Are you an international student considering becoming an accountant or a certified public accountant (CPA) in the USA? If yes, you must be dedicated to the field and ready to take any challenge head-on. In addition to your 4-year degree, you will be required to clear the CPA in the USA for international students.
All in all, becoming an accountant entails choosing a long and challenging road. However, it’s worth the effort when you consider the numerous benefits of this lucrative field. Read on to learn how to become an accountant in the USA.
Becoming an Accountant in the USA
There are no hard and fast rules to becoming an accountant. Some people get their first degree in something like business or data science before deciding to switch to accounting for their second degree.
Many accountants go on to earn advanced degrees in the field, doing certifications like CMA or CPA. Nevertheless, here’s an outline to give you a clear picture of how to enter the accounting profession.
Step 1 – Get a Four-Year Degree
A bachelor’s degree is typically the bare minimum for entry-level accounting positions. You can get a solid understanding of accounting with a bachelor’s degree in the field.
A bachelor’s degree in accounting is a good stepping stone toward a career in government, business, or financial services. Accounting information systems and auditing are two other subjects included in this major.
Internships are a popular way for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting to get the practical experience that organizations seek in new hires. It’s no secret that many accounting internships lead to full-time positions at the companies that host them.
Step 2 – Chose Your Area of Expertise in Accounting
Rather than focusing on general accounting, specialize in a subset of the field. This could refer to various subfields within the accounting industry, such as forensics or personal finance. The world works in highly specialized areas.
With the proliferation of sector-specific norms and regulations, clients increasingly seek subject-matter experts. Some sub-divisions of accounting include accounting for taxes, businesses, nonprofits, governments, auditing, international trade, IT, etc.
Think about what you enjoy and what sort of accounting you could imagine yourself regularly doing.
Step 3 – Choose a Certification
Getting certified will help you stand out from the crowd and prove that you’ve got what it takes to succeed. Many accounting certifications are available, and it is possible to hold more than one qualification at once.
Although the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation has the most name recognition, other accounting credentials, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and the Enrolled Agent (EA), can be just as useful.
Nevertheless, CPA is the gold standard in accounting. CPAs face more stringent criteria at the state level to become licensed. However, companies frequently incentivize their staff to pursue the CPA designation.
CPAs have greater earning potential and job flexibility than accountants. Moreover, many companies reward employees with bonuses if they earn their CPA certification.
How to Apply for the CPA Exam
The first step is to determine your eligibility. Students with prior education in the US require 150 credit hours to apply for the CPA exam. However, CPA USA requirements for international students are different. International students are required to complete a foreign credential evaluation.
It entails a comparison to determine if the international credits are comparable to those awarded in the United States. After determining your eligibility, it is time to apply. Complete the application through the CPA Central portal of the NASBA and provide the relevant verification materials.
You will get your Notice to Schedule once your eligibility has been validated. Use your NTS to schedule a test date with Prometric. Remember, international applicants may not be permitted to take exams at all Prometric facilities outside the US. You should investigate the individual testing venues accessible.
How Long Does It Take to Become a CPA
In order to work as an accountant, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years. Upon graduation, you may apply for entry-level positions such as staff accountant, tax staff, or junior internal auditor to gain experience.
You can start studying for the CPA exam once you’ve been in your first job for a few years. Two years of experience is typically considered good to apply for the CPA. After three to six years in a field, you can move to a supervisory or managerial role.
Start Your CPA Application Today with ERES!
Accounting is still a highly competitive subject despite the industry’s expansion. It is essential to differentiate yourself from other accountants if you want to work at top firms and compete for lucrative opportunities.
If you are looking to study or work in the US, choose ERES for your Foreign Transcript Evaluation for CPA. We provide reliable evaluation for education and licenses. Contact us today to learn more about our services to take the first step towards a successful future.