If you are just considering entering the world of accounting, you probably have an idea that you need to get a CPA. But you might have seen a bunch of other certifications mentioned, too, but maybe you aren’t certain if those are worth the effort of getting if you can qualify for certain jobs without them. So, should you focus on getting a certification, even if it isn’t strictly required for a particular position?
Impresses HR Personnel
It looks good to your prospective employer if you have the appropriate certifications, especially a CPA. Often, employers will expect to see certain certifications in order to even consider you for a position. Seeing that you have passed the CPA exams and have put in the 150 hours of additional accounting classes reassures them that you know what you are doing. Moreover, having a certified CPA doing a certain job is the law and reduces the legal risks to the company.
So, having your CPA certification is a must if you are serious about your accounting career. However, there are plenty of other more specific certifications, such as Certified Bank Auditor or Certified Internal Auditor, that are designed to get you ready for particular positions. These aren’t nearly as prestigious as the CMA or CPA, but they still let your potential employer know that you have what it takes and are serious about your career.
You’ll have the general theories involved in accounting under your belt in a way that gives you flexibility if you take the accounting classes. There are a lot of regulations and processes involved in accounting jobs, and you just aren’t going to have seen an example of every single regulation while on the job. This leaves you scrambling to look things up or unaware that you are even missing something when a new thing comes up. Certifications and continuing education introduce you to these new situations before you miss something important at work.
Sets You Up For The Next Step In Your Career.
Yes, in all honesty, you can be hired to run payroll for a company without any particular certification. However, the company will probably keep you at that entry level position for years if they think that you only know how to run payroll from having done it a couple million times. Becoming a Certified Payroll Professional makes the Human Resources people give you a second look and think about promoting you to a supervisory position. This is true for many jobs. Even when the entry-level job requires some degree or certification, having other certifications can help you get special assignments that will translate into the next step in your career.
It costs up front to get these certifications. The relevant bodies charge you for letting you take the exams and the classes themselves cost money. The estimated cost of getting a CPA is $2,000 to $3,000 and the estimated cost of getting a CMA is another $1,000 to $2,000. Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor, which is really only required for internal auditors, costs $1,500. If you aren’t trying for a certain position that really needs the certification, the cost can feel prohibitive. Fortunately, you pay as you go and many companies will cheerfully cover at least some of the continuing education costs. They will even make a policy out of encouraging employees to take relevant classes.
There are other costs involved in getting certifications. You have to have a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify to get many certifications. There is the cost of joining the AICPA to become a Chartered Global Management Accountant. There is also the cost in time: not only do the classes and exams take up time, but qualifying for certifications often require that you have 2 or so years of experience in the field. This experience can be tricky to acquire if you can’t show certifications on your CV, but a great way to get the kind of relevant experience is to get temporary accounting placements through a boutique staffing agency.
Of course, the ideal candidates for accounting jobs have had their resumes buffed with lots of experience. Fortunately, Boutique Recruiting, also known as San Diego Prostaffing, can place you in the perfect contract-to-permanent placements that will enhance your CV and help you with making the CV shine. Contact us today to see how we can help you.