15 answers

How do to get started?

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16
100% of 13 Pros

15 answers

Brian’s Answer

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Hi Song!

I'm glad you are showing inter interest in accounting and finance.

While I do not have personal experience in finance, I have worked in the accounting industry for a few years now. Depending on the stage of your career you are in, there are different starting places. Please see a few options below:

1. If you are in highschool, do your best to be part of clubs and professional societies. It is also important to socialize and build a strong reputation for yourself. During your Summer break, I reaching out to small accounting firms and seek an internship opportunity. The more experiences you have the more skills you will have for the future.

2. If you are in college, you should make sure you are enrolled in the correct accounting courses. Meet with a guidance counselor to make sure you are enrolled in appropriate classes, and if there is career services available to you, make an appointment, build your resume, and continue to apply for internships. Be sure to join Beta Alpha Psi or any other accounting honors society and make sure to go to the recruiting events with the firms.
Brian - Great Advice! You could also try to find internships paid or unpaid to get your foot in the door and gain additional experience. Jake Dauerman Translate
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Jamie’s Answer

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Hi Song! In addition to taking the recommended introductory coursework for Finance and Accounting to learn about each subject, I think it is also important to learn about each profession outside of the classroom. In order to do so, I'd recommend networking with professors and other students who have similar interests to you. Professors in the Finance/Accounting departments may have had experience working in these professions prior to teaching and can provide valuable insight as to what your career may look like as well as best practices to prepare for starting your career in these fields. Other students in your classes who are older than you will have knowledge from past internship experiences and will be able to offer advice on what the day to day responsibilities in each job are and can offer tips for applying or networking at firms they have worked at. In order to meet other students with similar interests, you can join professional fraternity or clubs. Other ways to network to both learn more about the profession and to make connections for future job opportunities include the following: (1) reach out to alumni from your school via LinkedIn, (2) attend your school's college career fair and/or on-campus recruiting events even as a first year student and (3) utilize your school's career center and career advisors to learn about opportunities in your field of interest, such as summer internships.

Hope this helps!
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Howard’s Answer

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In the typical business there are a number of functions that make up 'Finance', each of which is a specialization.
- Financial Planning and Analysis - focused on understanding how the company is performing and how to improve performance
- Tax - focused on ensuring a company is meeting obligations for paying local, state, country taxes
- Treasury - focused on managing the companies cash, investments, and if the company has overseas operations managing foreign currency requirements
- Accounting - focused on ensuring that the companies record keeping meets Generally Accepted Accounting Practices and complies with relevant standards
- Finance Transactions - this is processing Orders from customers, or collecting payment on customer invoices (Accounts Receivable), paying the bills for the company (Accounts Payable), buying supplies/products for the company (Procurement)

All of these represent opportunities for someone interested in a career in Finance or Accounting.

Howard recommends the following next steps:

  • Research online how Finance organizations are structured or organized so you can see the many dimensions to a career in Finance
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Athena’s Answer

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Hi Song -

When I was in middle school I decided I needed to start my career path and I got a job at a boutique in retail. The experience you gain from starting from the ground up helps to show you have knowledge and are willing to put the work in. By working retail, I was able to see how the customer shops and see first hand how we can improve to offer the customer a better experience while also creating an easy environment for the employees so they can focus on the customer.

See if there are any jobs open in a field you are interested in, this is a good first place. Ask your parents for any contacts they have that would be able to mentor you and help start your career. Finally, you can volunteer to gain more experience. There are tons of non-for-profits that are looking for extra hands and new ideas. Reach out to a local library, ASPCA, or any other non-for-profits to see how you can step up and join the cause.

Hope this helps!
Athena
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We’s Answer

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Hi Song,

As a college student, the best way to get started in accounting and finance is to take an introductory accounting course. Typically, this course would be called 'Principles of Accounting' at most colleges and universities. Some institutions break up the course into Principles of Accounting I and Principles of Accounting II. Take this course (or both if offered) as early as you can in your undergraduate career. This allows you to see if you enjoy the subject and if you can handle the content. Additionally, take an introductory finance and business course to get additional exposure to business.

Other prerequisites normally required for an accounting major would be Principles of Economics I and II. One course focuses on microeconomics, and the second course focuses on macroeconomics. Both of these courses are typically taught at the introductory level. Finally, you will need a calculus course and a writing course to round out the prerequisite requirements as most colleges and universities.

Once you enroll in these courses, please work as hard as you can and do your best. If an area doesn't make sense, please take your time to read the content carefully, work the problem sets, review answers to practice problems and go to office hours. These courses form the foundation for the rest of your accounting, finance and business studies. It is critical that you have a firm grasp of the introductory content. Specifically, a strong understanding of basic accounting will allow you to comprehend more complex topics you will encounter as you advance in your degree.

Outside of you formal coursework, please consider joining business-related groups during your first and second years as an undergraduate. For example, there could be an investment group at your college that you can join. There could also be case competitions you can enter either individually or with a group. These would give you additional experience in the field that you can use towards your resume when looking for internships.

As you near the end of your second year and especially in your third year, start attending career fairs, networking events and information sessions with companies that recruit at your school to learn about the different opportunities available at their firms and start applying for internships.
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Keeley’s Answer

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Hi Song!

