Accounting Certifications Employers Want

Accounting Certifications Employers Want

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses the CPA certification process and benefits.. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and consultant for financial service firms and tech companies.

Accountants are well-educated professionals trained to measure, disclose or provide assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources. Similar to other highly regarded professions, accountants have a number of credentials and certifications designed to ensure a high level of professionalism. The most widely sought credential is the CPA, or certified public accountant.

Certified Public Accountant License

The process of becoming certified begins with a college degree in accounting, or a business or finance degree with a suitable concentration of accounting courses. Most states’ licensing requirements call for 150 semester hours of coursework, more than that required for the average bachelor’s degree. Future accountants can complete extra courses or take advantage of combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that award both degrees after five years’ study. The CPA examination is written in four parts and must be completed within a 12-month period. Most states also require accountants to have two years’ work experience under the supervision of a CPA before they can be certified.

Becoming a CPA is not a one-time process. Retaining the designation requires a commitment to continuing professional education. Each state’s own board of accountancy determines how much continuing education is appropriate. For example, New Jersey requires 120 hours over a three year period, with no fewer than 20 hours in a given year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16 percent growth in the number of accountants between 2010 and 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, those with a CPA designation — especially when combined with an MBA or other advanced degree — will be the most employable. International staffing firm Robert Half Finance and Accounting corroborates the bureau’s assessment, describing the CPA as its most-recruited credential. Like the BLS, Robert Half sees CPAs with an MBA as the most desirable recruits.

Social Media and Accounting: Do they Mix?

In the following article, Certified Public Accountant and consultant Lewis Daidone discusses the importance of social media in strategic communications, and how accountants can leverage social media platforms for their advantage.

With all of the regulations and overarching client privacy issues, is having a robust social media presence really necessary for accounting firms? Isn’t it safer and more practical to limit marketing efforts to more controlled, less interactive, channels?

While social media for your accounting services might not be absolutely essential, it certainly could be extremely beneficial, if you take the proper precautions! Here are some things to keep in mind before launching a social media campaign for your accounting practice.

Make sure you stay in compliance with proper industry practices and federal regulations.

If you’re uneasy about utilizing social media tools because you want to be absolutely certain you’re adhering to government regulations, you might want to investigate social media services that cater to advisors and consultants in financial sectors. Heresay Social, for example is a highly useful platform, that has vigorous compliance oversight.

Stick to social media platforms that are widely used in your industry.

LinkedIn and Twitter newsfeeds are essential online resources for CPA firms. Instagram and Pinterest—not so much. Make sure you funnel your resources towards social media channels that could potentially expand your client and associate network, as well as enhance your industry prestige. You can effectively communicate with numerous respected media channels (the Journal of Accountancy, Wall Street Journal, and all noteworthy accounting associations) via Twitter.

Create and post useful content that illustrates your industry expertise.

Make sure you post valuable and informative links, and explain their importance. Use social media to give your audience insight into your profound industry expertise, but don’t make your marketing efforts obvious. You want your communications to broadcast thought leadership, not advertisements.

It can certainly be dangerous to air sensitive information on social media. However, if you approach your social media strategy from a branding perspective (rather than actively selling services, solutions, and outcomes), you can position yourself and your practice as an effective subject matter expert.