How to Become a General Accountant

Are you thinking of entering the general accounting profession? Learn about the educational requirements, as well as the skills and abilities that you need to make it in this career.

A general accountant’s job in a company is to ensure that businesses, companies and individuals have up-to-date financial statements. Included in the responsibility of general accountants is staying current on various tax regulations and ensuring that all taxes are paid on time and correctly.

Responsibilities and Duties

General accountants are described as experts in both analysis and document preparation. They are responsible for preparing financial documents such as reports, tax returns, balance sheets and income statements. They keep track of the money that goes in and out of the company. They may be employed by companies, organizations or individuals who rely on them to make sure that taxes are paid accurately and on time.

There are also some general accountants that work as financial consultants and advisers on employee health benefits, financial safeguards and data processing systems, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements needed in order to become a general accountant are almost the same in any company or business. A bachelor’s degree in Accounting is the main educational requirement in this field; however, most companies and clients prefer applicants and candidates that hold a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. In most states, there are a required number of semester hours in accounting that a student must complete while in school in order to be eligible for certification. All potential and aspiring General Accountants must also pass the four-part Uniform CPA Exam for certification. However, the educational aspect of becoming a general accountant does not end once one graduates from college. General accountants must continue learning throughout their career by staying updated on new tax laws and regulations.

Skills and Abilities

It is a must for all aspiring general accountants to have strong skills in mathematics and analysis. Along with these, accountants must possess excellent communication skills in both written and oral medium for them to be able to work with clients well and explain financial situations clearly and accurately. Since a lot of paperwork will be involved in a general accountant’s daily tasks, he or she must always be organized. It is also a given requirement that he or she must be knowledgeable in handling a computer and various computer software related to accounting. Because of the nature of the job, general accountants need to have proper stress-handling especially in meetings that discuss matters of great importance. It is a plus if the general accountant is able to handle the stress in meeting deadlines.

Career Outlook

In the next years, the careers for prospective General Accountants are expected to grow and rise because of the overall increase in new businesses throughout the globe. More and more tax laws are becoming regulated to make them coincide with each other.

The average salary of a General Accountant measures nearly $59,000 annually.