Do You Have These 5 Accounting Skills Hiring Managers Struggle to Find?
Much of the corporate world has dramatically shifted over the past few years. New work models (remote, office, hybrid, etc.) have been created, new employment trends are on the rise, and new skills are in demand. This is true even in the relatively stable area of accounting. While the skills needed for such a field may seem straightforward, there are a surprising number of credentials hiring managers struggle to find. Read on for some accounting skills that can send you straight to the top of the candidate pool.
1. Cloud-based software
The demand for familiarity with cloud-based software and cloud accounting (in which data can be accessed from anywhere, as opposed to on a single local computer) will only continue to grow. While only 28.2 percent of accounting firms have currently invested in cloud-based accounting software as of the end of 2021, another 36.2 percent are currently in the process of setting up (or planning to set up) these solutions. With the field expected to almost double in growth by the year 2026, almost half of high-level accounting professionals put “cloud-based accounting” at number one or two on their lists of skills most needed in the next two years.
Firms are now looking beyond strong math skills when hiring those in the accounting field. The ability to take financial information and relay that into a more understandable and digestible overview is in high demand. According to Kelly Wee, a senior manager at Hays Singapore who was interviewed by JFS Partners, “Data driven analytical skills, the ability to work with and manage stakeholders across different cultural backgrounds, and business acumen are increasingly critical, especially if operational roles are set to be outsourced or replaced by robotics accounting.” Data analytics requires candidates to not only be able to use the provided software and tools, but also capable of observing patterns, come to accurate conclusions, and strategically analyze data.
It seems like almost every job nowadays requires proficient computer use, but those in the accounting field particularly need to show strong skills in Information Technology (IT). Automation is on the rise, so candidates who hold particular IT certifications or have been through “system implementation projects, automated processes through their use of Excel, or improved reports using tools such as Power BI” are likely to stand out from the crowd. This presents a terrific opportunity for those candidates who want to pursue certifications or extra training on the side.
4. Budgeting, forecasting, and reporting
Now that we have noticed rising trends for cloud-based accounting software and automation, it makes sense many firms have latched onto the chance to use this data in other ways—particularly in the area of budgeting, forecasting, and reporting tools. Over half of finance and accounting managers, directors, controllers, and CFOs put these skills as number one or two on their lists of skills most needed in the next two years. Why? While only 26.7 percent of firms have already implemented these tools, an additional 41.1 percent are currently in the process of setting up (or planning to set up) these tools.
5. Blockchain technology
No matter where you go, it seems you cannot escape the “blockchain” buzzword. Blockchain technology (in which a record of transactions made in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, are managed across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network) allows customers to remain informed with real-time transactions and asset management without having to go through an intermediary such as a bank. Many accounting firms are interested in implementing such a process, so accounting candidates with knowledge of blockchain technology will instantly set themselves apart.
While it’s important for all job candidates to have a certain set of soft skills, earning these accounting-adjacent credentials will help set you up for success in the current job market. But perhaps even more importantly: You will be positioning yourself as a necessary asset in the future of the accounting field.