In almost every kind of business, accountancy is at the core. Startups and established ones alike, businesses rely on the skills required for accounting and finance to keep the cash flowing, books balanced, and everyone paid. Most especially during tough times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, good accountants help businesses stay afloat, seek out ways to sustain the business, and determine how to survive such setbacks.
Since your field plays an essential role in every industry, your responsibilities require you to work on your expertise, too. With the ever-evolving demands of the accounting industry, make sure you’re keeping on par.
Heed the following ways how to improve accounting skills and advance your career in no time!
1. Use technology.
While learning accounting concepts ensures your foundational knowledge is solid, it’s best to note that technology keeps on evolving. That said, don’t get too attached to a single platform. Instead, make sure to allot time to understand the major systems such as SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle; business tools such as Cognos and Crystal Reports; and even the emerging technology of blockchain. It’s only wise for you to keep moving with technology if you aim to stay on top of the trends and continue advancing your career in accounting.
2. Gain relevant industry knowledge and experiences.
It’s much better if you can do this early on in your career. While you may be tempted to settle in your first role for too long, it’s best for you to gain experience in accounting’s various aspects such as bookkeeping, taxation, internal auditing, financial reporting, and compliance to name a few. Why? Having a wider exposure means you can have more options and professional connections.
Furthermore, make sure to identify which sector and aspect of accounting you want to pursue. Since employers are now more particular in hiring accountants with experience in their own sector, staying on top of this trend lets you become more competitive in today’s job market.
3. Hone your data and analytical skills.
Since accountants are used to seeing the patterns in numbers, it’s a must to work on your technical accounting skills most especially with today’s advanced practices.
The growth of computing power means that huge volumes of financial data can be grouped down into various ways to squeeze out the knowledge inside. While the computers are in-charge of crunching the numbers, you are expected to ask the right questions and correctly interpret the answers. Also, accounting skills updated with analytics are high in demand even if you decide you’re not interested in a highly technical data science career.
4. Take the right classes and get certified.
While identifying the best courses to take may be subjective, make sure you’re taking the right ones for the kind of career and specialization you want to pursue. You can also seek programs for training and development for accountants as you deem fit.
Do your research to know more about ways how you can improve your knowledge. For starters, you may check the available online accounting courses on Bossjob Academy. You can also consider earning relevant financial certifications. These can further help you increase your employability as well.
5. Learn how to adapt quickly.
Since change is the only constant thing in the world, embracing it with adaptability will work to your advantage as you improve accounting skills.
In your industry, it’s always a good idea to remember that tax laws, regulations, and reporting requirements can change quickly. Aside from that, your team could face the risk of getting dissolved or even the company being acquired. In these scenarios, for example, you must stay on top of contacts and industry movements. After all, it pays to be alert for new ways on how you can apply your basic accounting skills.
6. Show how you’re an effective team player.
Gone are the days when being an accountant means you’ll be working alone for the rest of your tenure. That said, significant projects often require working in teams. For some, though, working with others may be a challenge than working with spreadsheets alone.
This shouldn’t be a reason to stop pursuing your line of work. Having the skills to collaborate with others is also a great asset as a professional. Show how you can work well with various kinds of people and acknowledge others’ perspectives while helping them see yours, too. On top of it all, proving you’re an effective team player lets you set the ground toward becoming a team leader in the future.
7. Work on your communication skills.
While being an accountant has been one of the most common jobs for introverts, having excellent communication skills lets you go the extra mile.
Further, your spoken presentations and written reports allow you to explain your figures to non-accountants. Being able to communicate your ideas, expertise, and activities well opens opportunities for you to learn more about your field, your strengths and weaknesses, and even what you need to improve on while you’re progressing in your career.
If you find speaking and writing intimidating, you can work on your skills by taking public speaking lessons, joining clubs, or just simply practicing with the help of your colleagues and friends. Besides, more practice means you’ll be able to gain confidence and feel at ease communicating your thoughts.
8. Use your time efficiently.
Since you have a lot on your plate as an accountant, it’s highly crucial for you to be able to manage everything simultaneously in less time while delivering quality work. Having great time management skills lets you become a more proficient accountant, having the capability to master other skills on the job, too.
Now that you’re familiar with what you need to do to improve accounting skills, what next? Make sure to keep these tips in mind and put them into action as you plan your career goals. Whether your current employer offers learning and career advancement opportunities or not, invest your extra time and resources to upgrade your skillset.