It takes a village to run a business. Indeed successful companies rely on Marketing Managers, Human Resource experts, and business developers to keep them afloat. But there is only one person who tells you how and where to spend your money; the accountant.
Post-2008, the demand for accountants has been steadily increasing. After the global financial crisis, companies became more conscious of the benefits of making sound financial decisions. Hence, they needed more accountants and financial experts at the helm to guide them in their everyday dealings. As per the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants’ jobs will grow by 10% until 2026.
However, there is also a lot of competition in the field. No matter what, there is always someone more experienced, more capable, and more qualified than you. Hence, any applicants must outshine the competitors, so their CV is at the top of the pile.
The most in-demand skills are good people skills and an excellent academic portfolio. Moreover, you may cultivate some other skills to catch recruiters’ eye and become an expert at your job. Since employers look for holistic applicants, you must have the soft skills, technical skills, and financial skills necessary for a financial professional.
Hence, without further ado, these are the skills you can cultivate to become competent at your job:
- Have the correct credentials: Finance is a tough mistress to woo. You not only need talent to be perfect at your job, but you also have to have the right degree to succeed. For most employers, having a degree in accountancy is a vital prerequisite for any potential candidate. Therefore you must have a recognized qualification from a well-reputed university. If you want to stand out amongst the competition, then you should get a post-graduate degree. Not only do these degrees keep you updated about the latest in an ever-evolving field, but they also focus on technical knowledge. Fortunately, nowadays, you can opt for flexible programs you can join at your convenience. Furthermore, getting your (Master of Accountancy) macc online will give you time to work on getting your CPA license while you study. Check all the options before you settle for the one.
- Be a people person: Gone are the days of the nerdy accountant who cannot hold conversations with humans. Accountants are no longer number-crunching machines confined to cubicles. It is the time of the personable accountant, who can build lasting relationships with clients. So if you are looking for a degree in the financing, you must invest in your interpersonal skills. Generally, treat others like you would want people to treat you. If you are still confused about the concept, take a training course on people skills.
- Be a problem solver: Dealing with numbers and complicated business models can often get tricky. During your work, you might run into issues that require your immediate attention. So, it is essential to think logically since a single mistake can lead to differences in the bottom line. That is why a finance professional should be adept at problem-solving and critical thinking.
- Be Adaptable: New advancements in technology have led to many changes in the financial industry. Trends are constantly evolving, and the old strategies are changing with the times. Therefore financial professionals must keep in mind that the old methods of doing business might soon be irrelevant. Nowadays, instead of loans from banks, startups directly get in touch with investors through crowdfunding. Newbies in the field must know how to navigate the choppy waters of fintech. Financial experts must also be aware of the changing trends in public perception. Since generation Z will be the largest investor class in the future, companies are optimizing their financial strategies accordingly. The next generation of investors is ecologically responsible. Therefore more companies are gravitating toward green finance. According to experts, this trend will stay since it is suitable for both the environment and the company. Therefore, professionals must predict trends and adapt according to the predictions.
- It pays to know about management. Having prior managerial experience is not mandatory, but it can certainly make you a more desirable candidate for a job. Since most businesses rely on day to day decisions to keep them afloat, having an accountant with managerial experience is an added advantage. Managerial accountants play a pivotal role in strategic planning and budgeting. They provide credible reports and analysis to managers to make the best decisions for the business. Moreover, employers look at prior management experience to decide whether candidates have the relevant leadership skills for a financial professional’s role.
- The devil is in the details: Financial professionals cannot ignore the details. As an expert, you must be aware of where you must place all the decimals and dots. There is only a decimal difference between one dollar fifty cents and a hundred and fifty dollars. Therefore, accountants and financial experts must be detail-oriented. Furthermore, they must run checks on everything before publishing reports and audits.
- Know about the financial software: Since accountants are operating in a digitalized world, they must know the IT software relevant to their sector. Some software programs are the bread and butter of the financial section. These include software staples such as Microsoft Excel and Quickbooks. Any accountant worth their salt must be experts in both programs. However, those willing to go the extra mile must also be proficient at new financial tools such as tax preparation software and business intelligence software. At the minimum, it is imperative to have a working knowledge of the popular software programs in the sector.
- Be versatile and innovative: It is a truth universally acknowledged that all successful businesses need accountants. The risks and considerations are different for each industry. Therefore financial experts must know how to work across sectors. They must be able to anticipate and realize how principles of finance apply in each industry.
Some skills, such as number crunching and numeracy skills, are vital for accountants and financial professionals. However, due to oversaturation in the job market, such skills alone are not sufficient to land you your dream job. Therefore new applicants must broaden their skill set and update their professional degrees to become the perfect candidate. Furthermore, a competent financial professional must not only be aware of new programs, but they must also have intimate knowledge about how to use them. To become the perfect candidate, ensure that your application ticks all these boxes.