Having been in accounting and consulting roles for over 30 years, I have seen many people achieve great success in their career. At the same time others have struggled.
Taking stock of what I have learned, I wanted to write an article highlighting what I see as the 7 top contributors to a successful career in accountancy.
Before you get professionally qualified you assume there is no difference between being qualified and not. This is true up to a point. However an accounting qualification exposes you to a much wider range of concepts than practical experience alone never could.
I have met plenty of people who are great at the technical aspects of accounting. While this is important, employers are increasingly looking for accountants with real business skills and commercial awareness.
Self Confidence and Self Belief
We are all familiar with the stereotyping that goes on about accountants. You know that we all are boring and only get excited about or can only comment on the numbers. You have to have the confidence and self belief to speak about the difference you can make, which, after all is significant.
Governance and risk management often ends up on the Finance agenda because there is no obvious alternative. Sometimes this requires you to take a tough stance, especially if people are acting in a way that compromises the business. As we know taking a tough stance requires a certain degree of personal resilience.
Leadership and Management Skills
Whether it is right or wrong, in most businesses operate in a way that the only way to get promoted and earn more is to go up the career ladder. This usually means leading and managing a team, function or even an entire organisations.
What I mean by this is being crystal clear about how far you want to go. It is also important to know what sacrifices you are or are not willing to take.
Patience and Persistence
There are a few who achieve success and are on the fast track. For the vast majority it is a case of slow and steady persistence. Along the way you will encounter setbacks. The key is to be persistent and keep going.
The Bottom Line: Being successful in your career in accountancy brings many rewards. At the same time there are challenges to be overcome.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants to achieve more career success. He invites you sign up for his free audio masterclass here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.