If you're still in college, here are a few recommendations:

1. Join a club related to finance or accounting - This allows you to network with other students interested in the same field as you. Some may have experience related to an internship that they can share to help you determine if this is the career you're looking for. Further, many of these clubs partner with companies to bring in speakers and recruiters, which will help you learn more about different companies and get your foot in the door for a potential internship/job.

2. Meet with an academic advisor - An academic advisor will help you outline all the classes you will need to take to obtain either an accounting or finance degree. Note that an accounting degree will sometimes take a student 5 years if you're interested in getting a CPA license, as the CPA license requires extra credits.

3. Network with professionals on LinkedIn - Find individuals who hold positions at companies you are interested in. Express interest and reach out to them to learn more about their day to day role, and the company. It always help to have an initial connection with whoever you're reaching out to, such as going to the same school.

Hope that helps!
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Sandesh’s Answer

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1. Strategy
a. Identify your niche: What is it that you have to offer different than what's being already offered by your competitors
b. Assess your competition. Assess your target market. Create a business plan

2. Finance
a. Pitch the plan and attract investors. If capital requirements are small, self sponsor but remember to keep your losses minimal.
b. Close the deal, make the capital draws

3. Capability
a. Develop your product/Service
b. Identify the target customer. Promote your product/service via website, social media etc. (Some times your need to give out your product/service for free limited trial)
c. Execute on production, marketing, accounting, human resource, business management
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Sandesh’s Answer

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Updated Translate
1. Strategy
a. Identify your niche: What is it that you have to offer different than what's being already offered by your competitors
b. Assess your competition. Assess your target market. Create a business plan

2. Finance
a. Pitch the plan and attract investors. If capital requirements are small, self sponsor but remember to keep your losses minimal.
b. Close the deal, make the capital draws

3. Capability
a. Develop your product/Service
b. Identify the target customer. Promote your product/service via website, social media etc. (Some times your need to give out your product/service for free limited trial)
c. Execute on production, marketing, accounting, human resource, business management
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Regina’s Answer

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Hello Song!

To add to the other people's comments above , I suggest taking short courses in udemy.com or coursera.com or Lynda.com to see if this field really interests you.

Then after, look at community colleges that offer certificates in accounting. These usually take one to two years to complete. After certificate completion, you can go out and look for jobs. This is the route I took because I got accredited in less time and spent half of the cost of tuition with a degree in university. Currently, I work for ADP, payroll service company, as an HCM Consultant.

OR you can go and apply to get your degree in university.

Best,

Regina
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chelsey’s Answer

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Hi Song! I don't have experience in the Finance field, but I have been in Accounting for awhile. It is a great field to choose! It is very rewarding and I absolutely love my job. Starting with education, it is very important to study and maintain good grades. Accounting firms, especially the Big Four and other large firms, look at GPA when hiring. Maintaining a good GPA is very, very important. Aside from that, my biggest recommendation is to get involved and network. Try to get an internship and be involved in the school's accounting organizations. Go to as many events as you are able to. Networking and getting to know people is really important and gets your name out there. I hope this helps some!
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chelsey’s Answer

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Hi Song! I don't have experience in the Finance field, but I have been in Accounting for awhile. It is a great field to choose! It is very rewarding and I absolutely love my job. Starting with education, it is very important to study and maintain good grades. Accounting firms, especially the Big Four and other large firms, look at GPA when hiring. Maintaining a good GPA is very, very important. Aside from that, my biggest recommendation is to get involved and network. Try to get an internship and be involved in the school's accounting organizations. Go to as many events as you are able to. Networking and getting to know people is really important and gets your name out there. I hope this helps some!
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Mike’s Answer

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I would say to try and take any classes or online courses you can in the subject you want to focus in to learn as much as you possibly can. Also reach out to firms who work in the focus you want to work for internships, job opportunities or just simply to have lunch, coffee or a call to learn more about what they do. There is a big difference between what you read in textbooks versus experience in the field.
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Jesus G’s Answer

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Hi Song!

Not sure if you already have a degree in Finance or Accounting, but if you do, then the first step is to look for opportunities is larger companies who may be able to hire someone without a lot of experience.

If you don't have the degrees, then of course, first step is to apply for college and get admitted to the their school of business. It will take you 4 years for accounting and 4 years for finance as well. Hope this helps!
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Juexiao’s Answer

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Hi Song! Here are a few advices that in my opinion are good starting points to get started in a career in Business/Finance/Accounting:

First of all, enrolling in a college program with a degree in finance or accounting is key. This will ensure you to have a solid foundation for your future career through systematic trainings and well-rounded curriculum.

During college, I would highly recommend you to join a club or professional fraternities where you can broaden your network and get access to events and first hand career advice and opportunities.

Last but not the least, make sure to utilize the career center or similar services provided by your college. Personally, I've find it very helpful through attending the resume/interview workshops, career fairs, and info-sessions hosted by employers on campus. Hope this helps!
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Rebecca’s Answer

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I would suggest you can do research online on the areas you are interested on and also start reading book in the relevant areas. The next step you can also try to explore any summer intern. This would be help for you to determine whether the area is really what you are interested and expect. If it is different, you can explore another subject early.

Hope this helps!

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

  • Online Research
  • Read books on relevant subject
  • Summer Intern
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