You Can’t Have A Successful Career In Accountancy If…..

You might be starting out in your accountancy career.  Alternatively you might have been qualified for a number of years.  Either way it is fair to say that you want to be successful in your career and get the benefits and rewards of all of your hard work.


The reality is there are some who go on to achieve a huge amount of success in their career.  Others get stuck at a certain level while some never get out of the starting gate.  You can probably identify yourself in one of the categories.


While there is a lot that you can do to improve the chances of being successful in your career, there are also things that you might be doing that are actually hindering your success.  The reality is you cannot hope to have a successful career in accountancy if:


You Spend All Your Time Behind A Computer


Yes there are times when you have to be behind your computer to deal with the core reporting at month end or year end.  On the other hand if that is how you are spending all of your time you are not really focusing on the real purpose of your role which is to provide a service to the organisation.


You Are Only Interest In The Numbers


At the end of the day financial results are a reflection of what is or is not happening in an organisation in a common currency called money.  Successful accountants are more interested in what is driving the numbers.


You Can’t Get Your Message Across


A big part of your role is communication.  Many accountants are great at producing information.  A lot less are comfortable when it comes to communicating, especially to those from non financial backgrounds.


You Don’t Grow And Develop


An accountancy qualification is just what gets you in the door.  Employers are looking for a lot more than just a qualification.  They are looking for people who have a rounded set of skills and qualities.  Surprisingly a huge number of accountants never do anything to develop the broader set of skills and attributes.


You Are Not T Shaped


I first came across this idea when I worked in one of the Big 4 Accountancy firms in the mid 1990’s and I am surprised just how few accountants are even aware of the concept.  T shaped accountants have depth of expertise in accountancy (the vertical part of the T) and are able to contribute in a much wider range of areas (the horizontal part of the T).


You Can’t Manage Others


Whether it is right or not, the reality is that unless you are able to manage others it is always going to be difficult to get beyond a certain level.  While structures are becoming flatter, there is still a need for those who can manage people.


You Can’t Take A Chance


Another way of looking at it is if you can’t move outside your comfort zone it will always be difficult to move forward.  When we do something we have never done before the growth is exponential.


You Can’t Market Yourself


Everyone in every profession including has to be able to market themselves.  The most common way you have to market yourself is a CV or application form.  It also about how you market yourself in your current organisation, especially if you are looking to get an internal promotion.  Most of the time what I notice is that accountants understate what they have to offer.


You Can’t Sell Yourself


Selling is something you just have to do, especially in job interviews. Some worry about being seen as a know it all.  For me it is merely about confidently stating what you have done and why you will be an asset to the organisation.


You Don’t Take Control


Once upon a time bosses took a real active interest in those in their team.  They were happy to be mentors and help others get on.  These days this is less and less common.  You need to be taking control and making sure that you are responsible for the results you achieve in your career.


Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success.  He invites you to check out his free report The 7 Biggest Barriers To A Successful Career In Accountancy.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

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.

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