Advancing Your Accounting Career

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • 9 tips to get ahead in the accounting industry.
  • Qualifications to take you to the next level in accountancy. 
  • Questions you can ask to gain feedback.
  • How to find and apply for the best accountancy jobs.


Do you often find yourself asking 'How can I get ahead in my accounting career?’ ‘Am I progressing as I should be?’ If you are asking yourself these questions, the question we ask you is, what are you doing about it?  

November is National Career Development Month, a time to reflect on your career journey and consider how you can progress and develop in your profession.

In the accounting world, there are many ways to get to the next level and qualifications you can achieve to set you on your chosen career path. However, a recent survey by CV Library revealed that 50% of Accountants were unhappy in their current role, and of those who said they were unhappy, 42% said it was because of a lack of opportunities for development.

If there aren’t ways to develop your professional growth in your current practice, you might have to take matters into your own hands. 

During National Career Development Month, people are encouraged to consider and prioritise their professional growth by developing their skills, knowledge and expertise. In our latest blog, we delve into 9 strategies to fast track your accounting career! 


Take time to plan

Accountants have busy schedules and are expected to balance different tasks and responsibilities. Keeping track of your own progression can be difficult, therefore it is important that you have a career development plan and set goals to work towards. Successful professionals know what they want and outline a strategy to get there. This puts them in good stead to understand what action they need to take to move closer to a promotion or opportunities for career development. Understanding the different career paths available can be a great way to open your options and opportunities to develop your career.


Ask for feedback

If you don’t request feedback or advice from your managers, you won’t know what you need to improve on or how to get ahead in the accounting industry. Informal or formal feedback is a great way to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, strengthen relationships and increase productivity. 

The desire to improve and develop shows initiative and these proactive efforts don’t go unnoticed and could result in promotions or benefits. Listen to constructive feedback and incorporate the improvements into your work to increase your chances of getting ahead in the accounting industry.


Questions to ask to gain feedback on your job performance

Asking any of these questions would provide you with personal and insightful feedback on your job performance:

  • Is there room for growth within our department?
  • How do you think I’ve been performing in my current role?
  • What areas do you think I could improve upon to be more effective in my role?
  • What advice would you give me to help me improve my communication?
  • Have there been any notable achievements or contributions I've made that you'd like to highlight?


Network

One of the best ways to get ahead in your career is to network both in and out of the workplace. Networking enables you to communicate with other successful professionals in the business and learn from their insight and advice. 

You could gain valuable skills, experience and expertise and keep informed on the latest standards and trends in the accounting industry. (Remember, it’s not always what you know but who you know!)

Attending networking events or communicating and connecting with others within your practice could result in opportunities for career development. If you research speakers or attendees beforehand, it shows initiative which could leave a lasting and memorable impression on potential employers.


Be open to new opportunities

If a new career opportunity arises, don’t close yourself off even if you are content in your current position. Consider the possibility that a new challenge could benefit your career and be a stepping stone to get to where you want to be. 

A lot of the time, Accountants get promoted over their peers because they were open to the new opportunity in the first place. Show interest, enthusiasm and contribute ideas to demonstrate your commitment and show that you deserve to be promoted.


Keep up with the latest technology

Technology is a major force reshaping the future of careers in accountancy and the roles available. New opportunities and roles are emerging and shifting social norms and values.  Stay up to date on new industry trends and technological advancements via webinars, blog articles and research reports. 

Embrace technology to fulfil your growth and potential promotions by impressing those around you with your knowledge of the industry and advantageous time saving systems. 


Be open with your managers

Show enthusiasm for your career and let managers or senior staff know the path you want to take. Managers don’t want their employers to seek employment opportunities elsewhere so tell them your career plans and goals. 

A good manager will give you advice about how best to achieve your goals. Let your manager know your plans and interest in a long-term career within the company, and ask for advice on how to get there. They could organise education courses, skills training, mentorship programmes and provide you with support in those endeavours. Your manager will hopefully recognise your commitment and put you on the right track to success. 


Advance your knowledge

Most likely you already have a 4-year degree in business, finance or accounting, which is almost always a requirement for a job in accounting. 

Depending on your goals, you could work toward your CPA or CMA credentials to become a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant. Both of these accreditations will open doors and set you apart from the competition.

On your CV, there should be a balance between education and experience as both can display your skills and commitment to learning. 

Other professional certifications include:

  • CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)
  • CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor)
  • CPP (Certified Payroll Professional)
  • CCEP (Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional)


Become a Chartered Accountant

Gaining essential qualifications is an excellent way to increase your value to employers and your chances for development. During your studies and training to become a Chartered Accountant, you will gain knowledge, experience and expertise that will be instrumental in your career development.

A recognised qualification places you higher than those without and could be the deciding factor in a promotion between yourself and your peers.

Being a qualified or Chartered Accountant can open up a wealth of exciting and interesting job opportunities. Once qualified, a Chartered Accountant can become a member of either the ICAEW, CGMA or ACCA, all of which recognise you as a financial expert with ethical values.

Gaining accreditation and including an ACCA or CGMA qualification on your CV can give your accounting career the head start it needs to increase your value to potential employers or clients.

Some of these qualifications can open up new career opportunities within the accounting industry. Chartered Accountants can also become Business Advisors, Auditors, Finance Managers or Business Analysts. Chartered Accountants could even form their own business and become entrepreneurs.


Stay proactive

Be proactive with your career progression, and make yourself more attractive and valuable to management. There are ways to develop your skills and progress in the industry even without an additional qualification or accreditation. Research, upskill and keep yourself active and engaged at all times. 

The most successful Accountants have a clear goal and strategies on how best to utilise their skills and efforts to get ahead. Use your initiative, present opportunities to clients and make efforts to prove that you are proactive. 


Accountancy jobs

If you’re searching for your dream Accountant job, it’s important to discover how to choose an accountancy practice that’s right for you

Why not take a look at all the latest job vacancies available with Spencer Clarke Group now? Alternatively, why not upload your CV or reach out to one of our specialist consultants, Matt Byrne-Fraser, who can advise on upcoming positions! 

Or if you’re new to the accounting industry, why not uncover how to get your first accounting job or useful information about what accounting jobs are in demand?


Accountancy recruitment services

Searching for qualified and experienced accounting staff? Check out all the accountancy recruitment services available now or give us a call on 01772 954200 to discover more! 


Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Located in the heart of Lancashire, we’re constantly reshaping the recruitment industry with our innovation and passion for evoking positive change. We are passionate about finding candidates the perfect job that has the ability to improve their mental health, standard of living and better their work life balance as well as boost their salary. 

From individuals seeking career progression to companies aiming for unprecedented growth, we continue to evolve to shape a brighter more fulfilling future for all.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

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Construction, Trades & Labour

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