What is the Most In-demand Accounting Certification?

You wisely chose to pursue an accounting career. Your next step is to apply your specialized knowledge by pursuing a certification. There are several in-demand accounting certifications to choose from and pursuing more than one will increase your marketability. Many times, employers are even willing to  contribute to the accounting certification process for their employees.

Accounting Certification #1: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA is a widely recognized accounting certification with CPAs being state licensed. Businesses large and small, and members of the general public, require the CPA’s generalized services. These include conducting audits in profit and non-profit organizations and providing tax guidance.

  • CPA certification qualifications include:
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Accounting courses
  • State designated education and work experience

Accounting Certification #2: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The CFA demonstrates high proficiency in asset management, economics, and financial standards. This internationally recognized credential leads to the roles of controller and CFO.

  • CFA certification qualifications are:
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Or a mix of education and work experience totaling four years
  • An understanding of professional conduct and responsibility

Accounting Certification #3: Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

The CMA has a management focus that prepares you for the role of COO or CFO. This credential partners well with the CPA, boosting your career potential.

  • To be eligible for the certification exam, you need:
  • A bachelor’s degree or accounting certification
  • Two years of specified work experience

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

This internationally recognized certification combines financial and auditing proficiency with information technology. It is most beneficial for internal auditors, particularly those on a management track.

  • To take the exam for this certification you need:
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Two years of internal audit experience, one year of which can be substituted by a master’s degree

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

The CFE combines knowledge about law, investigation, and criminology with accounting. The CFE reviews accounts and personal records, and conducts interviews, remaining ever alert for patterns of fraud. This highly marketable work is conducted within a business or by an external consulting organization.

  • CFE exam qualifications include:
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  • Two or more years of relevant experience

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