It’s a world made for multitaskers. An accountant can’t just be an accountant. You have to display a bundle of skills. However, developing these competencies takes time and energy. How do you know which ones to focus on?
We’re here to help. Here are nine skills all finance professionals need:
(Provable) Accounting Chops
Of course, you need the baseline qualifications to secure a job as a finance accountant. What’s more, you have to prove that you have the skills you advertise. That means obtaining all the necessary certifications.
It’s not enough to keep a clean set of books. Clients can get that from low-rent software. What they need from you is higher-level thinking. They need to know how to apply principles to achieve their goals, not just keep a tidy record of what’s already happened.
One of the key complaints about accountants: it’s like they are speaking another language. Start droning about depreciation and goodwill impairment, and even otherwise interested clients will tune out. You need to be a translator. Turn jargon into everyday language and watch door open for you.
Old adage time: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Just like any other profession, accountants need strong network in order to build a career. Having the most knowledge, with the best understanding of the tax code, won’t necessarily lead to success. Make sure you develop the proper connections to keep your professional development moving forward.
Familiarity With Technology
In some senses, every profession turns people into cyborgs; mostly human but tied to various machines in order to get work done. Accountants are no different. Without familiarity with the current software, you become a hindrance to any employer who might consider you.
Knowledge of the current state of technology and best accounting practices aren’t enough for a long-term career. Technology advances quickly. Accounting rules change. You need to make a commitment to staying in the loop, updating your skills and knowledge base as things evolve.
Become a Fixer
Accountants might not seem to have jobs as exciting as surgeons or courtroom lawyers. After all, there aren’t a lot of TV shows about accountants. However, accountants need to be able to solve high-level corporate dilemmas, quickly and decisively. They need the kind of quick thinking and problem-solving that would make for a great procedural. The more you can embody this notion, the better off your career will be.
Moving up in the world involves being able to take charge. If you want promotions and higher salaries, you’ll need to develop managerial skills. It’s a key aspect to long-term career building.
Here’s where the old sizzle versus steak paradigm comes into play. If you’re good, you can get pretty far. But, if people know you’re good (or are convinced you’re great), the sky’s the limit. Develop some salesmanship. It will allow you to showcase your skills and will help you advance your career.
Moving forward in your chosen career path involves finding the perfect situation to shine. Teaming with a top-flight recruiting partner, like PrideStaff, opens up those ideal placements.