The Field of Accounting
Accountants these days are usually not given the credit that they deserve. In order to go about their day to day workings, there are a ton of things that they need to keep themselves informed about.
It is needless to say that this is not an easy task to say the least. Not to mention the fact that there are occasionally some changes made to the rules as well.
Keep in mind that these accountants are who keep your financial condition secure and stable at all times. It is almost as if people have taken their ability to keep things intact for granted. This notion is changing however because with the advancements made in the field of technology, the skill level required to cut it as an accountant is also changing.
Furthermore, the need for an accountant is growing day by day. By the time it’s 2024, projections have shown that the growth will have increased by around 11% in total.
If you are someone who’s looking for a career in this field, then feel free to go about doing so because the scope for success here is huge.
Irrespective of the fact that you are a new student in the field or a well-established veteran, there are certain things that you should know about this line of work. This kind of applies for every career path where you need to be aware of certain details in order to get success.
While there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can follow to get yourself to a path of success, as a cynical person myself, I would like to draw your attention towards the things that can go wrong.
If you are aware of what can go south, you should be able to understand what you need to do in order to make them go right. So without any further ado, here are some of the issues you may face in your accounting career and which you should be aware of.
- Change in Tax Rules
One of the most annoying things about being in this field is that you have to keep up with everything at all times. The only constant in accounting is change. As such, you will have to be informed with all of the changes that take place in order to do your job properly.
In an environment surrounded by other people in the same job, this is not too hard. Discussions and small talk will eventually lead you to know about certain changes from other people, thus making it easier to keep up. As a student, things can be much trickier and you will probably have to resort to some external resources for more information.
The funny thing is most of the rule changes that take place are there in order to deal with taxpayers that are not complying with the given set of rules. As a result, you will also have to learn how to effectively advise your clients so that such a scenario does not even come up to begin with.
- Meeting Deadlines
Deadlines are probably the most feared thing in the entire office culture. No matter which career path you have chosen for yourself, there will always come a time when you have to do something within a specified span of time.
While the idea may seem simple enough, things don’t always go as smoothly as you would like them to. This is why the general idea of deadlines is always seemingly greeted with fear and loathing. Accounting is no exception to this rule either.
Getting your job done with the current client, finalizing everything, regrouping and then moving on to the next project are all things that require a ton of practice. But even the most skilled ones struggle to keep up due to the irregular nature of the job. Eventually, there is a lot of burning out and the work is no longer done in an efficient manner.
- Dealing with Clients
Yet another facet of accounting lies in its interaction between client and accountant. Your highest priority as an accountant should lie in getting your clients on board with your ideas and your vision. If you can get this out of the way, you have completed more than half of the job on the spot. Needless to say however, it is much easier said than done.
One thing to realize in today’s times is that technology will only make accounting much better and easier. It is your job to make your client realize this.
There are plenty of times when a certain individual isn’t convinced about the efficiency of a certain piece of technology. Getting them to agree with you can be very difficult since a lot of the times, they do not even have a basic grasp of what they are dealing with.
Keep in mind that the relationship between a practitioner and a client is always fluctuating. Just because it is a certain way one day does not imply that it will be the same the next. If the client is in disagreement with you, you will have to find ways to deal with him and get him on your side. If he is already in agreement, you need to do everything you possibly can to keep it that way.
- Good Communication
Quite possibly the most important skill required for you to have in this line of work is your communication. Without it, you will not be able to reach out to your client and convey the idea that you want to convey. This is the first step towards getting in good terms with the person sitting opposite to you and boy is it important to do so.
A lot of the times, people make the wrong assumption that just pleasing the shareholders and higher ups is good enough for their business. Is needless to say that this is a vain way of thinking and it can prove to be detrimental to what you or what your company is trying to achieve.
Workers simply will not come in and do their job like robots every day. There needs to be some sort of communication between the one on charge and the guy in front of the computer.
If the person responsible for dealing with clients is not in the mood, why should be the client? It is important for everyone involved to understand this as soon as possible.
It should also be mentioned that communication is not just limited to words either. There is so much more to it than just that. Understanding the other person’s line of thinking, self-awareness, tone of voice etc. are skills that you need to master if you want to communicate properly with the other person. Body language is also something that gets overlooked very often so keep that in mind as well.
- Keeping Things Stable
Once you have reached a point that you can consider as sustainable, you need to learn how you can keep things going the way they are. It can be tricky since getting there and being there are 2 completely different things altogether. The difference is much more apparent when you actually get to be in such a position to begin with.
Keep in mind that the pressure is always constant and as such, no one cares if you can’t keep up. You will always have to be on top of your game no matter how uncomfortable it gets. Everyone has their own way of keeping focus but in general there are a few things that need to be focused on.
- For instance, you should have a clear idea about what you want to do. Without a fixed target, there is nothing to work towards and you will have a difficult time keeping up with everything else. Understanding what you want to do is key towards being successful.
- Once you have done that, you should formulate a clear cut idea regarding how you want to go about fulfilling that goal. Consider all of the changes that will occur, their impact and the final result. With a bit of practice, you will eventually fall into habit and when that happens, things will come much more naturally.
If you have mastered these 2 things, you can go ahead and do justice to any project no matter what the difficulty or complexity.
Facts to Consider
If you have read the above, you will have a clear cut idea regarding what roadblocks you may face along the way if you choose this career path. But these are things you start thinking of when you get there in the first place. Getting there itself can be very tricky and there are plenty of things you need to consider just to be there.
Also, understanding said things will also help you get a better overall picture and why some of the above things have been said. So let’s discuss some of the cold hard facts about accounting that you may or may not have known about.
- Now is the Time:
You will be pleased to know that now is the perfect time to be considering taking up a career in the field of accounting. The demand for accountants has been on the rise for quite some time now and it is at its peak at this very moment. The best part about this is that the job pays really well so if you think you have what it takes to make it, you are in for a successful career.
- Understanding Technology:
There are plenty of facets to being a better accountant. Surprisingly enough, understanding technology is one of them. The thing is, technology will make all aspects of life better for everyone. As such, understanding the niches behind how each of them works will prove to be pretty helpful in the future believe it or not.
- Masters Degrees Preferred:
This should come as no surprise but the top companies hiring an accountant are looking for someone with a master’s degree. While there are definitely exceptions to this rule, it is generally a given and as such something you should consider very carefully. If this is the line of work that you want to be involved in the future, make sure that you spend those extra 1 or 2 years in college and get that degree. A good percentage of marks is also always helpful no matter what.
- Developing Cities:
It is also a known fact that such a career path is better if you pursue them in cities that are still growing and developing. There are plenty of places where the population is exploding exponentially and as such, need and opportunity are also increasing quite a lot. Accounting is a wonderful field to get into if you can hit the right place for work. Not only will you be earning a good amount of money, you will also be doing a fine good job whilst at it.
- Better with Specialities:
Last but not the least, you should know that as an employee, you will do much better if you have a specialty of some sort. Accounting as a branch is huge and as such, you will probably be better off sticking to a single branch. This is something that you will decide early on during college so make sure that you pick the best one for yourself.
Just Do Your Best
No matter what branch you pick or what college you go to or what job you get, make sure that you put in the effort to make it all work. A lot of the times, newcomers make the mistake of thinking that it will all work out on its own. That is as far from the truth as possible to say the least. So do take care of yourself and give it your best shot!
Michelle Johnson is an experienced individual in the field of accounting with more than 6 years of experience and an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business. If there is anything you want to know about this line of work, she is the person you go to. So buckle up and ask away!