Do you know that just in the US there will be 1.54 million jobs available for accounting in 2026 as compared to 1.34 million jobs in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)? This means that there will be at least a 10% increment in the number of jobs in the coming years.
Also, the salaries comparison will shock you. Statistics issued by BLS show that in May 2017, the median wage of all the workers was $37,690/-. However, if we look at the wage of an accountant and auditors, they were almost twice or to be precise $69,350/-. Are these salaries very attractive for anyone to become an accountant, right? But how to be an accountant? Or how to advance in your accounting career?
But before I jump into telling you five tips to advance in your accounting career, let us see who is an accountant and what does he do?
To understand who is an accountant and what does he do, let me give you a layman definition. An accountant is just a person who records the financial transactions. This function makes this so important. Because here a person can see where is the money of his organization going and how he can save more money for the company? This is why accounting is and going to be very important shortly. So how can you excel in your accounting career?
TIPS TO ADVANCE IN THE ACCOUNTING CAREER
When a person is in a certain field, he wants to far in that field. Like if you go to the gym for the first time, you might just lift 2kgs, but after a year you might be lifting at least 20kgs. The same psyche is applied here. So the following are the five tips with which you can advance in your accounting career:
1. Get some certifications: This is the most important step and tip for you as an accountant. Get yourself a certification. Accounting and finance is such a field which allows you to have tons of certifications. But these certifications are not a piece of cake. They are very hard, and I am sure you might have seen someone who decided to do a certification, how he passed and got his certification. He would have failed many papers, gave many repeated many courses and finally got his certification. You can go for CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for an example if you are serious about going forward in the accounting field.
2. Improve your soft skills: Just think about this for a moment. You know how to analyze a huge excel sheet, but you do not know how to communicate what you have analyzed properly to your clients or your boss. What will happen to you? On the other hand, someone in your team who took your help to analyze his part but knows how to present in front of the boss or client. What will happen to him? You got it. He will be promoted, but you will stay at the same place for the rest of your life. This is why working on your soft skills are just as important as your hard skills. Your hard skills will help you make an impression, but to sustain that impression your soft skills have to play a critical part. The most common soft skills needed are Communication, Leadership & Organization. Improve your soft skills and excel in your accounting career.
3. Build Network: You know your network is your net worth? To understand this, just think like this: You are just graduated from your college, and you want a job. A few years back, you meet someone at a coffee shop who works in one of the biggest accounting firms in your country. You impressed him with your abilities that day. So if you will send your CV to him, what are the chances that he will hire you or refer you over others if there is a vacancy? Much higher. You will have a much higher probability. You see, it is Networking 101. You will be amazed by how easy it is to grow if you have connections in your industry. For this, the recommended way is to go to networking events, meet as many people as possible and try to showcase your skills to them. After meeting with them once, do not lose them. Keep yourself connected with them. This way, when an opportunity comes at their end, they can share that opportunity with you, and that might work out well for you.
4. Be updated: No one in the world today wants to work with the person who uses a keypad mobile. This will gives the impression that he is not updated and does not know what is happening around. Similarly, if you cleared CPA in 2010, you still have to keep yourself updated with any new course added into the CPA program and the industry wants that new thing. Being updated will keep you relevant for your employer or client, and hence the opportunities will constantly knock your door. It will result in your advancement in your accountancy career.
5. Work on your Brand: Personal branding is a new concept, but it is becoming so important for every professional who wants to succeed in their careers. Personal branding is basically in layman terms building your reputation. No one will be willing to pay $1 million to me for acting in their film, but everyone will be happy to pay just $1 million to Tom Cruise. Why? Because he has a reputation for being a great actor. Similarly, you have to work on your brand and showcase your skills to create a reputation to make people come to you and present you with the opportunities present for you.
SO WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR STEP IN THE END?
There is a huge scope of accounting in the coming future. There will be many job opportunities for the accountants, but this does not mean that you must become just an accountant who keeps a record of every business transaction. You have to excel in an accounting career. For that, you can do many things, but these can help you.
Getting certifications is a great way to have a career leap. Getting an accounting certification is not a piece of cake. It requires loads of hard work and dedication. Many people start but end up quitting. Hence be cautious. Secondly, you should work on your soft skills. You see your perfect accounting skills are of no use if you cannot explain what is happening or what can your client do now when his sales are going down or in short you do not have communication skills. Third work on building networks in your industry. You see, you cannot be present everywhere and see every opportunity. So make connections with people in your industry so that they can share new opportunities with you.
In the end, start working on your brand and build your reputation because people do business or give opportunities to those people, upon whom they trust. So, build trust. And remember everything takes time to happen. So make a long term goal and keep doing these every day.