What qualifications do you need to become an accountant or a bookkeeper?

You may remember from our previous blog that whilst some of the responsibilities accountants and bookkeepers have do overlap, they are not the same thing.

In fact, their roles within your business are very different and as such the qualifications you’ll need to venture into either of them is diverse.

What qualifications do bookkeepers need?

To begin working in this field you will need a basic qualification in bookkeeping as this will prove to potential employers that you are capable of keeping their books in order (as laid down in the business financial rulebook).

This basic qualification is fairly easy to source as there are numerous college and online bookkeeping courses available. However, if you really want to make a name for yourself, we recommend exploring the more complex bookkeeping courses as they will make your CV instantly more attractive.

For instance, higher levels of bookkeeping will allow you to perform more tasks and be involved in the production of more complex reports etc.

What qualifications do accountants need?

Now to become an accountant you will need to build a strong portfolio of training to help showcase your skills – in most cases this will involve getting an accounting degree and then training for a few years within an accountancy firm.

Alternatively, it is possible to train from the beginning within an accountancy firm, who will pay for you to attend courses and acquire qualifications.

No matter which route you choose to take – apprenticeship or degree – upon acquiring a generic accountancy qualification, most accountants then choose to specialise within a particular aspect of accounting. Not only does this allow you to become an authoritative figure on this subject, it will allow you to focus your training beyond your basic knowledge.

Furthermore, you can continue to train and complete accountancy courses, and work your way to becoming a chartered accountant (to do this you will need to have followed the academic path).

Which route is best?

This will depend on you and whether you wish to manage accounts, payroll etc. or whether you wish to pursue a more advisory/analytical role. In either case, you can use bookkeeping as a stepping stone to sampling what you could potentially expect should you choose to become an accountant as they do overlap in some areas.

To learn more about bookkeeping, take a look at our many online bookkeeping courses today. Alternatively, why not browse through our specialist accounting courses.

 

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