The information economy has shifted to one that knowledge workers drive. The changing nature of work requires CPAs in this time to adapt and evolve with it. You’ll need skills in project management, data analysis, learning new software applications, and more! This article will discuss seven skills CPAs need to stay competitive as knowledge workers today.
- Project Management
Fast-paced firms require efficient methods to complete tasks under time pressure. Many CPA firms are now using project management software to organize workflows and track progress towards goals. This software is designed to measure tasks in terms of time, cost, and effort. These metrics help CPA firms plan projects more efficiently and complete them within budget and deadline.
- Data Analysis
Data analysis involves transforming data into useful information that you can use to make strategic decisions. This is an important skill when managing large amounts of data. CPAs with excellent data analysis skills can use these to gain insights into client information, process improvements, business trends, or potential risks and opportunities. CPA firms use data analytics to measure risk, improve internal efficiency, and reduce external costs.
Spreadsheets are a valuable tool for CPA firms. These tools help with calculations, store data, and organize information in charts and graphs. For example, accountants once used Microsoft Excel to maintain client records. Today, you can use spreadsheets in areas such as auditing, tax preparation, corporate finance, and other tasks that involve complex calculations or large amounts of data.
- Learning New Software Applications
Since technology constantly changes, it is necessary to learn new software applications to keep up with innovation and build a reputation for being an expert in your field. For example, cloud computing has been on the rise in recent years due to more efficient capabilities and affordability. CPAs who invest time and effort into learning cloud computing software will use this for projects such as integrating data from a cloud application with other files.
- Strong Interpersonal Skills
As an employee in a firm, it’s your job to interact with clients and other team members. The success of projects relies on effective communication, so it’s essential to develop strong interpersonal skills to work well with others. This is especially important for self-employed CPAs who need to coordinate with teams of people for larger projects such as audits or tax planning.
- Time Management
Firms are always looking for ways to improve their performance levels by being more productive with their time usage. Learn about how to manage time wisely. Time management is essential when dealing with clients and other employees. Take time to plan wisely. For example, an accountant should know how long it will take their client to complete a specific task and should be able to manage the day accordingly.
- IT Skills
Nowadays, information technology (IT) plays an increasingly important role in work and daily life. This skill is essential as you’ll need to be proficient in using a computer to manage data and perform computations effectively. Having excellent IT skills will enable you to work on multiple machines without experiencing any issues. This will help you complete projects and tasks efficiently. When it comes to the skills you need in the present technology-driven commercial world, it’s essential to learn about new trends as they arise. To ensure that you’re up-to-date with today’s information economy, check out more tips on how to pass the cpa exam and stay competitive.
- Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a skill that relates to being able to interpret emotions accurately, use this information to understand others’ feelings better and communicate smoothly with them. It’s an essential characteristic for accountants and other knowledge workers. For example, CPAs who have high levels of EI will be better at dealing with clients who are less direct in their communication style and will be better at reading nonverbal communication cues.
Nowadays, it’s important to understand how you can use the latest technologies to stay competitive in the CPA field. The knowledge economy requires CPAs to adapt and evolve with it. Now that you’re more familiar with what skills CPAs need in the technological era, you can invest time and effort into developing these characteristics.