Accountants earn a good salary, especially those with the most in-demand skills and their CPA designation. If you want to up your earning capacity and even score that promotion, the accounting tips below should help.
6 Tips To Be a Better Accountant
There was a time when having excellent accounting software proficiency was desirable, but today, it’s essential.
Accountants who want to command the highest salaries should be fluent with accounting software companies use, such as Xero or Hyperion. Also, many programs are based in the cloud now, so it helps if you’re proficient in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), too.
You also may want to learn these other technologies:
- OCR or optical character recognition
- Yellowfin and IBM Cognos business intelligence software
- SQL or Structured Query Language
It’s also a good idea to watch for emerging technologies in your sector, so you can recommend collaboration and productivity tools that could help the bottom line.
Excellent Presentation Skills
Accountants and CPAs should have top-notch skills in presenting accounting information clearly and concisely.
Remember that you’ll need to communicate this information to people who haven’t spent years studying accounting. Most of your audience doesn’t know anything about accounting concepts such as accounting year, going concern, money measurement, or GAAP compliance. This doesn’t mean you should talk down to anyone, but don’t talk over their heads, either.
However, some people think that being an effective presenter is reading from Powerpoint slides. In reality, you need to learn how to supplant your presentation material with stories, analogies, and natural speaking.
The best presenters are usually the ones who help you retain knowledge the best, and this isn’t done by reading slides. The more relatable and natural you are with your audience, the more they’ll learn.
If you are doing presentations via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, it’s even more important to have excellent communication and presentation skills.
Hone Leadership Skills
Being a strong leader doesn’t just mean you are good at verbal and written communication; it’s also vital that you’re approachable and know how to mentor people who are just starting in the field.
Becoming a better leader takes a good deal of confidence, which takes work for many of us. However, if you’re confident in your accounting abilities, leverage technology, and think strategically, you can become an excellent leader of others.
Enhance Networking Skills
The more extensive your network in the accounting field, the better your career prospects will be. You can talk to people in your network about jobs, accounting and business advice, and much more.
Boosting the power of your network will take some work, though. You can expand your network by getting involved in accounting and business groups in your areal.
Linkedin also is a great place to develop more contacts in the accounting field; there are many accounting groups on this site where you can offer or receive advice, find a job, etc.
Get More Work Experience
Recent college graduates may have plenty of accounting training from books and lectures, but that isn’t enough to get your foot in the door at many companies.
You also should try to get an internship or project work for a business while you’re in accounting school. This will show that you have real-world experience and know-how to thrive in a professional environment.
Current Tax Knowledge
The best accountants are up to date with tax regulations, laws, and mandates, which change regularly. To serve clients or the company more effectively, you should take classes on state and federal tax laws every year.
There is a lot of competition in the accounting field, but if you keep improving your skills, you’ll command the best positions and assignments.