How does one start a career in accounting or bookkeeping?
There are numerous ways in which you can kickoff your dream of becoming an accountant or bookkeeper. Don’t think you are not only limited to the option of studying at a university. We have highlighted some of the many paths you can follow in order to obtain a qualification. Either in bookkeeping or accounting;
A University Degree
A common path towards becoming an accountant is through getting a university degree. This takes about 3 to 4 years of study depending upon which option you choose.
The academic work is laid out in such a way that you gradually learn the theory and practice of accounting.
Many people who earn a degree, go on to be a chartered accountants. When they complete their studies they must pass the administered exams of regulative bodies in the profession. One of these bodies is the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
Currently in many countries around the world, the realm of chartered accountancy remains the height of the accounting profession. People who hold such titles, quickly advance to higher positions in companies.
The Accounting Technician Route
The accounting technician route is open to people who completed their matric. Especially those who want to have a career in accounting and bookkeeping but without a university degree. If you complete a series of assessments, you could become a recognized accounting professional with a certificate to boot.
You will also be able to work while you study in any company.
The number of people who choose to take this route is less than those who go to university. In any case, it is a great way to head start your career in accounting and bookkeeping.
The Learner Route
Making use of the learner route is another way of getting ahead in the accounting profession. By choosing this route, you could become an accountant in any company or work under the supervision of a skilled accountant who will show you the ropes.
In the learner route, quite a few people end up being knowledgeable bookkeepers without any formal education in the field. What their lack of formal qualifications does not make up for, they cover with their years of experience. Some are able to enter big accounting companies on account of their experience.
However it might be incredibly hard for them to reach the very top of big companies or their work environment.
Quite a number of people have become professional chartered accountants through the learner route. Some might choose to go through the accounting service technician route later on in life, pass the examinations and go on to earn a CA classification. Others can return to their studies on a part-time basis, complete a degree as well as the CA requirements as well.
The pathways to a career in bookkeeping or accounting are varied. Building your career in the profession requires hard- work and diligence is in your studies and workplace.
Careers and Benefits in Accounting and Bookkeeping
Careers in bookkeeping
In small businesses and companies, you will likely find a cashier- a person who receives and deposits money or cheques on a day-to-day basis. In larger organizations, you can have a cashier as well as a cash accountant, depending on the volume or variety of transactions.
Different cashiers can be employed in places such as a bank as they require one to address a great deal of people on a day-to-day basis. There are companies that have continuous customer traffic daily and also require the services of cashiers in order to fulfill their obligations to the public.
In South Africa, a lot of cashiers make approximately R42, 300 yearly although in bigger companies and with greater credentials, you can earn more.
The role of the bookkeeper is to keep records of day to day transactions and enters them as they are started and/ or completed. These records form the primary core of the financial statements that will be prepared by the bookkeeper.
Today, financial statements are created with software and generated on a daily, weekly or month-to-month basis.
A junior bookkeeper earns as much as R92, 000 annually while a senior bookkeeper will up to R129, 000 on a yearly basis with the kind of employer and business size playing an essential function.
The receivables accountant handles records of 3rd parties and other interest groups who are expected to pay for items or services that they have enjoyed or taken delivery of, at every point in time. This portfolio is required in huge organizations where you find that the list of parties on the receivables list might extend beyond 100 or more.
The head of receivable accounting or credit controller and commands earns up to R193, 257 each year. A receivable accountant earns as much as R126, 357 annually and is an excellent paying position throughout the country.
The payables accountant will oversee payments to 3rd parties for transactions started by the company. The size of deals handled may demand for such a portfolio. The larger the number of people, the more necessary it becomes.
A payables accounting professional earns approximately R193, 357 annually and is a good paying position throughout the country. Junior staff members on this task earn above R125, 000 every year.
In small and sometimes, medium scale organizations; there may not be a requirement for a payroll accountant a result of the few staff members. However, with larger size comes a need for this portfolio in order to maintain integrity, proper control and accuracy.
