Key accountancy skills - are you up to scratch?

Richard Speight 23.09.2015

One of the best ways to get the job you really want is to keep track of the skills that employers are searching for – and ensure yours fit the bill!

That may mean constantly investing time and money to increase your portfolio of skills, but the rewards will make it worthwhile. Businesses look for top talent and will pay larger salaries to recruit and retain people with the right skills.

During a recent study of finance and accountancy recruitment needs and recent hires in the South West, the following skills are among the most sought after today.

Business and economic climate dictate that organisations are becoming more proactive and business focused than ever before, so organisations are looking for individuals with top-notch communication and influencing skills in addition to the necessary technical ability you will gain from studying.

1.    Commercial aptitude: Finance teams are having to contribute more and more to strategic decision-making. Individuals who have commercial skills, and use their insight and understanding to improve business decision-making, are considered highly valuable.

2.    Technology & Reporting Standards: Individuals need to be technically savvy in the latest versions of relevant software programmes. Some of the most sought after include; SAP, Oracle, Sage, Hyperion, and Microsoft Excel (macros, pivot tables, lookups).  It is also vital to keep up to date with the ever changing reporting standards, such as UK / US GAAP, IFRS, FRS and SOX.  Are you up to date? Follow this link to find out.

3.    Cross functionality: The finance team are now expected to be actively involved with teams and departments across the organisation. Individuals who are confident communicators and can clearly get their points across to colleagues, clients and management at all levels, including those outside of finance are sought after.

4.    Flexibility: Individuals who are open to change and embrace new ways of working are in high demand – this applies to technology changes, adapting to industry regulations and even general working practices. 


It is essential that you make sure that all of your skills, and specific achievements are detailed on your CV, and that you are continually looking to expand and increase these, so that you will always be highly valuable, and never miss out on a job you want. 

Richard Speight's picture
Manager, Accounting & Finance, Bristol


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