Historically, workplace environments thrived in “silos” for their employees: the sales folks stay over here, the marketing folks over there, the accountants in the back. Notice how the word “thrived” is in past tense as the world has changed and businesses are trying to catch up with the constant churn. Accounting agencies are looking for new employees who not only have the necessary finance skills but also have strengths in other areas outside their “comfort zones.”
New Technologies for More Than Accounting
CEOs and CFOs hiring new accountants are looking for people who can help with the constant changes in technology. These new hires need to be able to not only use software that can automate some financial services but look for ways to utilize the software more efficiently. On top of that, how proficient are you beyond operational tasks? Can you integrate operational tasks with data testing? Would you be able to answer a client question about social media marketing and fundraising? Can you write a monthly blog for your company website?
Not all firms will be looking for these skills, but if you have them and can offer them PLUS ask about educational opportunities the firm might sponsor, you will have an edge when looking for a new accounting job.
Understanding Accounting Data Management
When it comes to accelerating an accounting career, data management is a “must-have” skill. Knowledge of Excel is a given and a requirement. But cloud analytics integrated with “Big Data” collection may soon be a requirement as well. The ability to create functions that will parse through massive data dumps in order to offer clients detailed information they can understand isn’t just left to the IT department. It might be time to consider an online basic data science course. If you know anyone who works with automation and forecasting models based on big data, start asking questions.
Project Management Skills
Accountants already understand how to manage projects in terms of the clients we deal with on a daily or weekly basis. Yet, understanding true project management skills is much different. Project managers need to take a step back and view the entire scope of a project and determine workflows that can make processes much more efficient. There are nine basic project management methodologies. If you can offer even some of these to a prospective employer or to a current employer showing how you can streamline work with a client, you have just made yourself much more valuable to your management team.
The accounting world is changing as fast as the rest of the world. That is something most “old school” accountants might not be able to grasp. It might be time to get some new skills under your belt or let the “higher-ups” know you can help in some of these categories.
Numbers 4 Nonprofits’ accountants and CPAs are on top of technological advancements in the industry and prioritize learning these changes in the accounting market. We are here to help your organization manage those accounting changes as well. If you would like to find out how, we would welcome the chance to connect with you!