Tags: Accountancy & Finance, Career Guidance, accountancy-and-finance...

By Michael Quinn

Having worked in the sector for many years, I can testify that there is a wealth of developmental and profitable opportunities for individuals who pursue a career in accountancy and finance. In part 2 of my career development series, I write about the skills you need in today's business climate.

The need to develop and hone soft skills as a Chartered Accountant

Whether you have undertaken a career in industry or practice, the world of accountancy is changing, meaning that you now have to possess a wide range of skills unrelated to finance in order to progress on a professional level.

With the advancement of technology swiftly pushing aside the need to perform repetitive and compliance-based tasks whilst opening the door to become more actively involved in the strategic and interpersonal operations of a business, accountants now need to cultivate and develop their soft skills in order to meet the demands in the market. As a recruiter, we see many candidates ‘tick the box’ technically, but fall short on the softer skills.

The role of finance is evolving and the traditional image of the accountant buried in a spreadsheet is changing. Whether you choose a career in industry, practice or even the non-profit sector, you will increasingly be expected to demonstrate commercial awareness, seeing finance in the wider business context. The finance function has grown increasingly more customer-facing and needs to take a collaborative approach.

Employers are demanding a great deal more from their finance teams than they did five years ago. Strong communication, the ability to influence and negotiate, along with interpersonal skills are widely sought after across the board. Accountants now need to articulate the meaning behind the numbers, thus taking on a more strategic and advisory role within the businesses they represent. This not only applies to the fully qualified, but is now expected in many transactional and PA roles.

To find out more about how to further your career development, stay tuned for part 3 in this series!

About the Author

Michael Quinn is a highly experienced and professional Associate Director for Accountancy & Finance/ Legal across Search Consultancy’s Northwest offices. Not only is he both quality-focused and results-driven, but his extensive background in recruitment has enabled him to embrace, initiate and facilitate change across a wide range of businesses. His goal is to build long term relationships based on trust, and as such he is a firm believer that integrity, honesty, professionalism and hard work generates long term success.

Looking for a job in Accountancy & Finance?

The world of Accountancy and Finance is changing, and the industry needs candidates who are tech-savvy, insightful and proactive! At Search, our team of specialist consultants recruit for a wide range of accountancy and finance roles throughout the country.