Accounting has always been a fascinating career. It has got a lot of job opportunities and salary hikes. There are many reasons why you should choose accounting as your career. But the most important one is that your skills will always be in demand because a business or an organisation cannot function without an accountant. Studies have shown that the need for accounting jobs is more likely to go up in the coming years.
An accounting profession gives you a sense of job security, an attractive salary and a position in society. Everyone will look up to your dedication and knowledge. And you will get respect from the community. Like every other profession, accounting is also a competitive job. You can see that professionals’ salaries doing the same position will be different in every industry. This theory applies to the accounting industry also. So what should you do to stand out from the crowd and advance in your career? Here I have mentioned a few steps you should consider if you plan to choose accountancy as your profession.
Find a Mentor
A mentor is an experienced person who is much older than you and has vast knowledge in your work area field. They have already undergone all the hardships in this industry and will be able to guide you properly when you face similar situations. Having someone you can rely upon when facing some issues is a huge advantage. Taking proper advice from them can help you prevent making mistakes that could have affected your career.
You can choose more than one mentor. Each person will have a different experience, even from the same field. Their way of approaching problems will also be different. You can take advice from their knowledge and come up with solutions that you think suit that situation best. One mentor can guide you on the technical side, while others can advise your career progression.
It will help if you remember that you are interning under an experienced person. So it would be best if you did your job correctly. You can give suggestions on different issues, which would eventually help them conclude. The most crucial part is that you should be thankful for whatever you are getting.
Improve your networking skills
A network of contacts has always proved to be helpful in career growth. To build this network of contacts, you need to devote time and effort to your contacts. You can always rely on them for advice, ideas or guidance on business-related issues. Having a vast network of contacts increases your chances of getting the next job.
Recent studies have proved that networking is the first step toward finding a job. A new job comes with many new responsibilities and bigger packages. Having the right contacts will always be helpful for you in copying up with your new job and taking up new responsibilities. It is a well-known fact that several hidden jobs in the market are not even posted online. You can get these jobs only through your networking skills. Candidates sometimes may not meet the required qualification but will get the job based on their networking skills.
Continue your education and training.
After attaining a CPA, your education should not end there. You should be well aware of the latest technologies and how to use them. These skills will always help you stay ahead of time and help you give proper advice to your clients and employers. It would be best if you constantly upgrade yourselves.
You should meet the Continuing Professional Education(CPE) requirements and CPA. Apart from them, you should have skills relevant to your area of work. Some of these skills are:
- Knowing MS Excel
- Becoming familiar with different accounting software like SAP, Dynamics, Oracle etc.
- Keeping knowledge about various business tools like Cognos and Crystal Reports.
Make it a point to acquire these skills if you look for career growth in accounting.
Gain knowledge in different areas of work
Accounting is a vast industry, covering many areas of work related to finance. Your typical job type includes traditional bookkeeping activities and the preparation of financial statements. But accounting is much more than that. You will have to do internal auditing, financial reporting or compliance. Be whatever is your job type, you should make sure that you are not stuck to one kind of job. Otherwise, you will be stuck in only one kind of job. You should keep this in mind, especially if you are in the initial years of your job. Gain experience in different work areas, which will eventually result in your career growth.
Ask your employer to change your work area every two to three years. In this way, you will be experienced in every work area and will strengthen your resume. It will help you shape your future career in a better way.
Focus on your interpersonal skills
It is a proven fact that technical knowledge is not enough if you expect growth in your career. You need soft skills or interpersonal skills. Accounting is more about data entry and running of reports. But now things have changed. If you want to be successful in your career, you should be able to communicate with your clients and employers. Leadership quality is an unavoidable skill that you must have in this field. It would help if you also concentrate on your communication skills, time management, problem-solving and decision making skills. It would help if you also had empathy towards others. Now everyone works in a team. So you should develop a good bond between them, which will benefit the project and the company.
Talk to your boss about a promotion.
This may sound a little awkward. But this is the first step you are taking towards your career growth. But don’t think that you will be promoted immediately after asking for that. You should fall under the eligibility criteria for promotion:
- Have you been able to prove yourself as trustworthy and reliable? Does the employer have the confidence that the work assigned to you will be finished on time?
- Do you have a positive attitude? Can you work in all stressful conditions?
- Do you have leadership qualities? Can you work in a team and try to solve the problem without complaining?
If your answer is yes to all the above questions, you can find your name on the promotion list. Talking to your boss will also give you an idea about what all skills are needed for promotion. You can work on these skills and eventually increase your chances of promotion.
Accounting is a field that keeps on evolving. Every day new technologies and trends are coming. You should stay updated if you are expecting career growth in this field. Many short term courses are available which will enhance your skills and help you stand out from the crowd. You can learn these courses and take the first step towards your career growth or change.
Skills are needed in every field. Be it accounting or any other area. Be updated on the latest trends and technologies if you plan to build a career in the accounting field.