A Guide to Certifications for Accountants

There are many types of certifications in accounting that can help an individual advance their career and get a promotion or a raise. Each one will give you different qualifications, and the best accounting certifications are the ones that will take your career in the direction you’d like it to go. Becoming highly qualified is more convenient now than ever because of the many options for earning accounting certifications online. To decide which certification is best for you, you’ll have to do a little research and learn more about the different types of accounting certifications available.

Types of Certifications in Accounting

Certified Public Accountant

The CPA designation was among the first certifications for accountants, and it’s still one of the most respected. This is an extremely valuable certification because it’s held in such high regard and is such a recognizable qualification. CPAs are the only accountants that state governments license to write audits. CPAs can also represent their client to the IRS.

Outside of these specialized areas, CPAs are able to do the same tasks that accountants in other certification areas perform. A CPA is a jack-of-all-trades in the world of accounting.

To become a CPA, you will have to fulfill all work and education requirements dictated by your state certification standards, and you will also have to pass the four-part AICPA uniform CPA exam.

Chartered Financial Analyst

This certification prepares you for the world of finance and investments. Many CFAs work for hedge or investment funds, and many even find themselves working in the busy world of Wall Street.

The certification will train analytical thinkers to dissect finances and perform smart investing as they learn more about how businesses operate, which prepares students to become successful CFOs. If you are interested in finance or investing, this is the certification for you. If you want to be involved with audits and tax preparation, becoming a CPA is a better fit.

To obtain your certification, you’ll have to take the CFA exams, which are offered once a year.

Certified Management Accountant

Becoming a certified management accountant is a great fit for those who want to take on executive-level roles like becoming a CFO or COO. They are experts on company accounting management, which is one of the few areas a CPA certification doesn’t cover. This certification is strictly for those who would be interested in working for a Fortune 500 company at an executive level. The certification does not train you to work with taxes, write reports, or perform audits.

You will have to pass the CMA exam, but before you are allowed to sit for the exam, you’ll have to fulfill requirements like earning a bachelor’s degree with specific credits and having two years of work experience or more. The Institute of Management Accountants can provide more specifics.

Enrolled Agent Certification

This certification was developed by the IRS so that certificate carriers can prove their knowledge of tax code and applied concepts. If you do not have the qualifications to take the CPA exam and aspire to be a tax professional, this certification is a strong alternative.

To earn your certificate, you will have to take an exam offered by the IRS.

Certified Internal Auditor

Compliance auditors and officers earn this certification so that they can be employed by major companies. If you want to further your auditing career, this certification is for you. You will have to pass a three-part exam to qualify.

These certifications in accounting can help you further your career without obtaining an advanced degree. This can help save time and money, even more so if you opt for earning accounting certifications online. Consider these certifications if you want to further your career and focus on a specialized area of accounting.