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Essential Skills for Success in Accounting and Finance Positions

It is an undisputed fact that advanced technical skills are in high demand across a multitude of industries in today’s workforce, a trend that shows no signs of letting up. The fields of accounting and finance most definitely fall into the category of jobs where tech skills are on the rise.

Jennifer Liu shares the top five trending skills for finance professionals—

  1. Excel: Microsoft spreadsheet program used for calculations, graphs, and statistical analysis
  2. SQL: A programming language that allows users to manage databases
  3. Tableau: Data visualization tool
  4. Financial analysis: utilizing company financial data to assess performance and make recommendations
  5. Leadership: the ability to provide guidance within an organization

What other skills will aid accounting and finance candidates in pursuit of success in these essential fields?

  • Analytical Skills

Let’s look more closely at the ability to analyze. Being able to consistently sift through volumes of financial records with a meticulous, detail-oriented eye ranks as a critical skill. Bob Prather, the general manager of accounting and finance recruiting for Lucas Group, states, “Good accountants can pull the analysis together. Great accountants look at the output and judge whether it is reasonable, so as not to waste everyone’s time on an analysis that makes no sense when you take a step back and look at it from a common-sense standpoint.”

  • Critical Thinking

Mistakes will happen; complex problems will arise. Without the ability to approach such scenarios with a critical thought process that examines all the variables and potential risks, disastrous consequences will surely ensue. An accountant who can strategize through the everyday workings of the department, as well as the crisis moments, will shine as a real asset.

What about “soft” skills? We tend to think of folks who work with numbers for a living as being strong on hard, technical skills and maybe not so gifted with soft skills. Generally speaking, that is true. But if we have learned only one thing from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that such some skills labeled as “soft skills” should be considered “essential.” Take, for instance –

  • Creativity and innovation

As noted by Bernard Marr, futurist and strategic business and technology advisor, “In a post-coronavirus world, we will need human ingenuity to invent, dream up new products and ways of working. Human creativity is going to be essential.”

  • Adaptability and Flexibility

These two traits are the opposite of rigidity or a mindset that demands absolute structure. Undeniably, creating a structured system is good as it tends to facilitate overall smoother sailing. But when the world turns upside down, it is adaptability and flexibility that will keep molehills from becoming mountains.

Marr continues, “Someone that is going to succeed in a post-coronavirus-world will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to update and refresh their skills continuously.”

As you look toward the end of 2020 and beyond, pair those always essential advanced technical skills in accounting and finance with a keen understanding of and striving toward the soft skills that will make you and your skillset a genuine asset.

A.R. Mazzotta’s Career Path Services can assist you in starting a new career path today. Our website features a continually updated listing of jobs in the fields of accounting and finances, as well as many other sectors. And our team is committed to delivering unparalleled service, with a dedicated focus on you and your career goals.