The number of accounting professionals in the U.S. is steadily declining. The number of students who enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s accounting programs decreased by 2% and 8.4% respectively. According to the American Institute of CAPs (AICPA), The number of CPA candidates who passed all four exams decreased by 17% between 2019 and 2020 with an increase of less than half that amount in the following year [AICPA 2021 Trend Report]. Considering the downward trend of accounting college graduates and qualified CPAs over the past five years, now is the perfect time for you to enter into an accounting career. Here are a few qualities you need to thrive in accounting.
Comfortable Learning New Technology
There are hundreds of accounting technologies out there that perform different accounting responsibilities. The technologies range from those that specialize in bookkeeping to tax filing to auditing to data analytics. If you are comfortable learning new technologies, and are a quick learner you can thrive in a career in accounting.
Ability To Work Well In Teams
Regardless of where you choose to go, industry (private) or public accounting, you will work in teams. Due to separation of duties and quality assurance most accounting department will have more than one person working in it. At minimum, there’ll probably be three members to each team. A manager, a senior and a staff level accountant. If you are a good team player and looking to improve your networking and leadership skills, you could thrive in accounting.
Good With Numbers
While accounting is not a purely quantitative discipline, accountants do deal with numbers a lot in their day to day activities. You do not need to know high level mathematics, but it helps when you are comfortable with the four basic operations. Additionally, it’s a big bonus if you are good at using tools like Microsoft Excel.
You Like Structure
Accounting, for the most part, is quite structured. There is a set of rules, established by the accounting governing body (FASB), that accountants must follow in their day to day. Some may find this monotonous and prefer a less rigid career, but I find the structure of accounting provides security in the role. It also encourages expertise. Those who are able to master the accounting rules and execute them with good judgment are able to thrive in accounting.
I love accounting. It’s a dynamic environment with a lot of opportunities to grow and develop. Want to learn more about accounting? Read my last blog [Accounting Is Hard].
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