Fiduciary accounting is a career that is often established after the completion of an undergraduate degree in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting or finance. Entry-level positions may require some experience with accounting software applications and database programs. Certification in public accounting is an additional academic credential that is an important stepping stone to a career as a fiduciary accountant. Gaining experience in tax, estate, and trust laws is a typical requirement when professionals start to work in the field.
A career in fiduciary accounting often begins with the completion of an undergraduate degree in accounting. Those with an undergraduate degree who are seeking to change careers may pursue a master's in accounting and financial management. The completion of formal training in accounting practices will usually qualify individuals to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. In some countries, the CPA title may be required to work as an accountant.
Instruction on how to succeed at taking the CPA exam might be offered with some finance and accounting degree programs. Online schools sometimes offer a CPA designation option with a graduate degree. The costs incurred from exam fees and exam preparation classes are usually included in the student's tuition and the exam may be administered at the school once the required courses are completed. A passing score is needed to receive certification, which some accounting firms may require when hiring entry-level employees.
While formal education may acquaint students with the necessary knowledge to launch a career in fiduciary accounting, developing people skills and becoming familiar with software applications is also important. In addition to a degree and certification, firms look for candidates who can establish a solid rapport with a diverse set of personalities. Individuals interested in a fiduciary accounting career may want to become familiar with the software and database applications that are commonly used by most firms in the industry. Practice with income tax returns on a part-time basis during degree and certification completion can help prepare those who aspire to this type of career.
Fiduciary accountants are usually CPAs who establish highly confidential and trustworthy business relationships with individual clients. The advice and direction that they provide may be related to large amounts of financial wealth, including trust funds and estates. Individuals who need higher levels of service when they file their income tax returns may use the services of fiduciary accountants. Experience supporting other accountants who specialize in serving high income earners and small business owners is important when building a career in fiduciary accounting.