As an accounting or financial professional, it should come as no surprise that specialized skill sets and knowledge, coupled with technical savvy and expertise, rule the day. A recent study by U.S. News and World Report ranks Accounting as its #6 ‘Best Business Jobs,’ for its median salary at $67,190, low unemployment rate at 2.5%, and availability, with 142,000 new positions expected to be created by 2024 (and 11% growth rate, faster than average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
But, amidst this rapidly-evolving industry, which is impacted by a number of larger forces and factors, what are some specific skills and technologies you need to know to succeed in accounting or financial positions with government, contractor, and commercial entities?
Here are some top tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
Be aware of the hot skill sets required for the majority of standard accounting and finance projects, including:
- Accounts Receivable (A/R) and Payable (A/P) - at the top of the ‘Top’ list!
- Loan Originators;
- Staff Accountants;
- Specialists in several key areas, such as:
- Grants; and
Stay On Top of the Latest Versions of Top Technologies and Software Programs to be able to bring the latest and greatest intelligence and insight to each project. Some of these include Deltek, Timberline, Microsoft GP, Sage 50, Xero, QuickBooks, and SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite of solutions, to name a few, with others noted here.
Flex Your Experience and Proven Track-Record. At the top of most employers’ lists for hottest in-demand skills is the need to deliver the most experienced, up-to-date talent to their engagements, contracts, and projects.
Remember It’s a Candidate’s Market. This is especially important when it comes to understanding the wealth of opportunities available to you as an experienced ‘hot’ commodity with the right skill sets and technological familiarities in this industry market. As an accounting and finance professional - whether you’re placed on a contract engagement or in a longer-term role - you’re largely in the driver’s seat, and you have the power to bring the best in knowledge and latest technology to your meetings and interviews with potential employers.
And the bottom-line?
Put your best foot forward for a successful career in the accounting and finance profession by staying on top of the latest technologies, tools, and software products, and consistently focus on honing your expertise, specific knowledge, and background in order to bring your best to the table.
For more great advice for your career, the experts Accounting and Finance experts at Sparks Group