A Grad’s Guide to Becoming an Accountant

Accountants are some of the most trusted advisors in business because of their level of involvement with their clients’ fiscal wellbeing. Because of their wide range of knowledge — from taxes to wealth management, in most cases — young CPAs and tax professionals have the potential to become the trusted advisors every business needs.

Here are some tips for graduates and young professionals:

 

1. Apply what you know.

Just because you’ve finished a degree in accounting or finance doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re fully aware how to apply the skills that you’ve learned. Start applying those textbook scenarios to real world happenings. Step outside of your comfort zone and seek opportunities that will allow you to expand your knowledge base and, more importantly, teach you how to solve a wide range of problems for your clients.

 

2. Tell the truth and hold yourself accountable.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when first starting out in a field, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Think back to any particular moment in your life when you’ve made a mistake, and you’ll notice that you learned a lesson from it. Though making mistakes is okay, it’s essential that if you do make a mistake, you let an experienced coworker know immediately so they can help you recover. Don’t let your ego keep you from asking for help when you need it.

 

3. Stick to deadlines.

A huge part of being an accountant is having the desire to see your clients succeed. If you expect to be seen as an advisor for a business owner, you must stick to all deadlines to ensure that you never let your clients down. Work on your time management skills before tax season, especially if time management is something you struggle with. The most effective way to manage your time is by designating enough of it to each client. Make sure you’re not distracted by trivial and unimportant tasks so you can give your clients the attention they deserve.

Check out our recent blog post about time management to help you stay on top of your workload!

 

4. Build your network.

Don’t be afraid to attend networking events for accountants. Making connections with other professionals, especially those who have years of experience, will only help you become a better accountant or tax preparer. Remember, other professionals want to help you succeed — ask them questions and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for advice. After all, they were once in your shoes too, and they have an idea about what you’re going through.

 

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MSATP offers opportunities to help professionals build their businesses and their networks. Register now for our upcoming Employee to Entrepreneur event on October 25 for your chance to meet other young professionals and learn from experts in the field. The first 25 registrants will receive a free Associate Membership with their registration, so sign up now!

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