Today, the finance sector is evolving rapidly. From new payment modes to decentralized ledgers – the role of banks and financial institutions and accountants is undergoing a massive change.
Similarly, the integration of FinTech is encouraging businesses to upgrade their finance infrastructure and keep pace with emerging technologies. With evolving dynamics in the finance world, job descriptions and employment prospects are also changing.
Employers look for accountants and analysts who can work with digital data, applications, and advanced software solutions. In addition, they also want employees with a firm understanding of budgeting, corporate finance, and law to keep up with state and federal regulations.
Therefore, you have to be technologically apt and commercially aware to continue your career as an accountant.
Moreover, the role of accountants also requires competent interpersonal skills. After all, you would be working in teams and meeting clients almost every day. Having a diverse skill set will improve employment prospects, giving you an edge over other applicants.
Here we are highlighting six skills accountants should hone to increase employability.
1. Specialized Accounting Knowledge
All accountants know how to maintain records and prepare financials. Therefore, you have to equip yourself with a versatile skill set that sets you apart from the crowd. Perhaps, you can learn about financial industry regulatory authority (FINRA) to ensure compliance.
Likewise, develop a keen understanding of comprehensive capital analysis to improve the efficiency of accounting-related tasks. Or perhaps, you can go the extra mile and consider going back to school for accounting programs to propel your finance career.
Additional learning curriculums would equip you with advanced knowledge and understanding of accounting practices. For instance, receiving a passing score on CPA exam score release night is the first step to obtaining your license.
2. Commercial Awareness
It might seem unnecessary to quote, but people often forget about commercial awareness. When working for an organization, you must understand where the company fits in the market. Similarly, you have to determine how economic, social, and political movements affect the business and how to forge ahead.
Understanding the organization’s sensitivity to market conditions will help you create innovative financial management strategies. For instance, if you know inflation can adversely affect the business, you will implement risk mitigation strategies beforehand. In short, being commercially aware will save the company from long-term financial setbacks.
3. Adaptability and Flexibility
Most accountants only concentrate on technical skills, but today, adaptability and flexibility are among the top skills for accounting professionals. As the economy has become more uncertain, employers look for accountants who can keep pace with change. It means you should be able to adapt to technological changes and fluctuating economic conditions. From artificial intelligence to digital payments – the ability to pivot and roll with change is a must-have skill for every accountant.
Moreover, post-pandemic many organizations have switched to remote teams, allowing employees to work from home. It means you have to be flexible enough to manage different work schedules without compromising on productivity. It might not strike as a big deal, but small changes can have a lot of effect on work and efficiency. Thus, you should know how to adapt to the changing work dynamics.
4. Technological Expertise
Believe it or not, technological advancements are changing the shape of the finance industry. As a result, recruiters look for tech-savvy accountants who can expand the use of accounting automation. Hence, if you aren’t tech-friendly, try learning the ropes to increase employment prospects.
Perhaps, you can learn technology-related accounting skills such as advanced excel ability, enterprise resource planning, or big data analysis. In addition, take a few training courses on how to run automated accounting software. From recording payments to sending invoices, you must develop proficient tech skills to impress a potential employer.
5. Team Collaboration
Contrary to the traditional viewpoint, accountants don’t work alone at a desk. Most accounting professionals have to collaborate with other business departments and clients to provide the best results. Therefore, being a team player and learning from others is essential in the accounting world. You have to keep yourself open to suggestions and listen to what others have to say.
Likewise, allow people from other departments to share their ideas and consider every option. After all, you never know what works in favor of the company. Working in a collaborative environment can generate positive results while paving the way for valuable advancement opportunities.
6. Critical Thinking Skills
Unsurprisingly, accountants witness different errors and discrepancies daily. Sometimes, bookkeepers omit the entries, while at times, the amount is inaccurate. These mistakes might seem small but have severe ramifications for employers.
As an accountant, you have to use your critical thinking and problem-solving skills to overcome these mistakes. You have to approach these situations critically by evaluating every variable and risk.
For instance, if you ask the bookkeeper to correct the entry from previous records, it might put your company under IRS’s radar. Thus, you have to assess the situation and create an adjusting entry to cancel the transaction’s effect on financial statements. The accountants who can think through a financial strategy are like assets for the company.
As the financial landscape is changing rapidly, accountants must upgrade their skill set to thrive in this dynamic world. Besides pursuing higher education, you have to become tech-savvy to work with automated accounting software.
Likewise, you have to learn the art of collaboration to work in teams and develop innovative solutions for the company. Having a competent skillet will unfold lucrative employment opportunities, helping you thrive and prosper.