Discover Exciting Opportunities in Accounting and Auditing

The accountant of today is breaking the bounds of the traditional coat and tie persona of the profession. With new niches in the accounting and auditing fields, this industry is on the verge of incredible growth. If you have an analytical mind and a penchant for crunching numbers, accounting and auditing may be your bag.

Why Accounting is “In”

Forget what you ever knew about the accounting and auditing professions. Push past the stereotypes of the traditional view of a geeky human calculator. The accountant and auditor of today is a unique mix of statistical savvy and business acumen that is required in this constantly evolving profession. Businesses and organizations of all types need sharp accounting and auditing professionals to keep track of their expenses, keep them federally compliant, and keep them from going under. This is definitely a position of high responsibility.

How to Become an Accountant

While there are a variety of ways you can become an accountant or auditor, the opportunities offered at accredited online colleges are the most beneficial. The distance learning environment holds a variety of unique benefits over the traditional campus program that you’re sure to love. Featuring a fast track to graduation, reduced tuition fees, and classes that you can complete at your convenience, accredited online colleges will get you into the accounting or auditing position of your dreams.

Increasing Demand for Qualified Accountants and Auditors

There are an increasing number of job opportunities for qualified accountants and auditors. As business processes and government regulations become increasingly complex, the demand for accounting and auditing professionals with specialized knowledge has never been higher. Check out the niche fields in the industry, such as forensic accounting. You can parlay your particular skills and interests into a specialized accounting field with some focused study and experience. Accredited online colleges often provide you with information on the job opportunities in your area.

Online Certification Opportunities for Accountants and Auditors

If you’ve ever considered becoming an auditor or accountant but the thought of four or five years in school seems daunting, the online solution may just get you there. You can earn an online certificate in accounting in half the time and expense of the traditional campus program with all of the same benefits.

The Online Advantage for Auditors and Accountants

Earning an online certification for auditors and accountants provides a variety of valuable benefits over the traditional campus program that you will appreciate.

First, with convenient class scheduling, you won’t have to sacrifice your personal or professional commitments to advance your accounting or auditing education.
Another important benefit of the distance learning environment is that it will take you less time to earn your certification, and often at a lower price, as well.
Finally, you’ll have access to a network of cohorts and classmates that will help you to succeed.
Types of Online Certificates in Accounting

Online certificates in accounting range from entry level associate’s degrees to master level certificates that represent up to five years of formal training. As with any industry, higher pay and responsibility comes with the advanced degrees. Online certification for auditors and accountants include virtual classroom instruction followed by national or state certification tests that are mandatory for these positions. You can obtain all of the information that you require in order to gain certification through an accredited college or university.

Preparation for Your Certification Exams

Successfully passing your certification exams is the surest way to career advancement in this field. The best preparation modes for your examinations include a mixture of textbook materials, online class sessions, and group study sessions. There are a host of written materials that provide sample test questions that mimic certification exams. These sample questions will allow you to pinpoint your areas of weakness and shore them up before testing day.

Find the Right Online Education Program For You

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Benefits of Enforcing Accountability and Audits in Nonprofit Organizations

Many prospective donors are very skeptical about making donations, fearing that their money will not be used properly. A nonprofit or church audit is a process that provides reasonable assurance that good stewardship is being used in handling and accounting for donor’s money and other assets of the nonprofit organization.

The audit can be performed by external Accounting firms (or by an outside Certified Public Accountant). It can also be done internally-in which case the books are reviewed by selected non-related officers, or by prominent people in the nonprofit organization who understand financial and business management. These internal individuals should not be related in any way to the Financial Officers, thus avoiding a conflict of interest.

You may be pondering the idea of having an audit done in your nonprofit organization. You may be thinking of the cost, or the time involved. Listed below are some of the many benefits why you should have an audit done-the list is not exhaustive:

(1) A Charitable organization must comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations, applicable laws and regulations of the states and the local jurisdictions in which it is based or operates. An audit should ensure there is compliance.

(2) An organization conducting charitable programs outside the United States must also abide by applicable international laws, regulations and conventions that are legally binding on the United States.

(3) It will help to protect the officers of the corporation who are in charge of financial responsibility, from unnecessary charges of carelessness or misappropriation in handling funds.

(4) It sends a favorable message, and builds the trust and confidence of the financial supporters of the organization, who have a vested interest in how their money is being spent.

(5) It encourages good habits of fiscal responsibility to ensure that new employees will more likely continue to follow accountability principles already in place.

(6) It will assure that contributions made to the organization with stipulations as to how the funds should be used, are consistently used in accordance with the donor’s instructions, conveying to donors the assurance that their contributions are being used as intended.

(7) The auditors will be looking for an audit trail–It provides very important checks and balances for sums received and expended.

In general, most nonprofit or church audits are internal, consisting of selected auditing procedures performed by individuals inside the organization rather than by an outside CPA. This approach is useful in reducing the cost of internal control measures and audits.

These internal audits can be continuous, thus ensuring daily compliance. The internal auditors will most likely develop an audit program and an audit schedule that will be checked off. Most CPAs are knowledgeable in this area and should be consulted for initial set up and training assistance.

Those nonprofit organizations-including small churches-who do not conduct audits or have a set of written principles, should consider doing this as a necessity. From a practical standpoint I recall being the Secretary/Treasurer of a small church that did not conduct audits. However we ensure that there were adequate internal measures in place to ensure accountability.

The scope of this article is not to set out detailed internal control measures, consequently the list below is a partial representation of the control measures necessary:

• Do expenditure budgets, obtain members and board approval to ensure planning and cost control.
• Depositing all receipt intact; no removal for church expenses.
• At least two responsible individuals count and sign off on cash receipt.
• The church accounting done by persons that do not handle cash.
• Two signers needed for all checks.
• Check requisitions mandatory, itemizing items to be purchased.
• Expenditure cost justified and for a church purpose
• No commingling of church funds with personal funds.
• Periodical meetings with members to explain the finances.
• Invite active participation at meetings
• Sending out annual statements to all contributors.

Selvyn Evans is a Controller and Human Resource professional with more than 20 years related experience working in the retail, service, publishing, sourcing and non profit industries. He holds a BSc in Accounting, licensed in Securities and Accident, life and Health. He publishes articles and blogs about various accounting financial and and business topics of interest to the individual and small business owner.

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