We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become a Private Accountant?

By Laura Metz
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In order to become a private accountant, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business. Other degrees, such as a master’s degree or becoming certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), are helpful but not necessary. Private accountants need strong communication skills, basic accounting ability, organized work methods, proficiency with necessary computer programs, and knowledge of applicable laws.

A private accountant is employed by one company to deal with that company’s finances, as opposed to a public accountant, who works for multiple clients. He or she analyzes the company’s finances, makes budgets, audits the books, and reports on the company’s financial situation. In larger companies, accountants have specific duties, such as taxes and budgets. A private accountant in a small company may cover all aspects of accounting and even some bookkeeping.

The only qualification required to become a private accountant is often a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business, but many larger companies will only hire an accountant that is a CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA). To achieve either certification, an applicant must pass an exam and fulfill certain educational requirements. The requirements vary by region.

Many people first pursue a master’s degree in accounting (MAcc) or in business administration (MBA). The MAcc degree prepares people to work as an accountant, while the MBA prepares people for work as an accountant or other business professional. These degrees are not necessary to become a private accountant, but they typically help the applicant find better paying jobs. Either master’s degree requires approximately two years of full time study to complete.

Good verbal and written communication skills are essential. An accountant must be able to understand the company’s financial situation and express it clearly to other employees, customers, suppliers, and regulatory officials. He or she is often required to summarize a financial situation for people who do not know financial terms.

People do not need high level math skills to become a private accountant. Instead, he or she must master basic accounting and precise organizational skills, as well as a practical knowledge of computer programs used in accounting. A private accountant must methodically input numbers in the correct fields in a computer program.

A private accountant must also understand the legal side of accounting. He or she must know all applicable laws, such as tax law and commercial law. For example, accountants at nonprofit organizations require special knowledge of the nonprofit laws involved. Since laws are constantly changing, a private accountant must stay up to date. An accountant must also keep much of the information he or she knows confidential.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.