Accountancy involves multi-tasking. Many accountants spend so much time managing different responsibilities, they end up perceiving themselves as all-rounders. But understanding where your true talents lie can help you unleash your true potential and get more out of your career.
So, what’s your superpower? To get you thinking, we’ve put together an overview of the many varied superpowers on show in accounting practices up and down the country.
Every firm needs a star accountant. Whilst audit, tax, and advisory work require different skill sets, they all require professionals whose knowledge of accounting goes above and beyond what is required by clients, anticipating client needs before they arise. Do you have ‘skills to pay the bills’, obsessive attention to detail and a commitment to keeping abreast of industry developments? Are you well versed in helping companies mitigate tax, remain compliant in regulated activity, navigate overseas jurisdictions or stay on top of the UK’s complex tax regime? If so, your superpower might be the sharp end of accounting.
Great salespeople are rare. And extremely valuable. Their enormous power lies in their ability to establish strong channels of communication with prospects and clients, listen to their needs, and help solve them quickly and painlessly. This sounds simple. It isn’t. It involves deep knowledge of accounting and even deeper knowledge of human nature. If your superpower is sales, you can quickly become an invaluable asset to your firm - and potentially, others across the street, too.
Getting the most out of staff can be tough when you’re busy working on other things, but managing people is a critically important part of running a successful accounting firm. Good bosses motivate others, making work interesting, rewarding and sustainable for their team. Getting the best out of other people is potentially the most potent superpower, since it’s the one that can have the greatest impact on an entire accounting practice.
Accounting might seem like a straightforward business, but look under the hood and full-service accounting firms are complex beasts. Tying together different people, teams and departments demands a very specific skillset, quite different to leading from the front. So too does putting out fires. Good operations people are worth their weight in gold, ensuring the smooth running of firms and ultimately, a satisfied client base that comes back to do business year after year. If you enjoy optimising workflows, processes and policies, then your superpower might just lie in the prosaic but business-critical arena of operations.
Accounting is becoming a technology-led business. As cloud based accounting solutions, automation, AI and blockchain transform the business of accountancy, those with hardcore tech skills stand to benefit both for their own good and for the firms for which they work. Demand for this skillset is increasing exponentially, for good reason. Technology offers accounting firms a double whammy, reducing costs and increasing revenue. So what better superpower to possess than an aptitude for and interest in technology?
What are technology, operations, leadership, sales and number crunching without a well thought out strategy that positions a firm for growth over the long term? Architects design and manage great businesses by juggling multiple factors, including client needs, the broader competitive landscape and of course, the competitive advantages of their firm. This is the greatest superpower of them all, one that enables colleagues to do more, more effectively.
Is working on multiple tasks spreading you too thin and stopping you from unleashing your true potential and adding value where it has the biggest impact? Find your superpower, double down and take your career to the next level.