Old accountants don't die, they just lose their balance.
Seriously though, whether it's your private banking or your business finance that needs looking at, everyone needs help with the management of their day-to-day accounting. If you have a passion for numbers, maths, money and economics, and you know you have good analytic, problem-solving and organisational skills — a career in the finance and accounting sector could be perfect for you.
Where do you get started though? Do you need a university degree or can you learn accounting elsewhere? What subjects should you have studied at school? How many years of experience do you need? Where can you get help from an accounting tutor if you need it during your studies?
All your questions will be answered if you have a few minutes spare to continue reading the Superprof guide to accounting studies in Australia.
Why do we need accountants?
Accountants can work in-house in a business, for an accounting firm or as freelance accountants. Wherever they work, accountants are valuable in ensuring smooth and accurate finance management as well as management of tax matters. Record-keeping and compliance with regulations and legislation are essential for all business types, from multi-national corporations to sole trader businesses.
Accountants will always be needed — this is the message students are given. However, with increasing numbers of accounting graduates each year, while the pathway from university student to employee still has a high success rate, it is becoming more competitive. This forms an even greater reason to ensure you choose your subjects wisely, study hard and engage the services of an accounting tutor if you feel yourself slipping behind or even if you want more of a competitive edge.
If you do find you need help with your accounting studies, whether it's the maths lessons, economics subjects or even study skills, Superprof has over 35,000 tutors who offer private and online tutoring in all areas of accounting.
Types of Accounting Qualifications
In order to become a practicing accountant and eligible for entry into any of the three professional accounting bodies in Australia — CPA Australia, Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) or Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA) — students require a university degree (Bachelor of Accounting or Bachelor of Accounting and Finance), a Master of Professional Accounting or successful completion of the Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) program.
Once you have been working as an accountant for a few years, and have the necessary experience, you may want to look at career advancement. This is available through the CPA (and other agencies). Courses in taxation, finance accounting, technology and management accounting, to name a few, are essential for career advancement.
As with any undergraduate degree, ongoing studies for professional advancement also benefit when a tutor is engaged.
Of course, if you don't wish to go through a 3 or 4-year university degree, there are other options available that will allow you to still work within your interest areas, but without the pressure and the study time. Jobs that are within the accounting field, but don't require you to spend four years studying include:
- accounting clerk
- administrative assistant
- tax preparer
Learn Accounting in Sydney
One of the most prevalent pros enticing students to learn accounting is the opportunity for career advancement, enabled by the variety of career paths available from public accountancy to government and corporate accounting as well as academia.
Students who start their accountancy studies in Sydney not only have access to the number one ranked university accounting degree in Australia, at the University of New South Wales, but they also have the opportunity to be mentored by some of Australia's top accountants, and access to a range of experienced tutors.
Other good study options in Sydney include accounting, finance and bookkeeping courses at certificate, diploma, bachelor and master levels at:
- The University of Sydney
- Sydney Community College
- TAFE NSW.
Find an accounting tutor in Sydney and remember that online tutoring is a great option.
Accounting Studies in Melbourne
For students who don't necessarily want to pursue an accounting career, an accounting and finance degree can also serve as a useful launchpad for a career in consulting, law, education or other government and private business.
At the University of Melbourne, ranked number two in Australia for their accounting and finance courses, students can study a major in accounting as part of a Bachelor of Commerce, which covers finance and economics as well. Post-graduate students can enrol in a Master of Management (Accounting and Finance). The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a wide range of courses, including Certificate IV, Diploma and Bachelor level courses, Bachelor or Master of Business and PhD in Accountancy. Melbourne Polytechnic offers a similar range of courses. Currently, many courses are running as online modules.
Don't forget to find yourself a tutor in Melbourne to help you navigate the course or boost your study skills.
Get Your Accounting Qualifications in Brisbane
Once a middle-aged, white, male-dominated field, accounting is now attracting more females, a wider range of age groups and more nationalities in Australia.
Completing further studies in and around Brisbane gives students the best of everything from an easy-living and economical lifestyle, great leisure opportunities and world-class university and further education facilities. The following education institutions offer courses in accounting, finance, bookkeeping and economics:
- TAFE Queensland — certificate, diploma and bachelor courses in business, accounting, management and bookkeeping
- Queensland University of Technology — bachelor and master degrees in business and accounting subjects
- Griffith University — bachelor, master and graduate certificate courses
- James Cook University — Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Professional Accounting.
Apart from tertiary education courses, there are other opportunities to learn accounting in Brisbane.
Superprof recommends engaging an experienced accounting tutor, a maths tutor or one of the more generalist tutors (who assist with study skills and exam technique) to help you achieve the best results possible in this increasingly competitive career market.
Accounting Courses in Adelaide
Accountancy is not only about maths and calculations. Once students are enrolled, they will be exposed to a range of specialisation options, such as tax, healthcare and environmental accounting.
If you weren't particularly good at your maths lessons during your school years, engaging a private maths tutor, either online or one who lives near you in Adelaide, is a great way to boost your maths levels and confidence.
As with other states of Australia, students in Adelaide are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a university or other education institutions to pursue accountancy studies. The University of Adelaide offers a wide range of bachelor and master degrees in accounting, finance, economics and business management. TAFE SA also provides a number of certificate, diploma and bachelor options for students looking to upskill, gain qualifications or seek pathways to further university study.
Have a look at our Superprof article for more information on online and face-to-face study options in Adelaide.
Become an Accountant in Perth
While you are completing your studies, and once you start working, you are not only gaining experience in accounting skills but also gaining business education and inside knowledge of business management. This is particularly useful if you decide you would like to break out at any stage and start your own accounting business.
If you're interested in studying accounting in Perth, both Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia offer accounting and finance majors and degrees at bachelor and master levels. Students may also choose to complete their accountancy studies at certificate or diploma level at one of the TAFE institutions located in Perth.
At any stage, if you're struggling with any concepts or skills in your studies, falling behind for any reason or looking to get ahead of the field, one of the many experienced Superprof tutors will be able to help you out, either through online tutoring or in person.
Be Everyone's Go-To 'Accountant Near Me'
At some point in their life, everyone is going to need the services of an accountant.
When someone types 'accountant near me' into Google, you want your name or the business you work for to pop up. You also want your name to be the name on people's lips when their friends are looking for help with their accounts or small business finance, tax and bookkeeping.
Accountants never stop learning — there are always new rules, new procedures, new technologies. That's part of the fun and the challenge. Make sure you're up-to-date with everything and stay in touch with the latest developments by working with an accounting mentor or an experienced accounting tutor like the ones you'll find on the Superprof platform.
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