Accounting Certifications

7 Best Paying Accounting Certificates In 2024

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There are millions of degrees and certifications available nowadays. Still, these seven accounting certificates are the most sought after, and often the best paying, ones out there—read on to see what you need to acquire them, where you can work with them, and more.

Introduction To Accounting Certificates In 2024

You might be curious about accounting certificates if you're considering a profession in finance or accounting. Do they prove useful? How do they relate to your career objectives?

Although they are not always mandatory, certificates show potential employers that you have a certain degree of expertise or experience in your sector. They could aid in preparing you to break into the accounting field, investigate a different industrial specialization, or pursue different professional objectives.

Where Can I Work As An Accountant?

The area of accounting is wide and offers a variety of employment options. You may pursue industry-recognized certifications and an accounting degree, such as a Bachelor's in Accounting, to further demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. Which you should pursue depends on your short- and long-term objectives.

7 Best Paying And Top Accounting Certificates In 2024

Let's examine seven of the best accounting certificates in 2024, the requirements for each, and how they might influence your career.

1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA is arguably the most well-known accounting credential. Certified public accountants assist individuals and companies with financial planning and goal-setting.

Additionally, they can advise on financial matters like taxes and accounting. If you want to increase your credibility as an accountant, this is an excellent route to go.

How Can I Become CPA Certified?

You must first get certification by passing the Uniform CPA test to obtain your CPA license.

The test consists of four sections, each of which is focused on a different subject and is taken independently.

To become certified, you must pass all four exams within the allotted 18-month timeframe, which totals 16 hours of exam time. Some colleges provide specialized courses to help students study for exams.

Each American state has its licensing requirements in addition to certification. In addition, you must satisfy the educational requirements, which often call for a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or business. Additionally, you must have completed a certain number of years of labor.

Career Paths in CPA

There are several job options available to CPAs. They work in various industries and, with time and expertise, might even occupy executive positions. The following are just a few typical fields of employment:

  • Regulatory accounting
  • Occupational accounting
  • Preparing taxes
  • Criminal accounting
  • Administrative Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Computer technology

2. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

A credential with a financial concentration is the CFA designation. If you're thinking about a profession in finance or financial planning, this one is quite relevant. Examples of CFA responsibilities are portfolio management, investments, economics, and professional ethics.

How Can I Become a CFA?

A bachelor's degree and four years of work experience are prerequisites for the CFA designation. The related test has three levels and lasts for a total of 18 hours. While it is possible to finish the tests in as short as 18 months, most students require longer than two years.

Career Paths in CFA

Certified financial analysts exhibit an understanding of financial markets and trends. They frequently do a range of investment analysis jobs. Companies, including investing businesses, banks, insurance firms, and hedge fund investment funds, all employ them. CFAs have positions in these companies, such as:

  • Security analysis
  • Asset administration
  • Equity research
  • Hedge fund administration

3. Chartered Management Accountant (CMA)

In contrast to the CPA, this qualification emphasizes management-related accounting topics and also addresses finance A CMA is a degree program in management accounting that is provided by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Being a qualified management accountant aids in showcasing your knowledge and abilities, much like the CPA qualification does. On the other hand, CMAs are largely advising professionals when a CPA engages in public accounting.

This offers a solid foundation for people interested in leadership or who wish to improve their strategic and decision-making abilities.

How Can I Become a CMA?

You must first get your bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business, or a related field. You also need to have at least two consecutive years of professional experience and pass a two-part exam (which takes eight hours to complete).

Career Paths for CMA

The majority of CMA employment prospects are in corporate management, but you might use the certification to prepare for a range of positions. For instance, a few such career paths may be:

  • Executive or managerial positions
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Accounting for control costs
  • Financial hazard prevention

Learn more about Accounting Career: What Can You Reach In The Field?

4. Certified Auditor of Information Systems (CISA)

CISA-certified accountants are equipped to oversee and defend an organization's information technology and operational systems. If you're interested in IT and security, this accounting certification can be a wise decision.

How Can I Become a CISA?

A minimum of five years of professional experience in information systems auditing, security, or control is typically necessary for a CISA certification.

Depending on the degree and the institution giving it, some education may be exchanged for professional experience. Additionally, an exam is necessary. The CISA exam is a single, four-hour test that is open to everyone interested.

Career Paths for CISA

Information system audits and risk management are planned and carried out by certified information systems auditors. They are qualified for various roles in businesses, including:

  • Information systems and information technology.
  • IT assurance and risk
  • Public accounting auditing and privacy
  • Internet Safety

5. Certified Fraud Investigator (CFE)

An accredited fraud examiner CFE searches for and stops fraud. They examine the financial records of their employers to check for fraud, collaborate with law authorities to provide evidence, and even provide testimony in criminal proceedings.

How Can I Become a CFE?

A bachelor's degree or an equal level of work experience in an area linked to fraud is required for certification. Additionally, candidates must have at least two years of professional experience. The examination then has four sections, each of which examines a distinct aspect of financial fraud.

Career Paths in CFE

Government positions at the municipal, state, and federal levels are open to CFEs. They may also work in the private sector in

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Banking
  • Insurance

6. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

The CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), the biggest management accounting body in Europe, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) jointly developed this exam to compete with the CMA Exam.

Although it is less well-known in the US, this credential may allow you to pursue CMA-like employment.

How Do I Become CGMA Certified?

According to your place of origin, there are many certification paths. To begin with, you must sign up as an AICPA or CIMA member.

The CGMA test must also be passed. After passing the exam, members of the AICPA must obtain three years of relevant work experience.

Read more about Overview of Accounting in the Modern World

7. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

This qualification is intended for compliance officers and auditors. CIAs frequently work with large businesses. They carry out internal audits or provide appropriate financial data to independent auditors.

If being an internal auditor is something you're interested in, this certification could be an excellent option. If you want to work as a manager or chief accounting officer for an organization, it might also be beneficial.

How Do I Become a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)?

A bachelor's degree and at least two years of professional experience are prerequisites for becoming a CIA (or one year of experience and a qualifying master's degree).

In addition, experience in the workplace must be relevant to internal auditing. Working in compliance, internal control, or quality assurance jobs are a few examples of this.

A certification test is also available. Three portions are given back-to-back for a total of three sections and 6.5 hours of assessment.

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Career Opportunities

Only internal business auditors would benefit from having CIA accreditation. Major businesses, governmental agencies, or nonprofits often engage CIAs.

A CIA could work in the following areas:

  • Different tiers of internal auditing
  • Executive or managerial supervisor or manager of audits
  • Risk evaluation
  • Compliance

The Conclusion

Be it CPA, CFE, or CIA, accounting certifications equip you with specialized knowledge that has the potential to propel your career to newer highs.

In most cases, it is up to you where you’d like to work as one that has one of the above certifications; your options include governmental or private finance, investigation, and many more opportunities.

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