Life is like accounting, everything must balance.

~ unknown ~

Accounting is a career that has been around forever and will continue to flourish. No matter what the Australian economy is doing — good or bad — every business, and many individuals, will continue to need an accountant, at the very least, to organise their bookkeeping.

In fact, according to Job Prospects, as a career, accounting is one of the fastest-growing occupations in Australia. And it's predicted that it won't be slowing down any time soon. Accounting is the heart of every business, right across every industry, throughout Australia.

For students who are perhaps considering a university diploma or degree course in accounting and financial management, the job prospects are great — right? Well, yes ... and no. Accounting courses are, for good reason, very popular — and they churn out a lot of accounting graduates every year. Graduates who are now looking for full time work in the career they've spent several years training for.

So, it pays to do whatever you can to make sure you're at the top of your dream employer's list when it comes time to apply for that job and start your career.

What does an accountant do?
If you find the seed of a money tree, you'll be set - but in the meantime you'll have to settle for accounting courses in Perth to teach you everything financial | Source: Pixabay - TheDigitalWay

Superprof is here to answer your questions:

  • What skills do I need to get through my accounting courses?
  • Where is the best place to study accounting courses in Perth?
  • How can I get help if I'm struggling during my course?
  • What are my options once I graduate with my degree?
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What Skills Do I Need to be Good at Accounting?

Accounting is not only about financial skills and business management, nor is it solely about number-crunching. That's at the superficial level.

The business of being a top accountant requires the following personal traits:

  • Business or service-oriented mindset — yes, you need to be comfortable with financial and organisational matters, but you also need to be comfortable with people! If clients are going to work with you, they have to trust you — and to trust you, they need to feel a connection or establish some sort of rapport. At the end of the day, your success is based on the relationship you have with your clients.
  • Vigilance — you need to be on top of what is going on ... all the time. You'll need to remain up-to-date with the international and local economy, industry and market trends, amendments to law and ensure all your knowledge is current. Have the mindset that you never stop learning.
  • Organised — your organisational skills must be top-level. Start getting into the habit of organising your files and research while you're a student at university, and it will soon become natural. A disorganised accountant, whose desk is a shambles, is also an out of work accountant.
  • Reliable and trustworthy — this goes without saying but ... you're dealing with people's financial futures. They need to trust you and you need to make sure you deliver what you say you will, when you say you will.
  • Innovative — numbers and maths may have seemed 'black and white' to you as a student in Year 9 but the best accountants are creative problem solvers. They don't just want a solution, they want the best solution and if they reach it in an unconventional way, so be it.

In terms of academic skills, at the very least you will need:

  • competent oral and written communication
  • analytical skills and ability to problem solve
  • skills in maths and deductive reasoning
  • proficiency with information technology software (spreadsheets, financial management and budgeting software etc.)
  • industry knowledge.

On the latter point, even as a student, you can familiarise yourself with the Australian accounting standards as well as with the requirements for becoming a practising accountant in Australia.

What is a CPA?
Jump online and start to familiarise yourself with the type of skills and training you will need as an accountant, a professional association is a great starting resource | Source: Pixabay - StartupStockPhotos

These requirements, in a nutshell, are to gain a nationally recognised accounting qualification and to be a member of at least one of the three professional bodies:  Institute of Public Accountants (IPA); CPA Australia (CPA); or the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) — all of which offer student memberships. 

Where Can I Take Accounting Courses In or Around Perth?

Perth, capital city of Western Australia, has the distinction of being the most isolated capital city in the world — being nearly 4000 km from Sydney (over 40 hours if you were to drive, 4 hours in a plane, or over 3 days by train) — and it's also the sunniest capital city. Fun fact (sorry Brisbane)!

Being isolated, however, does not stop Perth from offering superb study, learning and training opportunities and, let's be honest, sitting on the beautiful Swan River, with bustling shopping, eating and cultural locations and wide, sandy beaches, who wouldn't want to study in this city?

If a career in accounting is calling you — and you want to apply for anything from an online course or certificate course to a full diploma or degree from a university — there are accounting courses in Perth that will cater to your study requirements and equip you with the skills you need to work in bookkeeping, management or anywhere else in the local, national or international financial sector.

Online Accounting Courses

The beauty of an online course is that you can combine study with work more easily as your study times are flexible, and you don't need to travel each day to study, attend lectures or participate in tutorials. Whether you live right in Perth, or elsewhere in Western Australia, have a look at these online accounting courses:

Monarch Institute

With courses developed by leading industry experts, you'll be taught by professionals who actually work in your field of study. The Monarch Institute offers a range of long and short courses focused on business, management, marketing and finance.

  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Diploma  of Accounting
  • Advanced Diploma of Accounting
  • Tax Agent Certificate Course

Swinburne Open Education

Courses designed by industry, for industry.

  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Certificate IV in Business (Financial)

Open Colleges

Unlike Monarch and Swinburne, the focus at Open Colleges is not solely on business and accounting, but they have a range of courses and nationally recognised qualifications at all levels.

  • Certificate in XERO
  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Diploma (and Advanced Diploma) of Accounting
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping Pathway Program (combines the Certificate and Diploma)

Accounting Courses at Perth TAFE Campuses

A Technical and Further Education (TAFE) course is seen to be more geared towards practical courses and the development of skill sets and career pathways, as opposed to the more academic education focus of university courses. Either way, these accounting courses will set you up to enter the career and industry of your choice.

TAFE WA North Metropolitan

  • Accounting Principles Skill Set
  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Diploma of Accounting (requires successful completion of either of the two courses above, or equivalent)
  • Operating a Small Business Skill Set
Can I study accounting in Perth?
Take a study break at one of the many coffee shops in Perth | Source: Pixabay - David Mark

West Australian Institute of Further Studies

  • Certificate III in Accounts Administration
  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Diploma of Accounting
  • Advanced Diploma of Accounting

Study Accounting at the University of Western Australia

An accounting major is offered as the degree-specific (first major) part of an undergraduate university degree program in both the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Philosophy degrees. Other courses of study include:

  • Bachelor of Business
  • Accounting (honours)
  • Graduate Certificate in Finance
  • Graduate Diploma in Commerce (Chartered Accounting)
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Doctor of Philosophy

How Can a Private Tutor Help?

Accounting units can be tough and if your maths, financial literacy or written communication skills aren't quite up there — or if you find yourself struggling with study skills or exam prep — engaging a private tutor is a good idea.

A private tutor, like one of Superprof's over 30,000 accounting and financial management tutors throughout Perth and Australia, can get a student past any study blocks they may be experiencing, help them refine their skills or fill knowledge gaps, or simply boost their confidence and work output.

Make sure you check out the testimonials, experience and qualifications of any potential tutor (all of this information is available on a Superprof tutor's profile) and ensure you both agree with the mode of delivery and the time allocation, and you should be good to go.

Where can I find an accounting tutor?
If you need help during any part of your accounting course, find a tutor | Source: Pixabay - Nicholas Jackson

Start Your Accounting Career

A certificate, diploma or degree in accounting opens up a plethora of career options and can see you work in almost any industry. Possibilities include:

  • auditor
  • bookkeeper (private or within almost any business you can think of)
  • financial officer
  • corporate accounting
  • financial controller
  • financial planner
  • forensic accounting (investigating financial crime)
  • management accounting
  • tax accounting.

Australia is projected to have over 202,000 'accountants' by 2022. Will you be one of them?

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.