Quick_Guide_to_Accounting_Training

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					Title:
Quick Guide to Accounting Training


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632


Summary:
Are you considering an accounting education but confused by all the jargon? This is a quick guide to
understanding the different specialties associated with accounting careers and the training you will need to
be successful.



Keywords:
accounting training, accounting education, accounting program, college, adult education, career education



Article Body:
Are you considering an accounting education but confused by all the jargon? This is a quick guide to
understanding the different specialties associated with accounting careers and the training you will need to
be successful.


Business cannot function without people who monitor, evaluate, and synthesize productivity, financial, and
resource data. Accounting, or accountancy, is the practice of collecting and measuring data in order to
allocate resources. Most often accounting is specific to a business’s finances. Auditing is a related field
whereby records are reviewed and a conclusion reached; resulting in a recommendation for action; geared to
ensure efficiency and to improve performance and ensure adherence to standards and principles. A simple
example of the workplace relationship follows: An accountant would enter and keep track of payroll and
company expenses. An auditor would review the records kept by the accountant to determine if money and
time are being well spent.


When people think of auditors, the first thought is probably one of an IRS man in a suit with a stern
expression coming to make sure you paid your taxes. While this type of auditor exists (not to be feared if
you have been a good record keeper) auditors are usually individuals who are hired to evaluate the accuracy
of accounts kept by a company. Their analyses help management determine effectiveness and efficiency.


Accounting professionals often deal with time to money ratios. In order to keep track of all these numbers,
professionals must be well able to use computers; specifically spreadsheet applications (such as Microsoft
Excel).


Accountants often specialize in one field. Jobs include bookkeeping, tax accounting, cost accounting,
accounts payable, accounts receivable, time keeping and payroll.
•Accounts receivable refers to incoming payments.


•Accounts payable refers to debits and outgoing payments.


•Bookkeeping refers to recording transactions and calculations.


•Tax accounting in its simplest form refers to the specialty of preparing tax returns.


•Cost accounting refers to the specialty of accounting that deals with analyzing, tracking, and recording
business costs. Cost may be measured not only in money, but in time.


• Time keeping and payroll clerks do just what it sounds like; they keep track of workers’ time sheets and
payroll.


Training for accounting careers varies. For many jobs a bachelor’s degree in accounting is not necessary,
though some education or experience is generally required. Accounting training programs often involve
computer classes to familiarize students with the applications used in the workplace. Those in the
accounting field must be comfortable using spreadsheets and other financial and accounting software
(QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel) as well as word processing software such as Microsoft Word. Close
attention to detail is essential, as is an aptitude for numbers and order. A high level of trustworthiness and
discretion is also essential as much of the information processed is confidential. Office experience and
communication skills are also essential in the workplace. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must
undergo a four-part, two-day exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) and are required to complete a minimum of 150 college credit hours (this is 30 hours more than the
usual needed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.) The exam is considered to be quite difficult, and many
do not pass all four sections at one time. Partial credit is usually awarded as long as the candidate passes at
least two sections.


As with any career, an interest in the subject matter is helpful. Someone who hates math should probably not
consider an accounting career just as someone who hates English should steer clear of copywriting.


Remember, it never hurts to do a little research and ask questions about programs. School representatives
are always happy to help prospective students find out more about their offerings. Accounting careers are
diverse and abundant; why not change your future with an accounting education?




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