No matter where you're based in Australia, there is a need for the knowledge around fees and services that an accountant can provide, be they for management or financial purposes.

This is because an accountant is a person who has extensive time and training in the method of bookkeeping, online or in any Australian city, who has the certificate, degree and skills-based requirements to manage your financial personal life, your job or business, or recommend and institute-wise financial decisions for you for a reasonable fee.

Read our entry-level guide to how you can learn about accounting and subsequently apply knowledge from your course, certificate, or degree of study to the business and financial services world across Australia, whether online or in-person.

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What Exactly Is Accounting?

You will have seen that we used the word bookkeeping above.

This is because you will learn in your accounting course, accounting certificate, or accounting degree at any level or institute (professional skills certificate, university bachelor, university master etc) how in your job how to apply the management of finance, including checks and balances, credit, monetary units, cash flow, summarising financial business operations, summarising a company's market position and spending level, from which you can provide a certain degree of advice as to the best program or method to follow for your business to master their finance.

An accounting course will boost students to have a greater understanding of business and finance
An accounting course will boost students to have a greater understanding of business and finance | Source: training.com.au

When we come to the term bookkeeping, what we mean is, as students will learn in the very first course of their diploma or degree, when an accountant uses their knowledge to note down all the necessary information pertaining to a company's financial decisions. 

This is precisely where the knowledge to provide and apply advice comes from and will be delivered in plain English so that time can be saved when the time comes for the management of professional finance and industry from the part of the business.

The great news regarding your career in accounting is that you're an accountant as soon as you finish your education, which means that the skills are directly transferable once you have your certificate, diploma, bachelor degree, or master degree.

What's more is, your career can take you to anywhere in Australia, any Australian neighbour, or anywhere else in the world since the skills of an accountant or knowledge and services that an accountant can learn to provide in their training are highly transferrable to anywhere you may want to work in the world, and in any professional sector.

What You Will Study in an Accounting Course

Should you wish to become a student of accounting, there is many a level and discipline you can explore this through.

Depending on your institute, you may be able to spend your time pursuing an Australian accounting career directly, but generally the units and requirements you have to meet to get credit are more general the lower the level of study, and students will have to typically management and commerce in order to gain industry knowledge which can then progress to a specific accounting based method of work.

This will often also entail a separate exam to prove your knowledge and skills in financial management which will then entitle you to the certificate and title of an accountant.

All budding accounting students will know that it takes a lot of time and work to become good at the management of numbers, let alone being able to provide this knowledge through services to any Australian business.

Therefore, it's better to start early, so we provide the different level types, from entry to advanced, of accounting courses that you may encounter in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia:

High School

You may actually start to learn accounting skills in the earliest part of your education - school.

To be precise, this is offered specifically at the VCE level, since the precursors to this study are based around commerce and management rather than actuarial services.

Getting a private accounting tutor can have benefits for your education and career
Bookkeeping, data management, and credit approval skills can all come from an accounting tutor. | Source: Tom's Tutoring

Once you decide to become an accounting student at VCE, you may also study and apply these skills and learning alongside a business or economics course to further complement your learning.

What you will work on during your time at this level of education will be useful, but highly geared towards the final exam.

Nevertheless, the skills will already be highly transferable and can be complemented with online self-study, and even take you onto further study in a diploma, bachelor degree, or master degree.

The professional attributes and knowledge you will acquire at the VCE level are typically:

  • How to collect and collate numbers and data about a business
  • How to learn from the data
  • How to report these in plain English
  • How to efficiently provide bookkeeping
  • How to provide a method or program for a business to make improvements based on financial inspection

University

Here, we consider the bachelor degree level and master degree level, including the work and time involved in getting the education and skills that you can apply to a professional setting and the content that an Australian university will cover in your course or courses.

  • Bachelor degree

This is typically the stage where your learning will be more general, with accounting not often on offer as a degree itself, but as a component as part of a larger course.

What this means in practice is that your university will provide units equivalent to the requirements necessary to gain a major in accounting as part of a larger degree.

This is often available within a commerce degree, or alongside a law, international studies, science, analytics, or public health degree, just to name a few and lets students get industry experience and knowledge to which they can apply their accounting skills and services later on.

A student may also have the option to undertake a professional accounting degree which will be offered by your institute or university in tandem with an official accounting body such as Certified Public Accountants Australia and New Zealand that permits students to apply their learning directly via a direct professional pathway.

What this means is that in addition to their official education in commerce, management, science, law etc, a professional certificate will also be offered which enables the student to practice accounting directly after university thanks to credit acquired throughout their course.

This also facilitates membership to professional organisations which can boost their bookkeeping standing and acumen in Australia.

Accreditation may be offered by your university to become an official accountant with a certificate.
Teachers will help you get to a professional accounting or management certificate, which permits entry to an official organisation such as Certified Practising Accountants | Source: Global Impact Network Australia
  • Master degree

This is the more specialised education level, where your degree will focus specifically on accounting. Generally on offer from the business school of your university, this degree will manifest in a master of commerce, master of international accounting, master of professional accounting, or master of business and management studies.

There is also the option to specialise in the previous study, or if you simply want a more profound version of an accounting certificate, complemented by other knowledge, education, and skills. 

You would become a student in this by enrolling in a graduate certificate or diploma version of any of the above master's programs we have mentioned.

Technical qualifications

There are also other options you could consider: a technical certificate or degree through TAFE, or a diploma in accounting to qualify to become an official accountant.

Essentially, the course you will enrol in as a student at TAFE will focus on the same sorts of education as a bachelor degree, but with a more technical focus in professional and financial management, whilst reviewing the practical skills necessary for bookkeeping.

If you're a student with a more direct career focus and have already spent some time studying a degree in Australia in English or at an Australian affiliated university in English overseas, then a professional certificate can be what you do to finalise your training and get into the accounting business.

Without this, your services will not be worth anything, not even at an entry-level, no matter how much you've been able to learn or the training you've undertaken.

This is precisely why we mention that a bachelor, master, or professional certificate is necessary since this is taken as proof of financial knowledge and skills that a business will rely on.

You will therefore like come across Certified Practising Accountant qualifications which are recognised all over Australia and internationally too. This will admit you to a professional accounting body and let you practice in any field you desire.

Learn accounting in Melbourne
Melbourne is a great city to study accounting at school or university | Source: Pexels - Felix Haumann

If you're wanting some extra support for your accounting studies, consider enlisting the help of a private tutor. 

Such an individual can help refine tricky concepts, help make your accounting reporting work more presentable, or give you ideas as to what professional steps to take.

Have a look at Superprof for an Accounting Tutor Melbourne. There is sure to be someone near you, no matter where you're based, who matches your level and interests.

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