Accounting is a career where you can help clients develop key financial literacy skills. As an accountant, there are many skills you can develop to enhance your expertise in accounting techniques. Understanding what advice is helpful for accountants can help you develop critical skills in your field and find solutions to challenges you may face as you progress in your career.
In this article, we discuss career advice for accountants, including what an accountant is and a list of eight detailed pieces of advice to help you continue your accounting career.
Who is an accountant?
An accountant is a financial professional who helps people or organizations manage their financial accounts. Their responsibilities include ensuring the accuracy of financial documents to comply with regulatory agencies, writing and filing important financial reports, performing risk analysis and expectancy calculations and offering advice on minimizing costs and maximizing profits. They may also have duties such as preparing tax returns on behalf of their clients, reviewing financial operations within an organization and offering solutions to challenges an organization may face. Finally, accountants might handle cash, payments and other transactions for their clients and document their work for the organization.
8 pieces of career advice for accountants
Below are eight pieces of career advice you can use to advance your accounting career:
1. Become a CPA
A CPA is a certified public accountant. This is a professional accountant who has received a license to practice as an accountant. An accountant with this license upholds the regulations of the accounting industry in their state and the United States. This can include knowing and understanding of accounting laws and regulations. They can develop this knowledge by taking courses during their bachelor’s degree or attending at least 150 hours of continuing or professional education in business, economics or finance. They also must have at least two years of experience as an accountant and have passed the Uniform CPA Exam.
2. Find a mentor
A mentor is a professional who can tell you about their experiences in the field and help you develop skills as an accountant. When you consider mentors, think about professionals who have several years of experience, have an excellent reputation within their organization or among other accountants and have overcome challenging situations in their career. Notably, you can choose over one mentor, which provides several benefits. First, it lets you draw from more experiences. Second, your mentors may have unique challenges they’ve overcome. Finally, having multiple mentors can ensure you can reach out to at least one as you need.
3. Improve your networking skills
Networking is the ability to reach out to other professionals in your field and beyond. When you prepare to network, there are several skills you can develop. First, learn how to communicate with different people effectively. This can help you reach out to others in a way that’s comfortable for them and doesn’t prevent them from doing their jobs. Next, join a professional network or website where you can benefit from professionals in your field. This can give you access to professionals across the U.S. and abroad. You can also network with professionals at events such as fairs and conferences.
4. Stay up-to-date with technology
Technology is a major part of the work that accountants do. First, it can help you analyze data, predict patterns and form models to help you forecast for your clients. Technology can also help you reach out to professionals in your network such as your mentors and other important figures. It also helps you find new tools as people develop them so you can use the most accurate tools in your profession. Learning new technologies and using them in your career can give you an advantage over other accountants who don’t use the newest technology for their clients.
5. Learn about other areas of work
Gaining experience in multiple areas of accounting can help you remain flexible within your career. Many accountants perform bookkeeping duties for their clients, which is helpful to develop expertise in because this is the most common type of accounting work. Other areas you can consider include financial document preparation, taxation, auditing and compliance reporting, all of which are responsibilities you can develop as an accountant.
6. Develop your soft skills
Soft skills are personal attributes you can use to interact with others effectively. They are also skills intrinsic to your person, as opposed to skills you develop as part of your job or career. These skills include ones such as communication, problem-solving and creativity, which you can use regardless of the job you have. You can develop your soft skills by practicing them as you work and in your personal life.
7. Seek opportunities for promotion
After you gain experience in your role and as you gain a reputation for quality work, start seeking opportunities for promotions within your organization. Qualities you can develop before you seek promotion include reliability, trustworthiness, quality work and effective communication. You can also develop qualities such as teamwork, team building, positivity and being solutions-oriented instead of challenge-oriented.
8. Understand your core values
Your core values are beliefs and behaviors you consider important in your professional and personal life. These values can include qualities such as honesty, trust, communication, teamwork, quality and innovation. Different people may have different core values but some are common among many people such as trust and honesty. Understanding your core values can help you determine how you behave in certain situations, especially if you’re stressed. Your core values can be a major factor during your decision-making process, so knowing your values can help you understand yourself in different situations better.
I hope you find this article helpful.