You will need a unique set of skills to be a successful CPA, and that will set you apart from others in a crowd. If you are working towards your goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant or a CPA, the best thing for you to do right now is to make yourself aware of the skills that are requisites for a competent and distinguished accounting professional. Everyone who has taken the exam or is yet to appear for the exam would agree that the four different sections of the US CPA test a candidate’s in-depth knowledge of the various industry-relevant aspects of accounting. Passing the CPA exam inevitably means that you have acquired an additional level of credibility and expertise to work in the finance and accounting domain. However, being a credentialed accounting professional goes beyond reviewing the plethora of CPA exam content and passing the exam. Once your certificate is issued, you must be able to represent yourself as a professional and put everything that you have learned to use. You must also continually develop necessary CPA skills, as well as acquire new ones.
Management and Leadership Skills
Not everyone was born to be a leader. When you work in public accounting, and you hold your certification, it is expected that you help develop people in the field who are inexperienced. CPAs who work in large firms tend to hold mid to upper-level management positions, and you need to be able to take the reigns and lead in order to get those promotions. In order to ace your work, you must also be extremely proactive and have excellent organizational and management skills. When you are leading a group of employees, it is very important for you to understand each of their strengths and weaknesses and then guide them accordingly.
To excel in your job and move up the hierarchy, you, as a CPA, must know how to get your message across. No matter what industry you work in, having strong communication skills is extremely important. The key to being a good consultant or an advisor is persuading and relating to your audience by telling stories, making analogies, and speaking naturally. It is also very important for you to have good writing skills to convey information in the right manner.
When you become a CPA, you need to put on an advisory role, look at company-wide reports of financial data, and provide big-picture perspectives. You also are required to analyze data, find out trends, and form strategies accordingly. Strategic competence is a must-have skill in accounting, but since CPAs hold more authority in decision making, it is even more important that you are strategic and creative and think critically. Recording data is one thing, but you will need to be able to look over data and use the knowledge that you have to make recommendations and to give insights.
The volume of data that CPAs must work with today is growing at an unprecedented rate, and it is highly unlikely that manual processes can still do the job. Automation will help organizations effectively better their quality of governance and the quality of financial reporting. Companies are leveraging new technologies in accounting and finance to increase efficiency and streamline business processes.
CPAs today need the knowledge of advanced skills in Excel, structured query language (SQL), QuickBooks (for small and midsize companies), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and business intelligence software. CPAs who embrace technology can look for opportunities where they can apply their best skills and add value.
The above article is about the skills in demand for CPAs today. Hope this helps. If you have any queries, feel free to comment in the section below. Happy Learning!
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