Accounting careers require more than just solid bookkeeping skills. Whether accountants focus on auditing, management, or tax and financial matters, a strong skill set is one that is diverse, flexible, and constantly being improved upon. The top job candidates in the accounting field never stop learning.
No matter which area of accounting you enter, you will need strong analytical and computer skills. You will also need to develop a fine-tuned ability to synthesize data to identify trends and predict possible outcomes. Other skills that are key to success in an accounting career include:
- Teamwork. Accounting is a team-oriented career; many junior accountants start as members of a team responsible for performing an audit or preparing financial statements. Learning to coordinate and communicate with team members is a key skill in accounting.
- Innovation. Technological innovation has introduced major changes in all career fields, and accounting is no different. New electronic systems for creating and submitting financial statements and for data analysis appear regularly, demanding that accountants remain nimble in their ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
- Initiative. Accountants bear the primary responsibility for auditing, organizing, and managing a client’s financial information. The ability to recognize when a task must be completed and the willingness to take on such work proactively often separate great accountants from merely competent ones. Work with senior partners and develop mentorship relationships, and watch closely to cultivate a sense of when initiative is required.
- Communication. Accountants communicate regularly with clients, colleagues, and other individuals. Since many of the people with whom you will share your work have little formal training in accounting or bookkeeping, the ability to communicate in clear terms what you have accomplished for them remains essential. Communication is also key to effective teamwork and to building a professional network of clients and colleagues – including not only other accountants, but also attorneys, IT professionals, and others whose work overlaps with yours.
At Daley & Associates, our skilled recruiters have helped many financial professionals launch or advance in their accounting careers. Our extensive network of professional relationships and years of experience give us the tools necessary to help you meet your own career goals. Contact us today to learn more.
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