A payroll accounting professional makes as much as R160, 082 yearly and is a position frequently in demand.
The Head of Accounts
In order understand function of this position, it is very important to acknowledge that somebody has to take responsibility for the monetary statements of a company.
In preparing, reviewing and licensing financial statements for utility management, Board or the total authority, a head of accounts area requires to be organized and active. The position requires a level of ability and competence such as that of an accounting designation like a Chartered Accountant.
Considering that this role is often occupied by CA’s and skilled accountants, it comes highly prized with compensation of as much as R439, 064 or more on a yearly basis.
The internal auditor is an essential part of medium and big organizations as the requirement to check, manage and authorize transactions ends up being paramount with the increasing scale of resources.
In some companies, the variety of portfolios in the audit department can be as diverse as possible depending on the intricacy of deals.
Those in entry level positions can earn up to R200,656 while those more experienced earn up to R300,000 on an annual basis.
The external audit roles are performed by professional accountancy firms and they hire a variety of personnel to fill up their company. However a Chartered Accountant with specified levels of working experience is constantly required to head such firms, other low and middle level positions within the company can be filled by learners, degree holders and other newly qualified chartered accountants and skilled personnel with varying levels of experience.
For a position such as that of an External Auditor, one can earn between R400,000 to R600,000 or more depending on area, experience and other elements such as the structure of company.
The Information Systems Auditor
The increasing wave of computerization and digital advancements around the world has caused a new branch in accounting to emerge in the last three decades. The information systems auditor is typically an accounting expert although people with experience in financial and computer-based education may also qualify for this position.
The role demands that the person is constantly on the watch to approve and ensure the integrity of the innovation end that caters for the financial deals of the company. Areas like these are continually developing as the digital boundaries expand and accounting and bookkeeping specialists discover new ways in which to occupy with their specialty.
An accredited info systems auditor makes more or less R450,000 every year and is a scarce skill in South Africa.
Experts in the field of accounting and bookkeeping play an important role in many facets of life and human activity. Their task is to keep businesses afloat and ensure the financial security of families and individuals.
Government depends on the vital contributions made by them through tax collection and accounting throughout the provinces. Government departments rely on the profits calculated by accountants. The same as businesses across the nation do, furthermore a good record is also kept of loans received, payments made, products, sales and products brought on credit for referral along with control functions.
The different activities carried out in accounting and bookkeeping provide a needed safeguard for federal government decisions, organizational expansion, recruitment of talents along with further growth or downsizing.
There is no doubt that a profession in accounting and bookkeeping is a mouth-watering one with numerous alternatives for study and practice.
People have the choice of selecting from a mix of university education, accounting technician programs or the learner route as they consider their future profession. By performing their roles in the companies they are positioned, monetary records are created, reviewed and licensed for use by different stakeholders across the government and economic sector divides. They keep organisations interfaced with monetary providers, lending institutions and regulatory authorities with crucial documentations, reports and activities.
Knowing that financial integrity can not be secured without this group of people, society places importance on the services they provide. This shows in the above par salaries enjoyed by individuals who work in this sector.
The minimum pay stands at approximately R42,000 a year. The most highly paid, usually experienced, accountants have a revenue of R1million.
You can do a course in accounting and bookkeeping through numerous institutions. There are many colleges and universities that offer various paths to a satisfying career.
You can reach this college on the best ways to attain your imagine a viable education through these paths:
Association of Accounting Technicians of South Africa
Classes prepare you for evaluations by the Association of Accounting Technicians of South Africa to give you the right theoretical background for a career in accounting or bookkeeping. Make sure to enroll for these classes.
South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants or SAICA has various levels of assessments. One can gain a good level of understanding of the syllabus with classes that help prepare you well.
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, South Africa
The ICB, South Africa accredits your qualifications and lets you become a member when you finish. Good quality courses that conform to the standards of the ICB can lead to an excellent start in your career.
So make sure to try your best to complete your accounting studies and pass the needed assessments.
updated : May 3, 2017