By Ruoro Kairu
The job market is ever-changing. This change can be positive and exciting, but at times, it can also be negative and scary.
Automation and the advancement of technology is a change that has been experienced in every field, and accounting is no exception.
Today, simply passing your CPA exams doesn’t guarantee you success.
There are thousands of certified accountants who can’t get a job, despite having all the academic qualifications. If you’re an employed accountant, you’ve likely experienced difficulty trying to advance your career.
Success is no longer guaranteed, and if you’re after an accounting job or promotion, you need to have the skills both for today and for the future.
Here are three practical tips to ensure you remain relevant and ahead of the other accounting professionals.
1. Keep learning
Ten years ago, all you needed to get an accounting job was your papers. Today, however, everyone has the basic papers and getting that accounting job has become tougher.
If you cannot rely on papers, what should you do?
You need to stay ahead on all advancements that are happening in the accounting field. The KRA iTax portal is a good example. While the platform was rolled out in 2013, a large number of accountants cannot efficiently use the platform.
Employers know the platform simplifies tax processes, shortens the time to extract data and information on revenue, and reduces the time they take engaging with KRA. So the next time you’re attending an interview, if you cannot use the platform, you might lose the job opportunity.
To excel in accounting, you need to continually keep learning. Look at both the technical and soft skills in demand today and work on developing them.
2. Keep up with accounting technology
Have you ever heard of an abacus? It is an ancient wooden calculator. In its time, it was the most trusted calculator and most professionals and businesses had one.
Today, it is mainly sold as a fun and educative toy for three-year-olds. From a trusted tool that was used by businessmen in the ancient years to a three-year-old toy.
If you refuse to evolve with technology, you’ll remain irrelevant in the job market.
For instance, today accountants rely on accounting software such as QuickBooks as compared to the olden paper model. The advantages of using accounting software far outweigh those of traditional bookkeeping methods. As such, it is here to stay. Have a competitive edge in the job market by learning how to use QuickBooks and other accounting software.
3. Grow your skills in various areas
Should you specialize in one area of accounting or learn different areas? Everyone has their opinion on this.
Sure, if you’re a tax accountant, you know the jobs you’re targeting. However, that only limits you to a few areas.
If you have knowledge of various accounting areas, you increase your chances of getting a job as an employer won’t have to hire different accountants to handle the tasks required.
Finally, it is important to realize that the accounting field is changing. If you are not prepared for the change, you will get left behind. The skills, ability, and expertise you have are your value in the market. Grow that value by ensuring you have the essential practical accounting skills needed.