Accounting has always been a promising field for career builders. The opportunities are good because of the steady demand for accounting services.
Accounting also introduces professionals to globally recognized certifications that will help them pursue career advancement.
So, after you’ve earned a degree in accounting, you may want to get certified in an area of specialization.
Having a certification will give you an edge over those who are not certified and will dramatically increase your qualifications and increase your earning abilities.
These are some of the most well-known accounting certifications that you should consider.
1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Public Accountant is the most popular certification for accountants. CPAs have proficiency in many areas of accounting and finance including assurance and attestation, corporate governance, financial analysis, management consulting, tax preparation and planning, and more.
Known as the accounting hub for all trades, CPAs can operate in a wide variety of fields. Nonetheless, Public Accountants are well known for their expertise in external auditing and taxation.
2. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
The CMA credential, awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants or IMA, demonstrates proficiency in management accounting which includes financial planning & analysis, cost management, and decision support. These skills are essential for business success.
To earn the CMA designation, a candidate must pass the two-part CMA exam. Candidates must have at least two years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management to receive the CMA certification.
3.Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
Awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the CIA designation is the only globally accepted certification for internal auditors and is the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competence and professionalism in the field of internal audit.
To get CIA certification, you must pass a four-part exam and must have at least two years of meaningful experience in internal audit or in any related area. Other certifications provided by the IIA include Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), and Certified Government Audit Professional (CGAP).
4.Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has gained valuable recognition with the increasing popularity of public and private financial strategies today. This is the most recognized financial planning credential in the world; getting certified will add significant value to your qualifications.
Your career as a CFP will be filled with opportunities. Clients trust professionals who have proven themselves through education and experience. In addition, passing the CFP exam will ensure your ability to apply financial planning principles.
5. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
CISA is the flagship certification of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). It is a globally recognized designation for individuals who audit, assess, control and monitor an organization’s information systems and technology.
Candidates must pass a five-part exam and have a minimum of five years of professional experience in auditing, control, or information systems security to be eligible for CISA.
Which Accounting Certification is best for you
While there is no single best accounting certification, some are suitable for one accountant but may not be suitable for another. This varies widely with individual qualifications, career goals, and interests.
Consider your qualifications, especially the number of years of work experience, as they may be required prior to obtaining a certificate.
Salary doesn’t factor much into here because actual salary depends on the position you are in. This is certain though an accounting certification will provide a good boost to your earning potential compared to not owning one.
In choosing an accounting certification, it is best to choose one that you will take advantage of. In other words, choose the one that benefits you the most.
Job opportunities are scattered in the fields of general practice, trade & industry, government, and academia. The biggest factor to consider in deciding which certification to get is the area you want to specialize in . It all comes down to what you want to do for a living.
|Recognition||Experience||Field / Area||Main areas of expertise|
|CPA||State / Territory||Varies||All major areas of accounting||Many, especially. Financial accounting and
|CMA||Global||2 consecutive years in management accounting or financial management||Accounting management||Financial analysis, Financial
|CIA||Global||2 years related work experience||Internal audit||Internal control, internal audit,
|CFP||Global||3 years financial planning experience||Financial planning||Business and investment, Personal finance, Insurance, Pensions, Taxes, Estate, debt management|
|CISA||Global||5 years related work experience||Accounting Information Systems (SIA)||Audit, control and security of information systems|
There are many other accounting related certifications out there. The ones listed here are among the most popular. After all, if you want to go somewhere in your career in accounting then you should definitely consider getting certified.