How to become an Accountant


Accounting is a competitive but highly rewarding industry in Australia. Becoming an accountant can open many doors for you, and it is a great option if you are looking to join the professional workforce. New tools in accounting such as Thriday, which do a lot of the number crunching, mean that accounting is also becoming increasingly important when it comes to strategy and business planning. Here’s some information on how to become an accountant in Australia.

Step 1: Study, study, study  

The first step towards becoming an accountant is studying for the right qualifications. Depending on your level of interest and expertise, you may want to pursue either a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree in accounting or finance. It is important to note that both courses will require some additional subjects such as economics and statistics. There are several universities across Australia that offer accounting degrees, so you should have no trouble finding one that suits your needs.

Step 2: Complete an internship

Once you have completed your degree, you will need to complete an internship with an accounting firm in order to gain practical experience. This is typically a one-year program that will give you the opportunity to work with experienced accountants and learn the ropes of the profession. Finding the right internship is critical to getting your career off on the right foot. For some people, they may be suited to a large practice like PwC which offers excellent internship and graduate programs. For others, a smaller boutique firm might be a better fit.  

Step 3: Get a professional qualification

After you have completed your internship, you will need to obtain a professional qualification from one of the recognised professional bodies in Australia. The two main qualifications are the Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ) and the Certified Practising Accountants Australia (CPA Australia). This will provide you with the necessary skills and expertise to practice as a qualified accountant. These groups also assist in helping aspiring accountants to stay up to date with changes in legislation and regulations surrounding taxation, financial reporting, auditing, and other areas of accounting practice.

Step 4: Register with the Tax Practitioners Board

In order to operate as an accountant in Australia, you will need to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). The TPB is responsible for regulating tax practitioners in Australia and ensuring that they meet the required standards. If you are not registered with the TPB you are not allowed to provide tax advice, BAS or financial services support for a fee. Once you are registered with the TPB, you will need to maintain your registration by completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements each year. CPD can be obtained through attending conferences, seminars or workshops, or by completing online courses.

Step 5: Networking and connections

As part of your journey towards becoming an accountant, it is essential that you network and build relationships with other professionals within your field. Networking can help expand your knowledge base and introduce you to new opportunities within the accounting industry. Additionally, networking events can be great places to meet potential staff for your own business. Most new accounting firms were founded by former colleagues who worked together at another organisation.

Becoming an accountant in Australia requires dedication, hard work and determination but if done correctly can be very rewarding both professionally and personally. The first step towards becoming an accountant is studying for the right qualifications – either at undergraduate or postgraduate level – followed by registering with relevant professional bodies. All these steps combined should ensure success for anyone looking to start their own accounting business.

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