I been asked so many times to explain in a simple language how one can become a small business accountant so I decided to write this article on how to become a small business accountant.
Small business accountants are those finance professionals who took time to master both the science and the art of working with medium to small business owners in a bid to help them improve their bottom line.
Without too much ceremony, let’s get straight to the point by explaining how to become a small business accountant.
Educational Qualification requirement of a small business accountant
Although not mandatory but having a degree in accounting or any numerical subject prepares you for the more complex issues in accounting. Don’t worry if you don’t have a degree as you can still become a small business accountant. The only thing is that you have to spend a bit more time learning accounting.
If you decide to learn accounting by registering with any professional accountancy body and you have no first degree, you will be required to take some rudimentary courses that will be waived for people with higher degrees.
To summarize this point, you don’t need any formal educational qualification to become a small business accountant. The most important thing you need is passion strong enough to learn the basics of accounting and business math that accountants are required to know.
Professional Qualification Requirement to become a small business accountant
Accounting is a noble and respected profession and prohibits people who are not qualified to become practitioners. Though you don’t need to be a member of any professional accounting body in order to all yourself a small business accountant as long as you have the expertise and experience.
But there are some qualifications that set you apart and give you an edge over other people with accounting expertise who also practice as small business accountants.
AAT, CIMA, ICAN, CFA and ACCA are some designations that you can pursue in your quest to becoming a small business accountant.
Experience working with small businesses is one of the important factors that entrepreneurs consider when hiring a small business accountant. The kind of experience that I refer to in this article is not necessarily a formal experience or an accounting experience working as a small business accountant.
The thing that matters is you having experience working with a small business owner or even owing one yourself. Entrepreneurs of this day and age hire small business accountants that are business savvy so that they can act as their business partner.
A foundational knowledge that every small business accountant must have is knowledge of single entry accounting and incomplete record bookkeeping. Small businesses can sometimes be very messy with how they keep their records. In this kind of situation, it is your knowledge of how to build the records with the scanty information that is made available to you that will make all the differences.
I worked in the marketing side of a small business before starting to consult for small businesses. Small business owners will always appreciate every little help that can come from their accountant especially in the area of marketing.
You also need to be very comfortable and savvy with computer and internet. This will enable you add real value to your client.
Required Soft Skills
Being a small business accountant require certain soft skills that are not expressly taught in any accounting degree course or professional accounting course. The soft skills are what makes you excel as a small business accountant. I wrote an earlier post that did justice to the subject of soft skills required by modern day accountant.
Your soft skills are what give you that rare competitive advantage over other qualified small business accountants. The good thing about soft skills is that you pick them along as you mature. So don’t worry if you think you do not have any or most of the skills discussed in that article I mentioned earlier. Make sure you read it.
I believe that this article has answered your question of how to become a small business accountant. As you already know by now that it doesn’t take the genius of Einstein to become a small business accountant.