Your guide to studying a Diploma of Accounting

Your guide to studying a Diploma of Accounting

Considering a career as an accountant? The financial sector is the second largest industry for employment in Australia and it’s continuing to grow quickly. Here’s your guide to completing a Diploma of Accounting (FNS50217) and advancing your career in the field. 

First of all, what is an accountant?

Accountants are responsible for keeping and interpreting financial records for individuals and organisations. Their work covers a wide range of finance-related tasks including creating and maintaining budgets, auditing, recording business transactions, preparing financial documents like profit-and-loss statements and reports for tax purposes. Accountants can also choose to specialise in areas such as management, taxation, trusts, funds and systems, to name a few options. 

What is a Diploma of Accounting?

A nationally recognised Diploma of Accounting is an effective way to begin your career in the financial sector, helping you become recognised for prior learning, land an entry-level job or go onto to further studies such as a degree.

Through your studies you will learn:

 Skills in budget management and forecasting
 Preparation of financial reports and taxation documentation
 Implementing internal control procedures
 Management of accounting information

You’ll also develop your communication, organisational and customer service skills, and gain real-world experience making you job-ready from the moment you graduate. Upon completion you’ll be eligible to be recognised as a Registered Tax Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.

Those with a Diploma of Accounting often work as bookkeepers, payroll managers, assistant accountants and accounts supervisor. 

You can also continue your education. A Diploma of Accounting is a vertical pathway to an Advanced Diploma of Accounting. You can also study degree level qualifications through a Bachelor of Applied Commerce or a Bachelor of Business. These degrees are prerequisites for attaining a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting – an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited postgraduate qualification and an internationally recognised designation.

Where can you study a Diploma of Accounting?

There are a range of different Registered Training Organisations (RTO) around the country that offer the course. Studying a Diploma of Accounting at TAFE is a popular option for many students.

Many education providers allow you to study a Diploma of Accounting online, giving you the flexibility of organising your study around your life.

The duration of the course differs depending on the Registered Training Organisations, but generally takes two years to complete with approximately 15 hours of study each week.

What you’ll need to study a Diploma of Accounting

To be eligible to study a Diploma of Accounting you’ll need to show evidence you have completed one of the following:

 Accounting Principles Skillset
 Certificate IV in Accounting or equivalent
 Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or equivalent

Year 12 applicants or recent high school graduates must provide evidence of having completed an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate (Year 12) within the last 2 years.

If you have relevant experience or international qualifications in the field, you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL is an assessment process that considers an individual’s relevant prior learning – through life experience, work, or activities such as volunteering, in Australia or overseas – to determine if they meet the requirements for a unit of study.

RTOs consider these existing skills and knowledge to assess whether a person demonstrates the required competencies needed to meet the relevant Australian standards. They can provide a credit against units of competency, allowing an individual to gain eligibility for a formal qualification or reduce the amount of time required to achieve a formal qualification.

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