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The contemporary business world is demanding skilled accounting professionals and the best in the industry have gravitated towards an accounting certification to help prepare them for success. There are different types of accounting and a variety of accounting certifications available, but which are the best? If you are an accounting student and want to stand out in the field having one of these certifications will play a big part.
The reason why most students drawback from pursuing these certifications is the assumption that the courses are hard. Let this not stop you from achieving your dream of accounting because accounting homework help will be there to help you with your assignments. You will also learn various tips that will help you excel in your assignments.
What are Accounting Certifications?
Accounting certifications are awarded to professionals who have met the qualifications for a particular professional designation. These designations may be granted by a state or national accounting organization, and they must fulfill certain requirements.
The purpose of receiving an accounting certification is to prove you possess a high level of knowledge in the field of accounting. In addition to proving your knowledge, you may need to demonstrate actual work experience in order to receive the certification.
Most Popular Accounting Certifications
If you are wondering which are the most popular accounting certifications, these are the 7 certificates that stand out globally.
1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The CPA certification is one of the most trusted and respected certifications in the world. This credential is earned by those who have successfully passed all parts of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.
The CPA certificate showcases your ability in risk management, auditing, financial reporting, and taxation. It has four levels of testing that a professional must complete in order to obtain the CPA certificate. This includes Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Business environment and concepts, and Regulation.
The qualifications to pursue this course include a five-year bachelor’s degree in accounting and one year of experience as an accounting professional, and 150 hours of credits.
2. Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
The CFA certificate is held by those who have a high level of education, experience, and demonstrated proficiency in portfolio management. This certification is designed to prepare the financial industry with professionals who can utilize their knowledge in finance and economics to make sound investment decisions.
The program requires 4 years of professional experience in financial services, a bachelor’s degree in finance or business administration, and three years of full-time work experience in the financial industry. Candidates must also pass all three parts of the exam; which is done within 18 hours.
3. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
The CFE certification is earned by professionals who have successfully passed the Certified Fraud Examiner Qualification Exam. This certificate is applicable in four areas of fraud, they include; fraud prevention, investigation, financial transactions, and fraud schemes. This certification is associated with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
This certification allows you to apply fraud prevention techniques in monetary and non-monetary areas within an organization. To obtain this certificate you need to be a graduate of an accredited CFE program, have two years of experience in fraud-related work, and attain at least 50 points in the eligibility points system.
4. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
The CIA is for those professionals who have completed the Certified Internal Auditor Qualification Exam. Having this certification demonstrates your ability to audit the internal controls of a company and identify any weaknesses in its internal control system.
This certification is accomplished through an intensive, three-part study program that spans 18 months. This program includes 5 modules covering elements of accounting, auditing standards and techniques, internal control processes, risk management, and financial reporting systems. The requirements for this course include:
5. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
The CMA certification is awarded to those professionals who have successfully passed an exam and have acquired broad knowledge in various accounting programs. The certification demonstrates your ability to become a leader within the accounting field.
Having this credential allows you to enhance the management of finance, financial statements, and planning processes. To obtain this certificate you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, at least two years of work experience as an assistant accountant, and two years of experience with management accounting or audit.
6. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
The CGMA certification is for those who want to work with the government and business. This certificate shows your proficiency in global business management and information technology. The certification will enable you to perform financial management, accounting, and audit reporting for government organizations and businesses that have operations in multiple countries.
AICPA are eligible for this credential if they have three years of experience, CIMA members qualify for this certification automatically.
7. Enrolled Agent (EA)
Professionals with a government-issued license to represent taxpayers, such as CPAs, are recognized by an EA credential. The EA designation is determined by the number of hours completed in IRS approved tax courses. A three-part comprehensive exam covering both individual and business tax returns is required of candidates. Former IRS employment history may be taken into consideration. Every three years, continuing education courses totaling 72 hours are required.
Related: Pros and cons of accounting.
Benefits of Accounting Certifications
Courses and certifications offer a variety of benefits to those who participate in them.
Certifications such as the CPA, CIA, CIMA, CGMA, and EA are highly valued because of their educational qualifications and their ability to demonstrate professional integrity. Other benefits include:
1. Advancement opportunities for students who have successfully completed an accounting degree program.
2. Enhanced abilities to conduct business, financial, and tax strategies because of your diverse knowledge in the field.
3. Greater exposure and knowledge in public policy, investment analysis, and risk management.
4. Enhanced marketability and ability to compete with other professionals in the same field.
5. Increased earning potential as you grow more skilled in decision making and problem solving under pressure.
6. Added respect and responsibility within the accounting community.
7. Opportunities to become a professor of accounting or an auditor for a corporation.
8. Become involved in the development of new accounting programs, policies, procedures, and strategies for government agencies.
Developing accounting career goals and pursuing a career in accounting requires individuals to obtain the necessary skills and education to become certified professionals. Certifications like CIA, CPA, CMA, and EA are highly valued because of their educational qualifications. Students should plan their careers as early as possible to ensure they obtain their desired results.