Your decision to pursue a career in accounting may be based on a variety of reasons. Perhaps the field looks attractive to you, perhaps you are motivated by the prospect of being in a lucrative career, or perhaps you are passionate about numbers. Whatever your reasons are for wanting a career in accounting, here are 6 things accounting firms want you to know before you start studying a course in this direction:
1 – Life-long learning is guaranteed
Studying accounting and getting your qualification is only the first step in the learning process. You need to be prepared for life-long learning. The constantly changing standards and processes require you to be open to acquiring more skills to handle any new systems and practices that may be introduced. Life-long learning will also allow for progression in your career and may see you being promoted.
2 – You need to value honesty and integrity
As an accountant, you are responsible for the financial security and stability of organisations and individuals. It is important that even in challenging times, you remain honest and maintain a high level of integrity. You will have access to sensitive, private information and documents, and will be expected to have strong ethics. Always stick to what is right.
3 – Excellent communication is key
Accounting is the language of the business world. And yes, it is a numbers-based profession, but it does not end there. You need to be able to communicate effectively. Not only will you need to communicate financial data and present business objectives clearly and concisely, but you will also need to be able to liaise with clients and engage in discussions that pertain to your work. For that, you need good written and verbal communication skills.
4 – Accuracy and precision are important
Being detail-oriented beyond making sure that your clothes are ironed to perfection is crucial. You need to pay attention to the little things. It is often the smallest details that can cause the biggest problems in the accounting field. Accuracy and precision are the qualities that will see you succeeding in the field of accounting.
5 – You need to understand the industry
The accounting field provides a variety of career paths to choose from. Learn as much as you can about the industry and know where you would like to be. This will help you make the right decisions when deciding what courses to study and where to seek employment after completing your studies. You will then be able to make informed decisions about what steps to take to reach your career goals.
6 – You need to be flexible and adaptable to change
Being adaptable means that you can thrive in an ever-changing environment. It also means that you are flexible enough to go from working 9 to 5 to having busy days where deadlines must be met and your day can only end once the job is done (like at month-end, or during tax season). You need to be results-oriented, focused, and able to think on your feet when changes occur.
Accounting is about more than just having the ability to meticulously work through streams of numbers on spreadsheets. It is also about the type of person you are. The work requires someone who values integrity and honesty, and who knows how to communicate effectively. Think carefully about the skills you need and ensure that your personality complements the career you choose.
Do you have what it takes to succeed in the accounting profession?
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