You will need a special set of skills to be a successful CPA. If your goal is to work as a Certified Public Accountant, it is in your best interest to make yourself aware of the skills that you will need to be a competent and distinguished accounting professional. Being a credentialed accounting professional goes beyond just reviewing the uniform certification exam content and passing the exam. Once your certificate is issued, you must be able to represent yourself as a professional and put everything that you have learned to use. Here is the skill set every CPA needs:
The Ability to Lead
Not everyone was born to be a leader. When you work in public accounting and you hold your certification, it is expected that you help develop people in the field who are inexperienced. CPAs who work in large firms tend to hold mid to upper-level management positions and you need to be able to take the reigns and lead in order to get those promotions.
Strong Communications So That Your Message Is Heard
CPA’s need the ability to do math, but this requirement has lightened up as more and more accounting software programs have been developed to perform calculations. Now, communication is more important than ever. Software can do calculations and spit out detailed reports, but these programs cannot replace the need for an expert communicator. You may act as a consultant or even an adviser when you are credentialed, and when you are consulting and advising you will need to know how to get your message across. Luckily, business communications is something that can be taught as you are earning your accounting degree.
Strategic and Future-minded Professionals
You must be able to look at financial data to make moves now and to see the big picture of how current decisions will affect the company years down the line. Strategic thinking is a must in accounting, but since CPA’s hold more authority to make decisions, it is even more important that you are strategic and creative. Recording data is one thing, but you will need to be able to look over data and use the knowledge that you have to make recommendations and to give insights.
Tech-Savvy with the Know-how
You do not need to be a computer programmer with the ability to write in code, but being tech-savvy and having the know-how to learn about emerging technologies is a must. When you are completing continuing education courses, it is wise to incorporate some tech-related courses if you struggle in this area. This will help you keep up-to-date with new programs that are being developed so that you are never out of the loop.
Earning your credential will benefit you in a number of ways. With your certification, you can develop your career, take on a variety of responsibilities, increase your earning potential, and even get more respect. If you feel like you have the perfect combination of business-savvy and tech-savvy, it may be time to start studying for the rigorous CPA exam so that you can develop the skills that you need to succeed.