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Employers want accountants with people skills

A global recruitment firm says that employers of accountants prefer candidates with excellent communication skills on top of the prerequisite numeric and technical skills.

Employers want accountants with people skills
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According to Hays’ quarterly report for July to September 2016, it is people skills that make a job seeker stand out in today’s market.

“Obviously technical accounting skills remain essential, but it is people skills that differentiate one candidate from another,” said Hays regional director of the accountancy and finance division, David Cawley.

Mr Cawley said that, in professional accounting firms, the increase in technology and the decline in the value of compliance fee books have seen value-adding consulting services become more important than ever.

He also noted that, in commercial organisations, employers expect their accountants to liaise with other departments and translate numbers into non-technical terms.

“Therefore employers want well-rounded accountants with good people skills,” Mr Cawley said.

According to Mr Cawley, the best way for job seekers to show people skills is to seek out opportunities to display those skills in their existing role then share real-life examples on their CV and in their interview.

“Be personable, build trust with other departments and learn how to explain the meaning behind the numbers in non-technical language,” he said.

“Be able to reason and gain commercial acumen so that you can see accountancy in the wider business picture.

“This will help you liaise with colleagues effectively and add value.”

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