Tips for Future Accountants
By Angela Sanders Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 11:53 PM EST
Thinking of studying accounting at university? Sure, accounting may not be the childhood dream career you once fantasized about, but accounting is a lucrative and secure career that can perhaps help make your other dreams come true. The demand for accountants in Asia is increasing across the board as the region continues to develop economically. As one of the financial hubs in Asia, Hong Kong accountants already get paid well and have great job security, and there’s no evidence to show this trend is going to slow down anytime soon.
While accounting may not be as fast-paced and glamorous as some other professions, it is by no means a walk in the park either. Here are some helpful hints for accounting to keep in mind.
- Keep your textbooks from earlier courses. Accounting papers at university are sequential. Higher level accounting courses will use information given to students during the lower level courses. Refer to your past textbooks whenever you come across a concept or idea that you have forgotten about.
- Practice, practice, practice. Once you grasp the basics, accounting is all about being able to apply the accounting knowledge you have been taught. Practice your skills regularly to store the techniques into your long term memory.
- Learn to bend the accounting rules. Accounting is not just about math; sometimes the answer will change depending on the situation. Context is important.
- Learn the jargon. If you don’t understand what people are saying to you, how will you ever succeed? Learn to use the terminology correctly and you will be able to ask for help and get the answers you’re looking for.
- Treat accounting as a puzzle. Try to solve the riddles. Like a good detective, if something doesn't make sense and the rules appear to contradict each other, search for clues to help you solve the problem. Talk to your classmates, peers, and colleagues. Someone else is bound to have encountered the same issue before.
- Strengthen your analytical skills. Accounting is a subject which is all about understanding ways to solve problems, learning how to apply similar methods to different problems, and how to conceptualize problems to find solutions. Improve your problem-solving skills and you’re halfway to completing your accounting assignments.
- Stay motivated. Super criminal Al Capone was arrested because of accountants. There are some cool positions available once you graduate – use this as motivation!
- The sky really is the limit. If arresting the next Al Capone doesn't motivate you to study hard, remember that opportunities for accountants are limitless. The CEO's from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Phillip Morris, and Applebee International were all promoted from Chief Financial Officer position.
Accounting is often seen as a boring subject, one relegated to nerds and paper-pushers, but that isn’t always the case. Applying the various strategies above to your studies can make it a truly enriching experience. Not only will you derive more pleasure out of your chosen field, but you’ll also be paving the way for a successful and stable future career.
About the author: Jeffrey Dale is an education advisor and believes in encouraging students to consider continuing with higher education.