If you want to become an accountant in Australia, it can be an enjoyable and profitable career with plenty of opportunities. There are many different ways you can start your accountancy career with certain qualifications that you will need to take. This article is for you to learn what exactly an accountant does, the steps to take to become an accountant in Australia, and what skills or qualifications you will need.
What does an accountant do?
It’s important to understand the different tasks and responsibilities of an accountant and make sure you will enjoy the work it entails. Of course, numbers, spreadsheets and calculations play a large part in an accountant’s job, but in this field you’re also responsible for dealing with taxes, payroll, ensuring legal compliance and more. Accountants are hugely important in any business, organisation or institution and they are responsible for providing a wide range of accountancy services that are critical to financial operations.
What skills do you need to become an accountant?
A general aptitude for maths and numbers is helpful for any budding accountant, but there are lots of other skills that are useful and even essential. To become an accountant you will need to possess a number of skills including:
- attention to detail
- mathematical ability
- critical analysis
- IT skills
If you think you possess some or all of these skills, the next step is finding a course or program.
What accounting qualifications do you need in Australia?
There are various routes to becoming an accountant and in most cases, it’s a good idea to try and get a degree level qualification in accounting so you can join a professional body.
Before this, you can also study the following:
- Certificate IV in Accounting
- Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
- Diploma of Accounting
These qualifications will teach you a range of the skills necessary for a career in accounting and should enable you to become an accounting assistant or join an accounting firm where you will train on the job.
If you choose to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, there are a variety of programmes you can study including a Bachelor of Accounting degree, a Bachelor of Business degree, majoring in accounting or a similar degree that covers economics or finance. You may also need to take accounting exams and qualifications in order to specialise in other fields, such as business accounting or taxes for expats.
Opportunities for accountants in Australia
Once you have completed a degree in accounting you can apply to become a registered accountant with the Institute of Charted Accountants of Australia, the Institute of Public Accountants and CPA Australia and apply for an accounting position.
Accountants can work for private companies or organisations as in-house accountants, or for an accounting firm that provides these services for a range of clients. You may also choose to study at the postgraduate level and consider training other accountants or conducting research.
Jason is the director at Total Accounting Partners on the Sunshine Coast and in Redcliffe. He has been working as an accountant for over 16 years. He has experience in Public, Corporate, Management and Government accounting services and all aspects of accounting including Tax Planning, Superannuation, Structuring and Acquisitions. Jason is Xero certified and lead the team to Gold Partners with Xero.