Becoming a CPA can be tough, challenging work. From the years of study and training to the tests and then working with clients in the field, being a CPA can be a seemingly never-ending circle of stress. And, according to Ken Tysiac, a contributor to the Journal of Accountancy, because many of the technical tasks CPAs used to do can now be done digitally or mechanically, the need for new and burgeoning skills is more important than ever. In fact, the CPA exam has changed to reflect these new necessary skills. So to help you be prepared for the work you’ll be doing as a CPA, here are three skills you’ve got to have to become a successful CPA.
Analysis and Synthesis
According to Alison Doyle, a contributor to TheBalance.com, one of the biggest skills a current CPA needs to have is the ability to analyze and synthesize data. No longer is simply crunching the numbers enough. To truly be worth your salt, you’ve got to be able to take the financial information you’re given and draw meaningful conclusions to help your clients or customers make their financial decisions. It’s up to your to uncover where vulnerabilities are waiting and where chances can be taken to have financial success. Without the ability to take information from various sources and analyze it for a client or customer’s needs, you might find yourself a CPA without much business to do.
In addition to being able to analyze and synthesize financial information, Doyle shares that you also must be able to communicate your findings effectively to your customers or clients. All the work you do to help your own company or your clients will be of little good if you can’t adequately explain the information to those in charge of making the business decisions. Knowing this, it’s your job to be able to take the complex information you’ve gathered and convey it to your audience in a simple, succinct, and manageable way.
Integrity and Trustworthiness
As a CPA, you’ll be given access to a plethora of sensitive financial information. Your company, clients, or customers will likely give you full access to their financials under the pretense that you’ll only use this information to help them make sound business decisions. And according to Torri Myler, a contributor to AccountingWeb.com, your trustworthiness and integrity hinges on you only using that information for its specified purposes. By developing a reputation as a trustworthy CPA who respects and values professional relationships, you could have a very successful career ahead of you.
If you’re considering becoming a CPA, use the tips mentioned above to help you further develop the necessary skills to become successful.