Never was the saying “different strokes for different folks” more relevant than in the accounting field. Non-finance professionals may be unaware of this, but there are many specialties within the accounting profession. Accountants may start out in one specialty and switch to another at any time. This isn’t a decision that should be made hastily, but it can be a great move for a finance professional who is ready for a new challenge, a better salary, or greater job security.
The Benefits of Gaining a New Accounting Certification
There are some obvious benefits to gaining an accounting certification. For example, a person can’t get hired by an accounting firm without first becoming a certified public accountant (CPA). Also, a new accounting specialty can make a seasoned accountant’s career more exciting. There are some other distinct benefits to getting an accounting certification, and, according to Investopedia, they include…
- Increasing your odds of getting hired
- Decreasing your odds of getting fired during layoffs
- Maximizing the marketability of your skill set
- Increasing your salary
- Providing professional credibility for you and your firm
The last benefit mentioned is especially important. Successful accountants take the prosperity of their employers seriously. This builds a great reputation for them and promotes job security. Understanding that gaining a new accounting certification aids your firm as much as it does you may prompt you to pursue the certification you’ve been thinking of. Mentioning this to your employer may increase your odds of having all or part of the cost of a certification covered by your firm.
Top Accounting Specialties/Certifications
As an accountant, you are probably aware of the certifications available to you. For those who need a refresher, the top accounting specialties/certifications include:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Enrolled Agent (EA)
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
- Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)
- Certified Bank Auditor (CBA)
Which Accounting Certification are You Most Interested In?
Accountants who want to switch specialties are in different stages of their career. Some are just starting out and know their current specialty isn’t quite right for them. Others have been in the accounting profession for a long time and simply want a change. Either way, it is essential that these individuals get more information about the accounting certification they are most interested in.
Are you an established accountant who is interested in pursuing a new accounting certification? If so, your firm manager is the ideal person to reach out to with questions. He or she can likely put you in touch with professionals who can help you further.
Questions to ask:
Which accounting certification am I most interested in?
What are the main reasons why I want to gain an accounting certification?
What steps will I take in pursuing the accounting certification I am most drawn to?