How to Manage Your Professional Development as a New Accountant
For any job, you learn as you go. As an accountant, there is no exception. With time, you learn which methods work successfully and which ones do not. However, there are many different ways to be proactive and speed up the process of developing as an accountant. Below we have a short list of tips for your professional development and to help you chart your course and prepare for your success.
#1 – Network.
For instance, it is common knowledge that many individuals find their energy and inspiration through other people. Networking establishes this principle very easily. Networking helps you grow.
Someone in your network may have a better way of prioritizing work. Or quite possibly, he or she may bring into light a concept that you have never thought about before; hence, leading you to make your own connections and bringing up a solution for your firm and/or your client.
You should not mimic every move your mentor; Instead, feed off his or her expertise and pave your own way so you can reach your goals.
#2 – Get licensed.
Another way to showcase your deep commitment to accounting is through accounting certifications. These accounting designations are additional proof that you are serious about your career and want to learn more.
The most desirable certifications are the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and the CMA (Certified Management Accountant). These credentials require time, passion, and more responsibilities (Dumon). Therefore, it is a mark of maturity to put yourself through that process to work your way up the corporate ladder and be happy while doing it.
#3 – Keep current.
To continue your develop professionally, you need to keep abreast of industry changes and trends. Therefore, professional development classes and personal research is a key component. More often than not, with this additional study, industry trends will become apparent. Further, luckily, research today can be done easily through the Internet.
#4 – Present yourself in a professional manner.
All corporations want partners and senior level executives who can bring value and work with clients. Part of that means you need to present yourself in a professional manner. Indeed, the manner in which you present yourself can indicate your level of maturity. For example, it is absolutely compulsory to build trust with the clients and show your expertise. These relatively simple steps show that you are very sincere about being an associate.
#5 – Communicate clearly and be persuasive.
Learn to present your thoughts and information clearly both in giving oral presentations and in written reports. Indeed, when talking about your work to a client or your employer, be straightforward. As an accountant, there will be times when you will have to write out your thoughts, examinations, and recommendations. Prepare and be persuasive. There should be no confusion about the information you are sharing.
#6 – Be ethical.
The accounting industry follows tight ethical expectations. These values are what determine whether the general public, other companies, and the government can trust the accountants. Accounting firms and their employees have to keep in mind what the client’s best interests are. Further, it is good to be aware of what information is confidential and what is not.
Therefore, be honest when you have to provide advice and/or make decisions. Transparency is a valued quality in an individual, especially during teamwork scenarios. More often than not, accountants collaborate on larger teams. You have to be trusted by your colleagues and clients. Your behavior does not just affect you; it affects those around you as well (Topan).
In summary, as you are beginning as a new accountant, you hope that your career will be a long one. You know that to be successful you need to be prepared. These techniques should help you prepare and be qualified for new career opportunities as they come along. Indeed, it is this ability to prepare, learn, and adapt that helps you chart your course of professional development and determines your path to achievement as an accountant.
Dumon, Marv. “Finding The Right Accounting Certification.” Investopedia. Investopedia, LLC, 19 Oct. 2008. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
Topan, Riana. “6 Skills You Need To Succeed In Accounting.” TalentEgg Career Incubator. TalentEgg Inc., 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 Aug. 2015.
Ury, Allen B. “Seven Skills You Need to Be a Successful Accountant.” Everest. Zenith Education Group, Inc, 10 June 2011. Web. 28 Aug. 2015.