How to Become a Successful Accountant
by Sumona Job & Career 19 November 2021
Accountants serve a key function in business. They administrate finances, advising clients on financials and budgets. Although not the most appreciated or publicized component in the world of business, no one could do business without the assistance of accountants. Becoming a successful accountant relies on having the right skill set and knowing how to apply it.
A successful accountant specializes. There are a lot of types of accounting out there. An accountant who specializes will be prioritized for certain jobs and be capable of handling work that a more general accountant may not be as well-versed in.
If you are just beginning a career in accounting, you may want to explore a bit before deciding on a more exact type of accounting. This is where contract accounting jobs serve great benefit. You can explore different industries and further develop your skills, with lots of opportunities to eventually find where your specialty exists.
Let’s learn more about how you can become a successful accountant:
Trust and Credibility
An accountant is being trusted with some serious information. You need to come in, be professional, and behave at all times with integrity and credibility. The most successful accountants are good because they display time and time again why they can be trusted with sensitive information.
Successful accountants also come through in the work. The work speaks for itself. If a business owner trusts you and you do good work for them as an accountant, they will hang onto you. Credibility and trust build opportunity. Some of your credibility and trust will come with time and experience. It’s always something to aspire to, regardless, and keep in the forefront of your mind.
There are lots of accounting jobs, but some of them may force you to work with tight deadlines, juggle competing stakeholder needs, and ultimately tackle a lot of disorganized information. A successful accountant doesn’t complain or fall short. They meet the expectation for their work within reason. A successful accountant has to be resilient enough to respond to changing needs and ultimately help their client within the scope of an accountant’s responsibilities.
Always Build Skills
A successful accountant is always going to be training and expanding their skillset. They learn the software to help them do the work. They adapt to trends in the industry they’re working in. Plus, they learn different types of accounting and how they differ. They also take in new data and develop additional complementary skills in project management.
As an accountant, you will also be tasked to explain concepts and data to different stakeholders in certain moments. Communication skills are underrated in accounting and yet so important. You won’t be able to get very far in accounting without a thorough skill set and some skills in communication.
Don’t Hesitate to Innovate
The day-to-day of accountants can be fairly repetitive. That said, there’s a time and place where successful accountant can put their own ideas and recommendations and innovate. If you have business advice, you can further heighten your value by talking openly with your supervisor about the ideas. If they are receptive, that makes it clear that you have more to contribute than strictly a run-of-the-mill accountant. This also could pave the way for a management-level accounting position in the future.
Jump On Contract Accounting Jobs
Contract accounting jobs are short-term accounting positions that allow you to jump into an organization. You fulfill their accounting needs while practicing and developing your skillset. There is a lot of opportunity currently with contract accounting jobs, and more growing companies and organizations are seeking qualified candidates to fulfill these roles.
This ability will help you make contacts and could potentially lead to long-term employment in the future. It’s a great trade-off where a successful accountant can really demonstrate their value.
Have Initiative and Ambition
If you are working contractually or independently, an accountant has to have the initiative to put themselves out there and find work. Often, you’re left to your own devices, and it’s on you to produce the work.
Furthermore, you may partner with certain management or department heads and help them run certain financial scenarios. If you aren’t enthusiastic and ambitious about the work, you limit the possibility of upward mobility and potentially your income.
If you’re an accountant that comes up with solutions rather than problems, you’re golden. Solutions-oriented thinking is one of the most valuable traits anyone can have in business. An accountant should be analytical enough to be able to identify problems. Those who successfully problem-solve and propose different solutions are someone any business owner is going to want on their side.
Problem-solving may fall somewhat out of the scope of what an accountant does. However, a solutions-oriented thinker is coming to the table ready to find ways to solve problems and help.