In this current business landscape, there are ample opportunities for accounting professionals seeking their next role. Alongside these opportunities is the chance to upskill and hone the abilities that will set you apart when searching for an accounting position.
Bloomberg Tax reports that the number of accounting and auditing professionals in the United States fell by 17% from 2019 to 2021 which has increased the risk of accounting errors and fraud, so qualified professionals are in high demand.
Accountants with key hard and soft skills like data analysis, communication and organization stand to have first dibs on where they work, so upskilling in these areas will position you as the candidate of choice.
Although it is possible to have a flourishing career in the accounting field without a CPA license, it can help accelerate your career and provide you with credibility as a public accountant. If you become a CPA, it can lead to advances in pay, greater job variety and increased professional freedom. Some public accounting firms will even provide employees with perks and benefits while they prepare for the CPA exam and after they pass.
According to a 2023 poll by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), accounting firms feel it is vital for early-career accounting professionals to familiarize themselves with how to analyze data. Accountants can utilize data analytics to help businesses uncover insights, recognize patterns, improve processes, oversee regulations and recognize risk. This is a skill highly sought by employers, especially in the age of digital acceleration.
Just as accountants are responsible for creating data models, recognizing patterns and ensuring their work is compliant with laws and regulations, they are also responsible for presenting and reporting on these findings. The ability to present data and information in a way that keeps your audience engaged is key. LinkedIn Learning provides several courses that will help you perfect your presentation skills, improving both your written and oral communication. During your interview, be sure to share your ability to clearly write and communicate data, reporting and other areas related to your job.
For an accountant, time management is an essential skill. There are strict monthly and end-of-year deadlines to meet. You can hone this skill by setting deadlines for yourself. Make a list of the essential tasks you must get done and set dates for them to be accomplished. LinkedIn Learning also provides several courses about time management that will ensure you learn how to maximize productivity. Make sure that when communicating with potential employers, you are timely with your responses and provide all the information they need. This will help them see that you are prepared and have the skills to conduct yourself professionally in their workforce.
Accounting professionals need to be skilled problem-solvers, adaptable and ready to think on their feet. To cultivate better problem-solving skills, it’s essential to get an understanding of the process. Identifying the solution comes from clearly defining the problem, utilizing active listening skills that will enable you to work effectively with your peers and laying out a step-by-step process to find a solution.
There is always a benefit in upskilling, whether it’s to set yourself apart from other candidates in the hiring pool or to simply remain competitive within your career. While CPA license and data analytics are highly useful, soft skills are also important to develop. The value of soft skills may be challenging to measure, but they are just as essential for both personal and professional development.
If you are in the process of searching for a new role in the accounting field, contact Aston Carter today.