An individual with a degree in accounting has a myriad of choices, with regard to the career path they want to follow. One might work as an auditor, consultant, or tax advisor, among others. Despite an individual’s choice of career path, it is important that they consider obtaining a professional certification. Therefore, a professional accountant is one who has obtained a professional certification with an accounting body. However, one must follow a specific process before becoming a professional accountant. Different factors also have to be considered one is conferred the title of a professional accountant. In order to find out about this, an interview was scheduled with Professor Kris of the accounting department. The inquiry question of the interview was, “what are the three main factors to be a professional accountant.” Considering that Professor Kris has considerable experience in accounting, he was in a better position to provide some useful insight into the question.
Professor Kris specified that a professional accountant performs roles that are more challenging in their job, compared to account clerks and other similar positions. He also mentioned that in order to become a professional accountant, one must be prepared to face the challenges in the way. The first factor he identified, necessary for one to become a professional accountant is the completion of a degree course in accounting. A degree in accounting is necessary, as this helps an individual gain intensive knowledge about accounting, including the practice and processes of accounting. This is a factor, since being a professional accountant demands that an individual is highly conversant with the accounting practice and processes.
The second factor, according to Professor Kris is an excellent performance in the examination provided by the professional body chosen. These are professional certifications, and they vary depending on the sphere of accounting one wishes to specialize in. The professor went ahead to provide examples of these professional certifications in the field of accounting. He mentioned Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certification in Financial Management (CFM), and Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), among others. He noted that these certifications are important, and one needs to perform well in the exams they sit in order to obtain the certifications. Performing well in the exams proves that an individual is knowledgeable in accounting, and exhibits high competence in the field.
The final factor Professor Kris named is practical training in the area of specialization. After receiving the certification, one is required to train for a specific period of time, depending on the type of professional body. He emphasized that training is a crucial factor, as it helps an individual strengthen their performance in their accounting practice, in the area of their specialization. The Professor also explained that training with the professional body helps one learn new skills necessary in the area of accounting they have specialized. The training period varies. Additionally, training enhances an individual’s experience in the accounting job. With the training, they will be able to relate accounting procedures in their experience, with the new and more advanced procedures required by the professional body. Nonetheless, Professor Kris argued that it is important that one becomes a professional accountant, as this will help them get promotions in their work place, as well as increased salaries. Furthermore, this will make one to have an enhanced reputation among their colleagues, who are un-certified.
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