Post-secondary education is usually a requirement to become a fund accountant. In addition, special certifications may be required, and previous work experience in accounting is generally beneficial. Strong communication, mathematics, and analytical skills are also important for someone who wishes to become a fund accountant.
Fund accountants are generally responsible for various accounts related to different institutional funds. An individual in this type of position may be employed in a non-profit organization, corporation, or government agency. A fund accountant's job generally carries a lot of responsibility.
Certain courses may be taken as early as the high school level in order to prepare for a career as a fund accountant. Many high schools offer mathematics and accounting courses and, because most accounting is now done electronically, computer courses are also helpful. Communication skills and analytical skills are also very important in this type of position.
After graduating from high school, a college education is generally the next step to become a fund accountant. Some students earn a bachelor's degree in accounting while others may even attain a master's degree. The education requirements for the position will vary from organization to organization. In order to gain actual work experience, many students seek internships while in college; many public accounting firms offer these opportunities to students. Some internships can lead to full-time jobs once education has been completed.
After completing college, many people begin careers in accounting firms as junior accountants. For those who work in the public sector, passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is required. Passing this exam means that the accountant is licensed by the State Board of Accountancy. Before someone can take a CPA exam, he or she often must achieve both a degree and a certain level of work experience in the field. Accountants must take continuing education courses in order to maintain their CPA certification.
To become a fund accountant, it is often beneficial to have several years' work experience as an accountant. In order to increase job opportunities, some accountants become certified specifically in fund accounting. Certification generally provides an understanding of government and non-profit accounting practices. Fund accounting certification also includes taking courses in areas such as accounting systems, accounting theory, and fund accounting.