I chose the accounting profession because I wanted to become a professional and a career that is stable.
The benefits of being an accountant
One of the best things about being an accountant is the flexibility in my career path. I can work in public practice, I can work in industry, I can work for the government, I can become an academic, and I can become involved in the accounting education as a lecturer. Every company needs an accountant. Job security was one of the major attractions that drew me to the profession.
I never thought about being an accountant when growing up
When I was growing up, I never thought about being an accountant. I wanted to be a police officer. Maybe I watched too many Jackie Chan movies. I thought about holding a gun and shooting at bad guys. When I was in grade two, I wrote a lot of detective stories. I thought about being a detective like Sherlock Holmes. I also found out that I enjoyed a creative writing class. I thought about being a writer…which I’m currently doing as a blogger writing this article!
Accounting was not popular in high school
In high school some of my friends took accounting classes. Unfortunately those accounting classes had the reputation of being super boring. Along with another class called keyboarding, which was known to be super easy, these two classes were known to just simply boost your GPA. I later found out that these accounting classes in high school or equivalent to bookkeeping. You learn everything in Accounting 11 and Accounting 12 in high school in about two weeks in an introductory financial accounting course at university.
I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps in the health profession
I was always good at numbers. I was good at math but didn’t necessarily enjoy it. My father was a psychiatric social worker. Naturally, he wanted me to be a health professional. He would be happy if I became a Physician, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, or an occupational therapist.
After I graduated from high school, I started my bachelor of science studies at the University of British Columbia. While I was good at my chemistry and biology classes, I did not particularly enjoy the lab work. I did not like the smell of weird odors of the different chemicals in my chemistry lab.
The decision to switch from science to commerce over a game of badminton
The decision to go into accounting I like to say was decided over a game of badminton. In my third year of university, I was playing a game of badminton with a friend who was doing a double degree in finance and accounting. He was also articling at a big four accounting firm. He told me about his career in accounting. I decided I wanted to switch from science to commerce.
So in my third year of science, I decided I wanted to switch over to commerce. I went to my university counsellor and asked for the switch. She said it was too late. She said I should have talked to her in my second year. She suggested I finish my science degree and send go do a MBA. I took her advice and finished my science degree. I asked if I can do a minor in commerce. She said it was too late. I should have talked to her in my second year to add a minor in commerce.
In my fourth year of science, I took many commerce courses. I took Financial Accounting 101, Managerial Accounting 101, organizational behaviour, strategic management, and other relevant courses. When it was time for me to graduate, I went to the registrar’s office and asked if they can give me a minor in commerce. They said to me I should have applied in my second year. I showed them my transcript which showed I had taken all of the necessary commerce courses and I that had fulfilled their requirements for 18 credits for a minor program.
They said OK, and today on my graduation certificate it says Bachelor of Science, Minor in Commerce.
Graduate Diploma in Accounting
Even though I had a minor in commerce, I did not have the prerequisites to enter into a professional accounting designation program. Fortunately for me, the University of British Columbia had a graduate diploma in accounting that only graduates of a bachelor’s degree can enroll in. I completed all the necessary courses and graduated with my diploma in accounting.
Fulfilling the dream: becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) and U.S. Certified Public Accountant (U.S. CPA)
After I graduated from the diploma in accounting program, I found work articling in a public accounting firm and began accumulating my 2,500 hours requirements to become a professional Chartered Accountant. I passed all my exams and became a Canadian CA. The next year I wrote said U.S. CPA examination and became a U.S. certified public accountant. Today, I am a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA).
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