Counting came easy for you as a kid, math was your forte in high school, and you aced your first accounting class in college. If this sounds like you, accounting may be your calling. Congratulations, you have just embarked on one of the most lucrative, stable professions available to the Americans. But easy there turbo, in the words of the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “before you can fly, you must first stand and walk.”

The Key is Education

Like many things in America, education can be the key to opening doors. In order to be an accountant, some education is usually required, and the more education you receive, the better your chances of success and prosperity. Trade school, community college, and four year universities are all portals to the accounting profession. But, if you want to make the big bucks, your best bet is to earn a CPA which requires a 150 credit hours (maybe 5 years of university schooling), and passing a difficult certification test which some claim is even more difficult than the bar. Once you’ve earned your CPA, an MBA may be on the horizon, and it will surely help distinguish you from the pack.

The Various Sections of Accounting

Below are the four basic sectors of accounting that any potential accountant should be familiar with.

Public Accounting—you consult, keep books, help with auditing, and advise with taxes.

Management accountants—you are responsible for analyzing your company’s financial data, drafting up budget plans, and determining strategies for maximizing allocation of funds.

Internal audit— internal auditing involves managing business activities, focusing on internal fraud detection, and identifying inefficiencies.

Government accountants—you are basically the IRS’s hall monitor, searching for fraud, and exposing criminals.