5 top pieces of advice for a successful accounting career

March 15th 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

For anyone wishing to develop a career in accounting, taking the most beneficial steps along the way is essential.

Each path is an individual one, but there are certain steps that are essential to all ambitious accounting professionals. We are going to introduce you to five of them.

Develop a relationship with a mentor

Finding a mentor is an essential factor in building a successful accounting career. The most forward thinking accountants find a mentor who is respected in the industry and has a range of experience. It’s also helpful to develop a relationship with a professional who has encountered difficulties along the way and has overcome them. Doing this provides access to valuable insights. Many people who are in the early years of their accounting career choose more than one mentor; often these mentors have different specialties.

Concentrate on networking

Networking is a vital part of an accountant’s professional life. It provides the opportunity to build career opportunities and is also useful in meeting potential clients. The Internet enables accounting professionals to network internationally using website and social media. Most professionals find it’s beneficial to blend this type of networking with face-to-face contact at a local or national level, at conferences, or specifically arranged networking events.

Understand and use the latest technology

Technology plays a major role in the work of accountants. Modern day accounting professionals use it to analyse data, predict patterns, and create forecasts for clients. As we touched on earlier, technology is also useful in networking with fellow professionals and potential clients. Given the use of technology across the accounting industry, the most progressive professionals ensure they have knowledge of the latest technology and how to make use of it. Having this knowledge gives them a competitive advantage and makes it possible for them to provide a top-quality service to clients. Both of these factors make a successful career more likely.

Spend time developing soft skills

There was a time when finance professionals were all about the numbers. This no longer applies as the most successful accountants have highly developed soft skills to complement their accounting proficiency. These soft skills are numerous and eclectic; they include problem-solving, creativity, and communication. Ambitious accounting professionals embed these skills into everything they do and practice them on a daily basis.

Seek out career advancement

Accounting is a competitive industry, so any individual who is hoping to have a successful career recognises the importance of being proactive. Once a forward thinking accounting professional has developed a reputation for producing high quality work, they seek out opportunities to progress in the organisation. In order to be successful in their quest they develop a reputation for reliability, trustworthiness, positivity, and teamwork.

These pieces of advice are not exhaustive as every accounting professional has their own career path. However, these are factors that apply to each of these journeys at some point along the way and they assist professionals to succeed in the industry.

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