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Developing accounting skills for new career

Q: I would like to launch a new career in accounting, focusing on AP and AR (accounts payable/accounts receivable). Aside from on-the-job learning, where can one enroll for affordable training in basic bookkeeping and accounting?

A: Congratulations on making a choice to launch a new career in the field of accounting. Almost all businesses, regardless of size, require accounting services.

To better respond to your question, I consulted Jim Elgart, CPA of MarathonCFO, a consulting firm focused on delivering accounting and bookkeeping services to a wide range of businesses.

Elgart offered: "To begin a career in accounting, it would be really helpful to learn the accounting basics by either taking an entry-level accounting class online or in person at a local college, or using free web resources like Kahn Academy. You might also consider the learning resources and certification program offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (www.aipb.org). Once you have a basic understanding of the accounting cycle, you should enroll in QuickBooks Proadvisor program and take their online classes that lead to QuickBooks certification. QuickBooks is the most popular software for small businesses, so basic accounting and bookkeeping knowledge combined with a good understanding of the software will have you ready to begin working effectively in A/R and A/P."

Most accounting roles require some math aptitude as well as basic computer skills. Most A/R and A/P tasks are automated and are done online using bookkeeping software.

For more information about bookkeeping and accounting roles, visit this link
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm. This link will provide you information on the work environment, expected pay, job outlook and some useful links for this occupation.


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