Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if accounting is right for me?

If you are interested in an accounting program, a variety of books on the subject, including fictional works that incorporate accounting, may help you decide if you find accounting appealing.

Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper is an easy-to-read book about a man who learns how to start a business from his wise grandfather. The man must navigate his way through learning about financial statements, ratios, debits and credits, inventory and calculating depreciation expenses while you learn alongside him.

While The Accounting Game by Judith Orloff may look like a children’s book, it uses an innovative method to explain basic accounting principles. Through the example of a child opening a lemonade stand, Orloff helps you understand how accounting concepts like managing assets, identifying liabilities and measuring earnings are applied. The step-by-step process emphasized in this book helps readers understand how accounting is essential to a business’s success.

David Dodge’s Death and Taxes, a 1940s novel from a classic mystery writer, laces murder and debauchery into a plot about tax fraud. This entertaining, if fictional, look at the darker side of accounting can give prospective students food for thought as they imagine themselves in an accounting degree program.

Finally, the novels of bestselling author John Grisham, who majored in accounting, demonstrate the breath of opportunities available to graduates of accounting colleges. His work is frequently peppered with stories and facts drawn from the author’s accounting background.

What are some resources that will give me ideas about how to use my degree?

If you are interested in an online degree in accounting, O*NET OnLine offers a great place to start your research. O*NET offers extensive details on the work performed by accountants, down to the very technology they most often use, and it also provides a thorough list of knowledge, skills and abilities that students must acquire during their course of study in order to do well in the profession. Of particular value are its links to related occupations, as exploring these may help you find a course of study even more suitable to your interests and talents.

Similar to O*NET, Bureau of Labor Statistics provides extensive information on the responsibilities and functions of an accounting. In addition, it provides information on salaries, job prospects for prospective accountants, trends in the field and data about related occupations.

The AxiomCPA blog features a mix of accounting content, general interest videos and comments in a readable style. The blog is updated frequently with new developments in the accounting field as well as tips on how to succeed in the profession. Its author is fluent in pop culture, connecting cultural trends to the work and concepts covered in online accounting degree programs.

There are several professional organizations that offer free or reduced rate memberships to college students. In addition to providing students with networking opportunities and access to part-time and internship listings, student members can get advice from professionals in the field. The AICPA and the IIA both offer special rates for student members.

What organizations accredit accounting degree programs?

The most reputable organization that accredits accounting programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It offers accreditation to undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, including many accounting online degree programs.

To become a certified public accountant (CPA), applicants must meet education and experiential requirements and take the state’s CPA exam. To meet the education requirement, the applicant must have taken classes at either an accredited college or institution, an AACSB accredited business department or an AACSB accredited accounting department. The number of classes necessary to meet the educational requirement varies state by state.

Beyond the CPA exam, the Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant certification for bachelors degree holders, including those with online degrees in accounting. The Institute of Internal Auditors offers the Certified Internal Auditor certificate to graduates from accredited colleges or online accounting degree programs. These certifications can especially help expand job opportunities for graduates who earned their degree in accounting online.

Is a degree recession-proof?

Accounting appears to be a recession-proof practice because it is one of the services that will always be necessary regardless of the economy’s health. In fact, Forbes.com names it a top 5 recession-proof occupation because these services are critical. Regardless of the economy, businesses still need to do their taxes, file reports and audit departments. If you are pursuing an accounting degree, the economy should not be a hindrance to finding a job afterward. Moreover, completing one of many graduate programs can ensure additional job security.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with accounting online degrees look forward to about average job growth. In response to increased government monitoring of corporate America, big companies should expect to hire more accountants and auditors to make sure their policies meet guidelines. The trend of increasingly global companies doing business gives someone who is looking to study accounting excellent job prospects in the future.