Do you want to work in the accounting field? While some people find themselves entering the accounting world through informal means, attending accounting school first provides a much more solid base to do well in this industry. Classes are designed to give you the tools you need not only to get started but to offer more to your employers. Here are a few of these key fundamentals upon which your whole accounting career will be based.
1. Accounting Principles
While today's accounting professionals do most of their work through accounting software, they must first understand the principles behind the entries. Anyone can learn to enter an invoice into the software, for example, but you also need to know how the various electronic ledgers are affected by that transaction, how to spot duplications, and how to choose the right ledger accounts for the entry.
2. Business Law
It should come as no surprise that accounting is subjected to many laws and regulations. From state oversight agencies to official licensing boards, your work will be under many jurisdictions. Therefore, you need to understand what makes for lawful and unlawful transactions, what auditors look for, and how to spot or avoid fraud.
Even if you don't expect to actually complete tax forms for a living, you should understand how they affect various parts of a company's finances. Sales taxes affect accounts receivable, accounts payable, and the general ledger. Payroll taxes go through a similar process. Your employer may also be subject to property taxes, income taxes, excise taxes, customs duties, and road taxes. There is little way to avoid dealing with taxes when in accounting.
4. Office Software
Spreadsheets are some of the most common and most valuable tools for accounting professionals. You will be expected to have a basic knowledge of these, but your work will be easier and more correct the more you understand them. Similarly, you'll work with an array of office software, report creation, communications, and outside portals. The more you learn now, the more valuable you will be.
As you take accounting classes, you are exposed to a variety of subspecialties available in this field. You'll have the tools to identify what you really want to do for a living. This includes accounts payable, business tax, accounts receivable, reconciliation, general ledger, payroll, budgeting, cost accounting, and more. Without knowing your choices, you may not be able to find the path that suits you best.
Clearly, your career gains a solid footing and you are set for growth when you learn the basics of accounting before entering the workforce. Want to know more about how school prepares you for a great career? Contact an accounting school for more information.