Mike Goossen, CPA     Dec 12, 2018     1907

5 Keys Skills Helpful for Budding Accountants Outgrow Their Peers

In today’s fast-evolving accounting industry, accounting and finance professionals must possess razor-sharp analytical abilities, impeccable interpersonal skills, and a thorough understanding of industry-standard accounting software applications. Simply having these skillsets doesn’t empower you for surging ahead of competing peers from your accounting industry. Recognizing skills, leading to success in accounting, not only increase your job satisfaction but also simplify it in building towards your long-term career goals. So, how do you know if your career graph is steering towards the top of the pile, or is detoured to get the short end of the stick? We’ve penned down a few tips for helping you develop the necessary finance skills that will put you in a leading position for a promising career in finance.

  1. Financial Management Skills: Organizations are looking for employees proficient at lateral thinking, with ability to analyze scenarios, and draw suitable conclusions at the spur of the moment! Suitable candidates who are looking for a successful career in finance must demonstrate their analytical abilities with real-world problems, and results-driven efforts. It is undeniable that financial reporting skills are a requisite with areas such as super-forecasting. Along with, acute sense of budgeting, all aspects of business valuation, among a host of other financial management skills are a fundamental must-know for aspirants from the financial accounting industry. With all such foundation skillsets, one cannot begin their journey on the stormy seas of accounting and financial industry.
  2. Analytical ability Today, it is a daunting task to find candidates with financial analysis skills. Organizations are looking employees who can implement lateral thinking, the ability to analyze situations, and predict suitable conclusions. It becomes imperative for any financial accounting professional to have a keen learning and foresight into assessment, evaluation, planning of various aspects of business finance functions which lend the business its power to keep running; day in, day out. Without any analytical evaluation, no crucial plans and decisions can be taken by the organizations’ management board. Moreover, simply having knowledge of how stuff works isn’t enough. You need to also observe patterns and occurrences, analyze the results, and forecast any problems. This should be stringently followed with any fallback plans, means and methods, and probable course of actions to resolve such impending situations.
  3. Organizational Skills: Accounting professionals are important people. They manage a lot of financial data, which means that they generally are held responsible for, and need to stay sharp with all financial concepts and procedures thoroughly. This is only possible if you have an organized and structured approach to all your daily work routine and the way you manage your clients’ financial data. To be a good accountant you must have a system to keep track of any portfolios you handle, the transactions you oversee, and any important dates and deadlines you have scheduled for — for ensuring that you fulfill all of your duties to the best of your abilities. Use software tools like calendars, alphabetized folders, day planners, color-coded post-it notes, and highlighters, along with software, which helps you stay highly organized.
  4. Information Technology Skills The advancement in technology has encouraged the procedure of digitization. The rise of cloud storage has additionally conveyed rapid changes as to how reports are managed, and cloud-based capacity and portal application to store critical documents have turned out to be prominent. In addition, most leading accounting software has evolved significantly with advanced capabilities and become easy to use, reliable, versatile, and also allows enhanced integration with online services. In the future, an accountant or financial professional will need to emphasize his role as ‘trusted advisor’ for all such software applications as all confidential client data is processed, stored, and managed in digital format. Any software eventually delivers is efficiency, with a specific end goal to create the fundamental capacity, and resources to deliver that new role. Thus, financial professionals with the right IT skills to leverage new financial systems are the new requisite criteria in growing accounting organizations. Accounting professionals who can demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in predictive analytics, accounts payable automation, SAP accounting software or Oracle will find themselves in-demand.
  5. General Business Skills: Over and above the basic skillsets, which define a candidate fit for accounting business, several general skills do take precedence when an employer decides to finalize the person for the role in his organization. Having good time-management skills go hand-in-hand in with strong organizational capabilities. An accountant must also know how to budget your time, assign priorities, and execute numerous tasks in parallel. Meeting deadlines and continually re-prioritizing your task list according to the urgency of the situations goes a long way in taking you far. Well-developed interpersonal skills useful for networking, written communication, working as a team, client interaction, etc. are some of the personal skills that give an edge over your competition.

Being honest and unflinching integrity are the most valued characteristics in the professional world. Nonetheless, someone who takes the initiative, mentors and teaches subordinates, and takes confidence, patience, and the ability to delegate chores and tasks with the confidence to see them completed, go to make a good leader for the organization.

The makings of a successful professional involve understanding your industry well, knowing the workings of your business organization thoroughly, and your personal strengths and weaknesses inside-out to maximize their application for achieving desired results. That said, a successful professional is one who understands what to act, when to act, and how to act.

Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.

About The Author

Mike Goossen, CPA

Senior Vice President

Mike is a CPA and has over 30 years of experience in thought leadership and mentoring. His experience and constant efforts in solving prevalent issues of accounting industry is his biggest stand out point. He has been instrumental in mentoring scores of entrepreneurial accounting and finance professionals to get up on their feet and convert their practices into successful ones. He has authored a book called 'Principles of High Performance Leadership'

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