The Industry

Are you looking for accounting internships or entry level accounting jobs? Accountants are at the forefront of business today. With more and more accounting functions being automated, accountants often focus on analysis, interpretation, and business strategy. Accountants work in four key areas: accounting, auditing, assurance, and tax. While there are many promising career options in the accounting and finance field, especially for Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs), employers seek candidates who are more than analytical; they must also be good communicators and team players.

The Internship

A summer accounting internship will help you learn the in's and out's of Microsoft Excel, which you’ll utilize extensively as an intern. You should also commit to developing proficiency with business accounting software which is critical to your accounting skillset.

In small companies where you need to do bookkeeping, invoicing, and bill paying, you’ll use systems such as Xero, Quickbooks, and Freshbooks. In mid-size accounting firms where you need tools for sales order processing, inventory and warehouse management, workflows, purchase order, and advanced reporting, you’ll utilize systems like Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Intacct and NetSuite. In large accounting firms, you’ll utilize in-house software or accounting systems such as SAP and Oracle.

Becoming a CPA will open doors to employment. Certification requirements vary by state but you’ll most likely need to earn a bachelor’s degree (including some accounting classes), pass certification exams, and complete continuing education.

The Career Options

As an entry level accountant, students typically specialize in either audit or tax (public or corporate accounting).

With the auditing route, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with and follow the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the Internal Revenue Service & Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can specialize in internal, external, or information technology auditing.

With the tax route, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with and follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and SEC regulations. You can specialize in public, management, or government accounting.

Many finance firms have summer accounting internship programs in place that will help students determine which side of accounting is a better fit.

The Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of accounting jobs is expected to grow 11% over the next decade, which is faster than average.

Ready to get your career started? Search through our accounting internships below.

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