Improved Soft Skills Help Accountants Advance

Accounting and finance professionals looking to advance their careers will need to improve their soft skills, according to Accounting Management Solutions, inc. (AMS), a New England provider of outsourced accounting, financial management, and recruiting services.

"Technical and technological skills are essential, but they're not enough. Soft skills -- including the ability to write and present persuasively -- are what enables leaders to educate and lead," said AMS Director of Recruiting Services Jim Cote.

Cote said that organizations looking to hire finance and accounting professionals to replace growing numbers of retiring baby boomers will be seeking people who possess superior technical and soft skills.

"Finance and accounting professionals no longer work in isolation, and they're as responsible for generating revenue and profit as everyone else. To succeed, they'll need a broader skill set than traditionally has been the case," Cote said. "Greater use of information technology helps get the job done, but that means the people you bring on board must have broad and deep technical skills. They also must be able to work with a wide range of people, which is where soft skills become critical."

Technical skills refer to general accounting and financial reporting knowledge, and SEC reporting expertise for public companies. They also include internal audit and financial analysis skills, and knowledge of software systems. Soft skills include written, verbal, presentation, and interpersonal capabilities.

Cote said finance and accounting professionals are expected to help lead the organization on the technical front. Whether they're CFOs, controllers, compliance officers, internal auditors, or financial analysts, these people will need to show how information technology helps the organization excel.

"Finance professionals, especially those at mid- and senior-levels, need to apply their technical knowledge and pass along that knowledge to other staff," said Cote. "Soft skills will let them do it."

You may like these other stories...

While reputational risk is the No. 1 nonfinancial concern among corporate directors, cybersecurity/IT risk is gaining steam. In fact, both private companies and organizations with more than $1 billion in revenue felt they...
We've all been there. Trying to make our work-lives more efficient, transfer knowledge to newer team members, and leverage our practices. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, well, the result is embarrassing at best.Here...
From May 20-23, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) held its annual conference. Frequent contributor Sally Glick picked up some ideas that she will be sharing with us in the coming days, as she has done in...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.