Webinar – How to Advance Your Accounting Career

If you’re ready to take the next step in your accounting career, you might be wondering how to make it happen. In our upcoming webinar we take a look at three areas you need to focus, from gaining experience in the most relevant areas, to developing key skills.

AAT qualified accounting tutor Patricia Barlow will talk through the most effective approaches to accounting career advancement in her webinar on the 16th June at 2pm. Find out more and sign up here.

Recognised qualifications

  • If you want to be recognised by top employers and clients, well-respected qualifications are indispensable. The qualifications you choose will depend on your career goals.
  • If you’re relatively new to accounting, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification is ideal. This qualification will take you from the very basics, right up to an advanced understanding of financial performance. You can start at the level that best suits you, depending on the knowledge and experience you’ve already gained.
  • If your ambitions lie in management accounting, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification is ideal. Again, if you have no previous qualifications, you can start with the fundamentals. If you already have a relevant qualification, you may even be able to go straight onto the higher level qualification, which will demonstrate to employers your ability to support businesses to achieve their financial goals.

Relevant experience

  • If you’re looking for your next opportunity in accounting, whether it’s a new job, a promotion, or even starting your own business, the right experience is a must.
  • Experience in the right areas means not only getting recognised by employers and clients, but the ability to prosper in your next role.
  • The experience you need will depend on your specific area of interest. If you’re in a junior role, you might have only gained experience with data processing so far. Prepare yourself for something more senior by getting involved with reconciliations, and with identifying and reporting on discrepancies.
  • If your aim is to go into management accounting, try to take on tasks that involve product costing, and things with a more strategic or analytical focus.
  • Try asking more experienced colleagues to delegate these kinds of tasks to you, so that you can build confidence in the right areas. If this is difficult where you are now, or if you don’t currently work in accounting, you could consider volunteering. Charitable organisations often look for assistance with their accounts, and you can find these opportunities on sites like do-it.org.

Key skills

  • Don’t forget, no matter how qualified you are and how much experience you have, there are certain prerequisite skills for success in accounting.
  • In any accounting role, an analytical flair is essential. Even in relatively junior roles, you’ll need to be able to spot discrepancies and recognise when things don’t add up. In more senior roles, you’ll normally be carrying out advanced reporting, and making recommendations to management based on financial data.
  • An often-overlooked skill that is crucial for any accounting professional is effective communication. Whether you want to work for a firm, in-house, or run your own business, you will need to be able to communicate financial information in a way that is clear and simple to those with no financial background.
  • You may already possess these skills, or you might need to dedicate some time to improving in these areas. Aside from this, you will need to keep up with new information and best practise relevant to your role through ongoing professional development.
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