Accounting is important for small businesses. It helps all stakeholders make sound financial decisions. With an accurate record of vital information like cost and earnings, profit and loss, and liabilities and assets, a business can move forward each day, each quarter, and each year prepared for the road ahead.
But despite its importance, the accounting profession may be losing ground to other, “more exciting” business disciplines. Luckily, I serve on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Institute of CPAs Scholarship Foundation. In this role, I encourage and assist Florida’s future CPAs.
Here’s the advice I offer about choosing an accounting career path. I hope you’ll agree, all current and future small businesses will benefit when more bright minds enter the field!
You Can’t go Wrong Majoring in Accounting
Accounting offers a foundation that allows you to work in many fields. If you go on to a career in accounting, you’re all set. But if you decide to ultimately become a lawyer, marketer, investment banker or a business owner, you’ve still chosen a major that provides the groundwork you need to succeed.
Successful Accounting Majors Have Distinct Attributes
I believe someone who has the dedication, patience, and persistence to learn complex information will succeed in accounting courses. Above all, you need to have a thirst for learning and to be open to constant change.
Additional Electives Will be Helpful
In addition to completing core coursework, certain electives will help you become better at accounting and more likely to stand out when you are ready to send your resume. These include public speaking or business communications, and entrepreneurship. However, the number one elective you should take is Accounting Information Systems, and/or anything that teaches about the future of accounting.
Internships Will Help You Focus
Internships can help you get a taste of the real world of work, and you may even transition into a full-time job. The valuable lesson of my internship is that it taught me what I didn’t want.
I took a spring semester off at FAU and took an audit internship with EY. At the end of the internship, I was presented with a coveted offer letter that I respectfully declined. That’s because the EY internship taught me an invaluable lesson…I didn’t like to audit. For me, the work was too high-level. I wasn’t seeing an impact on the actual business or business owner.
While I didn’t accept the offer, I valued the experience. I know for a fact having it on my resume gave me more credibility as a candidate for other positions.
And speaking of opportunities…
In the next edition of our blog, Elizabeth has advice for those about to start their first job in accounting.