begins with a bite size summary of your career to date, as well as focuses on your main achievements and relevant educational qualifications. As part of this, you must emphasize your strengths (more of which in a moment) and state clearly what it is that you are looking for as well as the benefits you will bring. Make it short and to the point, because most hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes and don’t have the time to review each one in details. This is one shot to get your resume (and you) the attention deserving.

Emphasize your strengths

Recognizing your individual strengths and promoting this is a fundamental aspect of any resume, but in a competitive field such as accounting, it is essential that your resume immediately presents and highlights your achievements and career-defining abilities. At the same time, turn weaknesses into strengths by presenting your aptitude for learning and the deep desire to improve yourself on every step of your career journey.

Be clear and concise

Don’t overcrowd your resume (one page is usually sufficient) and don’t waffle. Make your points clearly, clearly, and concisely, and ensure the language you use is both relevant, accurate, and free from cliché.

“Much can be ascertained from the language that you use, and I always recommend writing in a unique voice as far as possible. That means avoiding those resume clichés such as ‘I love working as part of a team’ and stating things in a way that is authentic, but at the same time brief,” advises Michael Rogers, a proofreader at OXEssays.

Keep work experience relevant, and highlight achievements

You may have a lot of work experience, or you may not. The objective is to clearly state and emphasizes the work experience that is relevant and shows your suitability for the role you are applying for. Savvy resume writers have long learned that relevancy can be established in any number of ways, and one way this can be achieved is through the presentation of achievements within each role which highlights your capacity for positive results in whatever role you have undertaken. That never fails to impress a prospective employer.

Show your commitment to innovation

As a qualified account, you have the education and background to successfully fill a role, but at the same time, you always need to look for aspects that set you apart from the competition.

As well as emphasizing your education and work experience, stress the knowledge that you have regarding the latest software. Showing off knowledge of modern technology will be sure to impress future employers as it shows an interest in innovation which is a crucial aspect of the field.

Use the right tools

Like any writing task, using the right tools will go a long way to assisting in the production of a great resume. Don’t fret about a lack of writing ability, as these services will help you in the completion of your task at hand.

Show your commitment to staying up-to-date

The world of accounting is constantly evolving and it is, therefore, the duty of any accounting professional to stay up-to-date with a commitment to educating yourself. Mentioning relevant blogs and websites that you frequent to access the latest information shows a desire to stay relevant, which never fails to impress a potential employer.

Aimee Laurence works as an HR manager at Write My Essays and also at Do My Paper For Me, contributing to and helping the upkeep of those websites. Writing about her career gives her joy, and she also freelances as a tutor at the Big Assignments portal.

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