What would you reccomend to get a job in Accounting?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by thenextsupreme, May 24, 2020.

  1. thenextsupreme

    thenextsupreme New Member

    I would like to get into an AP/AR role and do not have direct experience. I currently have Bachelor's in General Studies. I am trying to see what pathway I should go to get into an Accounting role. I was considering the following: going back to school and getting an Associate degree in Accounting, taking a few Accounting courses at a Community College, obtaining a certificate in Accounting, or going through ed2go to get a cert. in the Fundamental of Accounting.

    I don't exactly have a lot of money and really don't want to go into debt and was looking at Ashworth College. However, I am very concerned because it is nationally accredited. I am just trying to determine should I go for an associates or just go for the certificate.

  2. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    I will NOT claim to be an accounting expert as that was my least favorite course in my MBA, albeit very important. Lol

    That said, accounting is a field in which certifications seem to be very important. An Associates degree may help but I believe most job postings I see require a Bachelor's degree with a strong preference for the CPA certification.
  3. thenextsupreme

    thenextsupreme New Member

    I don't really want to be an Accountant, but am looking to work as an Accounting Clerk or book keeper.
    JoshD likes this.
  4. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    Gotcha! That makes it easier then. Honestly, I'm sure a certificate would suffice. Surely someone with more knowledge in those areas will chime in.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    If that is your goal, a certificate or career diploma might be helpful. Ashworth offers a diploma in bookkeeping, which includes the National Bookkeepers Association Bookkeeper Certification Exam and practice test. If you decide to pursue an associate degree, I'd recommend a regionally accredited college.

    I had a bookkeeper gig for about a year and a half. I updated sales and purchases journals, prepared monthly statements, assisted with federal/state taxes, and verified invoices/packing slips. It was kind of fun lol. Thankfully, I took accounting in high school haha
    thenextsupreme likes this.
  6. thenextsupreme

    thenextsupreme New Member

    If I obtained the diploma in bookkeeping, could that experience be used to eventually work as an Accounts Payable Specialist etc.
  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I can speak a little bit on the bookkeeping side, since I've almost gone down that path on a few occasions.

    Depending on how you look at it, this may be a very good or a very bad thing, but Bookkeping is a profession that doesn't have one singular straight shot that everyone must follow to get in. Just in my own circle of friends, I have one that acquired a community college certificate, one that got a certificate from a career school, one that went for software certifications and one that learned QuickBooks on her own, had no degree or certification, but was able to land a job anyway.

    (btw, I just realized that I have somehow befriended an uncommonly high number of bookkeepers...)

    On the other hand, I've read some posts on Reddit where users had a Master's in accounting, but were "stuck" in entry level bookkeeping jobs because they hadn't taken the CPA yet and they lived in an area where the accounting job market was tight. Such a person would be a very hard person to compete against in the bookkeeping world, unless and until they were to move up the ladder.

    Anyway, your best bet may be to search job posting sites to see what qualifications employers in your area are looking for, and to look around at the LinkedIn profiles of people whose jobs you want to see what their resumes are packing.

    What you may want to consider:

    - Software certifications- Quickbooks and Sage50 are obviously the biggest ones, but certifications in MSOffice, especially Excel, could boost your resume, too.

    - Certified Bookkeeper (CB) or Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) credential. Neither of which are required, but both of which can show your competency and dedication to the field. If you ask me, the CB is the better option as it has a longer history and a comprehensive exam, where as the CPB is decidedly second place between the two, to say the least.

    - Online career school certificates. US Career Institute has a certificate in Bookkeeping for $589 and Penn Foster has one for $699. Both of these schools are accredited, though I'm not sure how well known they are among employers. Also, the prices for both of those schools fluctuate frequently, with discounts coming into and out of effect all the time.

    Any one of these might be able to get you started, but of course, there are no guarantees. A degree on top of it all would, of course, be even better.
    thenextsupreme likes this.
  8. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    You DO NOT need a degree in accounting to land AP/AR positions. All you need is the first two introductory accounting courses taught at your local community college. You can also take them online at Study.com. After that, you will need to obtain the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) certification to sell yourself to companies. It's the certification that will make you marketable, not the courses.
  9. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member

    If you are younger, I would think twice about going into bookkeeping. These are the types of jobs AI is replacing en-mass; higher level accounting jobs are doing OK for the time being but anything routine is on the way out...
    thenextsupreme likes this.
  10. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Thought of getting an ACCA qualification or a MicroMaster from edX (this was discussed here in the forum some weeks ago)?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  11. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    I have to respectfully disagree. I don't see any danger of automation taking over bookkeeping any time soon. Yes, bookkeeping software has greatly simplified the process, but you still need people who know what they are doing to process purchase orders, input invoices with the proper account coding, balance accounts, and do many other functions.
  12. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member


    I do; it is amazing what the consulting firms are working on with respect to bots. Lawyers will be tossed aside because some of the contract review they do is going to be replaced
  13. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member



    I have great respect for the ACCA but if the person is in the US, they will put in similar effort for the ACCA as the CPA and the CPA has much more cred in the US IMO.
    Mac Juli likes this.
  14. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Did not realize that. Thanks for setting this right.
    Any thoughts about the other suggestion (MicroMaster from edX)?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  15. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member

    I think it depends on what your aspirations are. The person already has an undergraduate degree; she could probably get into a relatively inexpensive 30 credit MAcc program... she would be qualified, have a graduate degree, and the option of taking the CPA, IIA, CGMA, or other legit certification to top up.

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