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Advance Your Career in Accounting

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Career Development Tips for Recent Accounting Graduates

Taking control of your accounting career progression by developing a plan means you’re actively involved rather than sitting back and reacting to what comes to you. In other words, you can’t just hope everything falls into place. Instead, you have to plan and be ready for everything.

This can be started in the following general ways at first. Write down information to:

Assess Yourself

Find out what motivates you and highlight your areas of strength and weakness regarding your future accounting career. Is there a specific accounting job that allows you to use your muscles while building on your weaker points?

Explore the Possibilities

Research areas of accounting by reading online and talking with current CPAs and those in other accountancy roles. Develop contacts and ask questions. The more information you get, the smoother your path. If possible, volunteer or seek internship opportunities to learn more about the work involved in specific accounting jobs.

Develop Goals – Use all the information gathered about career options for accountants and your self-assessment report to come up with goals to guide your career. Accounting career planning depends on well-defined objectives. The plans are designed to track progress and note what needs to be done. If you go off track, you can include changes needed to move straight ahead again.

New Skills

Part of setting goals is knowing what skills – and certificates and training – you’ll need. These fall into three broad categories:

  • You are developing Technical Skills – Professionals in accounting value technical proficiency, meaning that you will require additional technical skills to rise the ranks in any organization. From financial reporting to project management, technical skills allow you to become an expert in your chosen field of accountancy and assist colleagues when needed.
  • Improving Communication Skills – Handling a management job requires regular communication with colleagues, junior staff, and clients. To ensure that everyone works as a team, you must communicate well, through writing or speaking.
  • Building Sales Skills – Even as you work for different companies, aim to develop relationships with clients and potential ones. These relationships can be harnessed when needing information about the services offered or converting potential to actual clients.

Get Started

Eventually, a plan has to start; otherwise, it’s just theory. So, first, pick a date or an event – graduation, for instance. Then, implement your plan and always move forward but be flexible for change as you learn more.

The steps may be slow for accounting graduates at first, and you may have to make adjustments as you learn more. However, your career plan does not have to encompass your entire working career in accounting – use five or 10-year programs and build them out as you get closer.

Planning Equals Accounting Career Progression Efficiency

Having a plan means you don’t have to second-guess every step you take to advance. Executing your goals is the best way to climb up the career ladder – otherwise, it’s just an open plan. You’ve probably previously heard about developing a personal career plan, and yes, it does take some work. But if you don’t make an effort, you’ll only be frustrated by the slow pace of your career advancement.

Your Free Guide for Planning Your Accountancy Career

If your accounting career path ends in fog, a professional development plan (PDP) is a formal document that gives you a roadmap to get ahead.

It’s not scary. It’s something you form from your life skills up to this point. It is also flexible to changing circumstances. Having such a plan allows each career step forward to be made with more confidence. Those considering a Master of Accountancy degree are already driven. But a PDP provides a sustainable energy source to keep you going through your journey.

This guide covers everything you need to create an effective, realistic professional development plan.


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