General Accountant Education and Career Pathway

By | May 8, 2024
General Accountant Education
To become a general accountant, individuals need to fulfill certain educational requirements

This post provides detailed information on the general accountant educational requirements, including what you need to do to become a general accountant, as well as how to achieve success in the career.

Why Choose General Accountant Career?

The general accountant career path has many benefits. These are some of the reasons why you should choose this as your career:

  1. You can work anywhere
  2. You have a plethora of options open to you
  3. It’s easy to get into
  4. The job is secure
  5. It pays well
  6. You have good prospects after graduation
  7. Good training facilities are available.

General Accountant Education Requirements

To be qualified to apply for a position as a general accountant, you need to meet certain requirements.

These include having an undergraduate degree or diploma in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering, Law, etc.

Some universities also offer courses that prepare students for the CPA exam.

General Accountant Continuing Education

In order to stay current with new developments in the accounting profession, it is important to take continuing education classes.

To do so, you must complete at least 30 hours of approved coursework each year.

General Accountant Certification/License

For those who want to specialize in a particular area of accounting, there are several certifications available. These include the following:

  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Internal Control Professional (CICP)
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Certified Health Care Financial Manager (CHFM)
  • Certified Healthcare Informatics Specialist (CHIS).

You must be licensed by the state where you practice if you want to work as a public accountant.

If you don’t have a license, you cannot represent yourself as an accountant. 

General Accountant Career Opportunities

There are different career opportunities available to general accountants, including:

  1. Audit

Audit involves reviewing financial statements and making sure they comply with generally accepted accounting principles. Audits are usually done on annual basis.

2. Taxation

The practice of collecting taxes from individuals and corporations is known as taxation. Taxation includes income tax, corporate tax, property tax, sales tax, etc.

3. Accounting

Accounting deals with recording transactions made by companies and individuals. It is one of the most common careers among accountants.

4. Consulting

Consulting is a type of business which provides advice and guidance to other organizations. It is often used by large corporations.

5. Research

Research involves gathering information about a specific topic. For example, research might involve finding out how much money companies make from selling products online.

6. Teaching

Teaching is another popular job for accountants. They teach students about accounting concepts and procedures.

7. Government

Government employs many accountants. They are responsible for keeping track of all government spending and revenue.

8. Banking

Banking is a very lucrative field for accountants. They keep track of customer accounts and credit card balances.

9. Insurance

Insurance companies need accountants because they record payments made by customers to insurance companies.

10. Business Administration

    Business administration requires managers to analyze data and prepare reports that will guide decision-making.

    How to Advance your General Accountant Career

    To advance your general accountant career, you should consider these ideas:

    1. Take courses related to your profession

    Take classes at community colleges or universities. You can also take online courses through This way, you can earn credits towards your degree without having to go back home.

    2. Join professional associations

    Professional associations provide opportunities to network with people who share similar interests. Joining such associations could help you get new clients.

    3. Get certified

    Certification is an excellent way to show employers that you know what you are doing.

    Certification programs are offered in various fields, including health care, finance, taxation, auditing, education, consulting, etc.

    4. Stay updated

    If you want to stay competitive, it is important that you learn new things every day. The more you learn, the better prepared you would be when you enter the workforce.

    You should always be up-to-date with current events. These events may affect your job prospects.

    5. Network

    Networking can help you to find general accountant jobs. If you have friends who work in different industries, ask them if there are any openings. Also, join social media groups where professionals discuss their experiences.

    How to find a Good General Accountant School

    Finding a good school for a general accountant training is not easy. Here are some tips on how to choose a good general accountant college:

    1. Check out reviews

    Reviews are great sources of information. Read as many reviews as possible before choosing a school.

    Reviews give you insight into the quality of the program and the instructors.

    2. Look at accreditation

    Accreditation shows that the school has been evaluated by an independent agency and found to meet certain standards.

    Accredited schools are reputable and offer high quality education.

    3. Talk to other students

    Talk to other students who attended the same school. Inquire of them, for example, “How was the course?” and “How do you rate the instructor?”

    4. Visit the campus

    Visit the campus and talk to students who took courses from the school. See whether the campus looks attractive and whether the environment is conducive to learning.

    5. Research the curriculum

    Research the curriculum so you know exactly what you will be studying. Make sure that the curriculum aligns with your goals.

    For example, if you want to become a tax accountant, then make sure that the curriculum covers topics like taxes.

    How to be Successful in your General Accountant Career

    To be successful in your general accountant career means that you are being able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

    It also means being able to manage time effectively. To achieve this, here are some tips for success:

    1. Be organized

    Make sure that you keep all documents related to your business files in one place. In addition, use software applications which allow you to organize your data efficiently.

    2. Know yourself

    Know your strengths and weaknesses. Identify areas where you need improvement. Then, set goals for yourself.

    3. Learn to delegate

    Delegating responsibilities allows you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

    Delegation can be done through hiring employees or outsourcing services.

    4. Keep track of expenses

    It is critical to maintain track of your expenses. This includes keeping receipts and invoices. Use expense tracking software to help you.

    5. Take breaks

    Taking regular breaks will improve your productivity. Taking short breaks during the day will refresh you and help you get back on track.

    What Does a General Accountant Do?

    A general accountant works under the supervision of a CPA firm. They prepare financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and profit and loss statements.

    A general accountant also prepares reports used for internal purposes. 

    Qualities of a Good General Accountant

    The following are some characteristics of a good general accountant:

    1. Knowledgeable

    The best general accountants have the knowledge required to perform their job well. They should be knowledgeable about accounting principles and procedures.

    2. Professional

    They must be professional when they work. They should treat clients with respect and professionalism.

    3. Reliable

    They should be reliable because they are responsible for preparing accurate financial information.

    4. Responsive

    They should respond quickly to client requests. They should not take too long to complete assignments.

    5. Honest

    They should be honest by providing accurate information. They should not give false information to clients.

    General Accountant Salary

    According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a general accountant in the United States is $53,023 per year.

    General Accountant Job Outlook

    Accountants and auditors’ employment is expected to grow at a rate of 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is about the same as the national average for all occupations.

    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 135,000 openings for accountants and auditors are expected each year on average over the next decade.


    Being a general accountant requires skills in many different areas. You must be skilled in both bookkeeping and tax preparation.

    You must also possess strong communication skills and be able to multitask and prioritize efficiently. 

    If you are interested in the general accountant career, this post has provided the educational requirements you need to meet to be hired, and increased your knowledge of the general accountant career.