The stable demand for accounting services has made the field a promising one for accountants. This makes it one of the highest salary earners in the labour market.
However, as an accountant, your degree may not be enough for you to break even among your peers in the field. You may want to get certified in some areas of specialization.
Having a certification would not only give you an edge in the accounting labour market, but it would also increase your earning capacity.
Here are some popular accounting certifications that you should consider:
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
The CIA is awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors(IIA). This certification is the only globally accepted one for internal auditors. With this certification, individuals demonstrate their competence and professionalism in the internal audit field.
Aspirants have to pass a four-part exam to obtain the certification and must have a minimum of two years of meaningful experience in internal audit or any related field.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Tagged as accounting’s jack of all trade, this is the most popular certification among accountant worldwide. Accountants with this certification have proficiency in many areas of accounting and finance; some of which include Corporate government, financial analysis, tax preparation and planning, management consultancy, among others.
Accountants with this certification can operate in so many areas. However, Certified Public Accountants are mainly seen in the sectors of external audit and tax.
Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Granted by the Institute of Management Accountants, The CMA validates its awardees’ competence in management accounting, which includes cost management, decision support, and financial planning and analysis.
To obtain a CMA certification, aspirants must pass a two-part examination and have at least two years of professional experience in management accounting or any related field.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
With today’s increasing popularity of general and personal finance strategies, this certification has gained valuable recognition. CFP is the most highly recognized planning credential in the world.
The CFP certification would open up your career to a plethora of opportunities. Here are the requirements of becoming a CFP professional:
· Aspirants must complete a CFP Board-registered education program,
· Aspirants must sit for the CFP exam
· Aspirants must hold or earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university within five years of passing the exam
· Aspirants must have about three years of financial planning experience.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
The CISA is awarded by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). This globally recognized certification is for accountants who audit, assess, control and monitor an organization’s information’s systems and technology.
To qualify for the CISA, aspirants must pass a five-part exam and have at least five years’ experience in information systems auditing, control or security.
While some certifications are more suitable for some accountants than others, there is no single best accounting certification. However, it is essential to choose the type of certification that would work for you. Consider your career goals and interests before choosing one.