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...

For the first time in the five-year history of Vault.com’s rankings of the top 50 accounting firms to work for in North America, a firm has held the top spot as best accounting employer for two consecutive years....
With tomorrow being Tax Day, you might see some procrastinators at your office filling out forms, printing out paperwork, or getting last-minute tax advice from their accountant so they can meet the IRS’s filing...
You can read volumes on how to manage an accounting practice. But if you want the quick version, just read the following four points. Everything else is just commentary.  (These points come out of the 1997 book, The...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.