Accounting has long been a highly sought-after career, and for good reasons. One of the most influential factors is the affirmation that your abilities will continuously be in demand. After all, an accountant’s expertise is necessary for every organization.
In 2016, there were more than 1.34 million accounting positions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Even better news is that by 2026, this number is expected to reach 1.54 million.
As an accountant, you’ll have job security, a growing number of job opportunities, and an attractive salary. However, it is essential to remember that salaries can significantly fluctuate depending on job functions and seniority levels. Individuals with the same position can earn significantly different amounts.
So, how can accountants enhance their career prospects and increase their earning potential? What steps should be taken to qualify for promotions and ascend the corporate ladder?
Here are seven valuable tips to advance your accounting career:
- Pursue Ongoing Professional Development
Pursuing ongoing professional development is one of the most critical aspects of developing your accounting career. New laws, technological innovations, and best practices are constantly being introduced in the accounting industry. As a result, you can keep on top of trends and improve your marketability by committing to continuous learning and professional development.
Getting an online MBA in accounting is one way to achieve this. This advanced degree gives students a thorough grasp of accounting concepts, financial management, and business strategy, allowing them to flourish in the accounting sector. And with the advent of e-learning, you can access a wealth of resources and an excellent curriculum from the comfort of your home without compromising your work hours and family commitments.
Additionally, an MBA in accounting allows you to participate in relevant training programs and get extra certifications. Gaining credentials such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) can further enhance your knowledge and marketability. Professionals show their dedication to preserving industry standards and remaining current on legislation by obtaining these qualifications.
- Expand Your Network
In order to advance your accounting career, it is essential to establish a robust network. A wide range of connections can greatly assist in business-related matters, offering suggestions, ideas, and support. Putting time and exertion into sustaining these connections is pivotal.
A survey of 3,000 people established that networking is one of the main methods of locating a job. By cultivating a vast network of contacts, you position yourself favorably for career transitions and advancements. In addition, having a solid network can give you a distinct advantage when seeking a new position or elevating your career within your current organization.
- Learn AI Tools
Most businesses’ accounting procedures are being transformed by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI). According to the findings of a recent survey that was carried out by the MIT-Boston Consulting Group, 79% of people acknowledge AI’s role in increasing company productivity, and 85% recognize AI as a catalyst for gaining a competitive edge.
AI technology is being used by accounting firms more and more, allowing them to quickly analyze large amounts of data that would be difficult for humans to do on their own. As a result, there are numerous opportunities for accountants with the ability to use, navigate, communicate with, and manage AI systems to advance their careers in accounting and significantly improve their work.
- Explore Different Fields
Accountants must broaden their knowledge and expertise in a variety of accounting-related fields. Although traditional bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, and reporting are frequently linked with accounting, there are many areas to investigate. These comprise compliance, internal audits, and other financial-related functions. Therefore, it is essential to avoid focusing solely on one area of accounting and instead look for opportunities to obtain expertise in several others, especially at the beginning of one’s career.
By expanding their areas of knowledge, accountants can build a well-rounded skill set that gives them access to multiple opportunities and prepares them to take on a variety of challenges in the field of accounting.
- Be Proactive
Your company must identify the team’s top contributors in a professional atmosphere. As an accountant, you work with a lot of accuracy- and time-sensitive tasks. You must continuously offer precise outcomes and honor your deadlines to prove your value as a team member. Effective communication becomes critical if you run into problems and fall behind on a project. Actively engage with your coworkers, keeping them updated about the situation.
There are additional easy but effective methods to demonstrate your value and set yourself up for a promotion in addition to meeting deadlines and guaranteeing accuracy. Being on time, doing your allocated work during the allotted shift, and keeping a good outlook are critical to demonstrate your devotion. Also, aggressively look for chances to help your coworkers and solve challenges related to your position. You show your ingenuity and contribute to the team’s overall success by taking a proactive approach to problem-solving.
- Talk To Your Boss
Even though it might seem apparent, asking for a promotion from your boss is a great way to enhance your career. Even if a promotion right away might not be assured, stating your goal for progress shows ambition and a readiness to accept more responsibility for the betterment of the firm.
Speaking with your supervisor about a prospective promotion allows you to clarify the particular conditions for professional advancement. In addition, your manager may have significant information about any prerequisite education or experience needed for the desired promotion. By comprehending the requirements, you can devise a well-thought-out strategy for acquiring the necessary qualifications. Being straightforward with your boss about your vocational goals shows your responsibility and fortifies your relationship with them, encouraging a positive impression.
- Foster Relationships
Treating customers and coworkers respectfully and cultivating lasting connections with them is crucial. Making contacts in the accounting sector may be advantageous. Not everyone has the valuable abilities to be approachable, relatable, and maintain professionalism.
Effectively paying attention to others is one of the best ways to establish connections. You might be an expert at pointing clients in the right direction as an accountant. However, it creates a sense of care when you truly hear and comprehend their concerns and effectively communicate how you can support and assist them. Your commitment to their welfare and confidence in your services are bolstered by this strategy.
Success in the accounting industry involves more than just technical expertise. It demands a proactive commitment to career management and the purposeful implementation of professional advancement strategies. In addition, a long-term viewpoint must be adopted. To fulfill employment criteria and score better opportunities, it is essential to continually learn new skills and improve ones that already exist. Accountants may keep up with industry developments, maintain relevance in a dynamic environment by implementing the tips discussed above and secure a fulfilling accounting career.