We have learned from the pandemic that adaptability and learning are key to job growth. You must manage your accounting career and take steps to improve it. Make sure you are constantly learning new Accounting jobs skills.
Which skills make the best additions to this ever-changing marketplace?
Although the exact job titles that are in demand for accounting skills may vary, the following seven skills can be helpful to you as you search for a job and advance your career as an accountant.
Experiences that are specific
A strong addition to your accounting skills is specialization. This could include a focus on regulatory compliance. Employers are looking for candidates who have a background in anti-money launder (AML), Know Your Customer and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review and the Dodd-Frank Act, especially rules related to capital adequacy and protection of consumers.
Accounting professionals with expertise in revenue recognition are also sought by companies. American Institute of CPAs offers courses in revenue recognition. This will help you understand and implement current and future revenue recognition principles, and make the right revenue recognition decisions.
Over the years, the number of positions in accounting has increased significantly. This is especially true in recent years. Accounting professionals often need to collaborate with other departments. It’s therefore important to understand the work of other departments to improve your working relationship.
Strong business acumen is a key asset for accounting professionals. They can help create strategy, inform key decisions, and act as business partners in multiple departments.
Your relationships with your colleagues outside of your department will be more productive if you have a better understanding of the business and how your team fits into it.
Up-to-date technology expertise
Accounting professionals are constantly utilizing new technology, such as cloud computing, software, and automation.
You will want to become familiar with and even improve your knowledge of the software and tools that accounting professionals are using.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) (e.g., SAP, Oracle)
- Analysis of big data, advanced modeling techniques, and SQL
- Software for business intelligence (e.g. IBM Cognos).
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- Hyperion (for financial reporting and analyst roles)
- Microsoft Visual Basic skills
- QuickBooks (for jobs with small and medium-sized firms)
Ask your manager if they would be willing to support your professional development to improve your accounting skills. You could also enroll in courses in the skill areas mentioned above if you are looking for work. Potential employers will be impressed by your proactive approach to professional development.
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Accountants must be able tell the story behind numbers to colleagues from other departments who are less familiar with accounting concepts and jargon. For success in any accounting position, communication skills must be both verbal and written.
You must communicate information about your business, whether you are writing or speaking. If you don’t communicate your insights in a way that is easily understood and can be acted on, the insights you share won’t be of any use to anyone else.
- These are questions to ask about your communication.
- Are you using jargon that isn’t easily understood?
- Do you provide too many numbers, or too many details for your audience?
- Do you listen actively to others?
Flexibility and adaptability
Accounting professionals are known for their adaptability and flexibility. This trend is driven by technological change such as the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) as a crucial business tool. It is essential to be able to adapt and change quickly.
Managers are always looking to the future. They seek professionals with strong leadership skills and the ability to step up into higher-ranking positions when necessary. Managers look for people who are able to resolve conflict, adapt well and learn from others.
Customer service orientation
No matter if you work in private or public accounting, customer service skills are essential. You must be able retain existing customers and attract new clients if you work in public accounting. You must also meet the needs and expectations of other departments and managers if you are working in corporate accounting.
Accounting professionals should never forget the phrase “How can we help you?”
Are you looking to improve your accounting skills?
Accounting professionals may already possess the technical knowledge necessary to perform the job. Consider earning high-demand accounting certifications as you grow your career. You should look for training opportunities that will increase your marketability as a candidate for a job and make you more valuable as part of a team.
However, it is often the best way for you to improve or learn a skill. You must also have other skills to help you succeed in your profession.