How To Become a CPA Without a Degree In Accounting

how to be an accountant without a degree

There are minimum educational requirements you must meet before you can qualify to sit for the CIA exam. As an accountant, you need to market yourself, and having a website is a great way to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers. So it’s important to make sure your website is up-to-date and includes plenty of details about your credentials and experience. Once you’ve completed your course, it’s time to start looking for experience. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with experience, so it’s a good idea to start building your experience as soon as possible. An accountant is someone who records, classifies, and summarizes financial transactions to provide information that is useful in making business decisions.

Fulfill Educational Requirements

Each certification has its own set of prerequisites and education requirements that must be met in order to take their respective exams. Accountants play a vital role in the financial health of a business by analyzing data and providing insights for future financial planning. If you work in a country where chartered accountants are more recognized, then you may consider going for the ACCA. Although it takes much longer compared to the CMA program, anyone with a high school diploma can qualify. This is because the ACCA offers courses within its program that are equivalent to university studies. This is an option for some people, and it may be something you want to explore if you work in a country that recognizes this.

How to become a CPA without a degree in accounting: The non-traditional CPA Exam candidate

Additionally, you may be able to work as an administrator at an accounting firm, accounts receivable or payable clerk, and other supportive roles. On top of earning credentials like the CMA, you will want to highlight any related skills. If you want to become a CMA without a degree, some alternative accounting certifications, listed here, are recognized by the IMA as an equivalent.

Gaining Relevant Experience

Don’t let your lack of an accounting degree hold you back from a promising career as a management accountant. For more information on how I can help you go from zero accounting background to becoming a Certified Management Accountant, visit CMA Exam Academy. Any business filing system experience you have with finance or accounting based software, examples of bookkeeping or detail-oriented work, and so on can be valuable when applying to accountant positions. There are several papers that offer exemptions based on past educational experience.

So, if you are a detail-oriented numbers person, and think a career in accounting might be perfect for you, there are several paths to success. If the only problem is you don’t have an accounting degree, don’t let that hold you back from exploring CMA Accounting and making a career move. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners offers resources on becoming a CFE. To excel as an accountant without a degree, you must embrace lifelong learning and strategic relationships. Thoroughly engaging in professional development and networking can open doors to remarkable opportunities.

Thankfully, some states allow candidates to register for the CPA Exam with only 120 credit hours of educational credit. You can find more information about the 150-hour rule on our CPA Requirements page. While many accounting positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, not all of them do. You can learn more about how to be an accountant through experience and informal classes. Bookkeepers should know how to use financial software such as Excel, Quickbooks, Xero, and Freshbooks. Employers seek applicants with a strong eye for detail to ensure accuracy in their records and check for discrepancies.

However, you might be surprised to learn that several pathways exist that can lead you to become an accountant, even without the traditional academic credentials. It’s about leveraging your practical experience, committing to continuous learning, and capitalizing on the flexibility of the industry to carve out your place. With ample opportunities available, your journey toward an accounting profession can start from different starting points that favor skill and determination over formal education. You can’t be a certified accountant like a CMA without a bachelor’s degree.

how to be an accountant without a degree

Depending on where you want to go in your career and what types of jobs you want to be eligible for, having an accounting degree may not be necessary. Plus, many EA study courses are available to help you become an Enrolled Agent, so you don’t have to go it alone. For instance, if you read my article Gleim EA vs Surgent EA, you can read about two of the top EA prep courses to get started.

Gleim EA Review is the most popular course, but Surgent EA is known for helping EA candidates reduce their study time. Another popular option is TaxMama, which is really for EA candidates who don’t have much previous experience in tax preparation. First of all, rest assured that you don’t need to study for 4 years to become an accountant. Getting the training to be an accountant without a degree related to accounting, finance, business, or numbers, in general, is absolutely fine.

Bookkeeping roles can provide a fundamental understanding of financial record keeping, which is a stepping stone toward more advanced accounting responsibilities. While it might seem like a  lot of requirements to become a CPA, the time and effort are worth it. CPAs make 10-15% more than non-CPAs and over three million dollars in lifetime earnings over non-CPAs. If you come across any job postings requiring a certified public accountant (CPA) certification, you need postsecondary education. However, other jobs in accounting or financial management don’t always require a formal degree. Check out private and public accounting firms, finance agencies, and small businesses that are open to recruiting a non-degree holder accounting professional.

  1. You can find more information about the 150-hour rule on our CPA Requirements page.
  2. There are numerous accounting certifications or qualifications that can be pursued before you have a college degree.
  3. You can learn more about how to be an accountant through experience and informal classes.

It just makes sense to help yourself along the path to a successful career in accounting by taking the best certification exam for your needs. Now, if you are asking yourself which accounting certification you can earn without a degree, you should feel better informed. There are some workarounds and some exceptions for students who are planning to obtain their degree within a certain timeframe of registering for the exam. Again, these are all things you need to be aware of before trying to become an accountant. There are many reasons you might want to become an Enrolled Agent, but the EA exam and the role comes with a lot of responsibility. We know about CPA and CMA, but can you take the CIA exam without a degree?