Accounting online


28th January, 2021

4 ways to accelerate your accounting career in 2021

While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on industries and social lives, it has also presented opportunities to further your career. For accountants looking to excel, here are four tactics to consider.

With so much of our lives currently taking place on the internet, there may not be a better time to take online classes, build out your professional network, or seek a new certification.

We’re all restricted from travelling and social events anyway, so let’s not squander this opportunity to further our careers.

If you’re not sure how to make the most of your time during the pandemic to boost your career, here are four actionable tactics to employ as a means of accelerating your accounting career development in 2021.

1. Develop your professional network

One of the easiest ways to boost your accounting career is to work on creating a network of influential people in your field.

Not everyone enjoys networking (especially accountants and bookkeepers), but this chore has never been easier than it is today though internet-based platforms like LinkedIn.

You may think you have a stable practice with a fine client base, but you never know when connecting with the right people may pay dividends.

The LinkedIn connection you add today could lead to a new client tomorrow. Forming connections early and building strong relationships with influential professionals can be one of the easiest ways of generating business down the road.

It often only takes a short message or click of a button to add a connection, so the return on investment could be huge. A few minutes of time now could be worth thousands of dollars in billings a few years from now.

While developing your network, make sure that you are reaching out to relevant people in your field who can offer you real value – business connections, opportunities for mentorship, and possible referral leads.

Do a bit of research on people you want to contact before you reach out – make sure they are a credible resource that you can use to help you boost your career.

2. Get accredited as a CPA

Becoming a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) is a surefire way to boost your accounting career in 2021.

In fact, CPAs in Australia and New Zealand report an average income of around AU$86,968, compared to an average salary of AU$58,384 for their non-certified counterparts.

In addition to a healthy bump in pay, CPAs are also likely to see several other benefits as well.

Becoming a CPA is one of the best ways to keep your job safe, and you will also have more job opportunities the event not everything goes according to plan.

All else being equal, if two candidates apply for the same accounting position, one with the CPA designation and one without, we all know who is getting that job.

That said, becoming a CPA is no easy feat.

In order to earn your CPA designation, you must first pass the CPA program exam. This is one of the most grueling professional exams in Australia, and requires countless hours of preparation.

Luckily, you likely have significant free time during the pandemic, and should take advantage of any lack in social activity to get your designation while you’re locked inside anyway.

Sign up for a CPA exam prep course, and get studying.

3. Find a successful mentor

Finding a mentor is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your career.

While many accountants may struggle to see the value in having a mentor, or perhaps don’t care to take the time to build a mentor-mentee relationship, getting guidance from an expert may be worth its weight in gold.

Mentors often provide sound advice on client relationship management, tips and tricks for carrying out the technical aspects of your job, and can help provide perspective.

The right mentor may even help guide your career trajectory.

To find an appropriate mentor, look to senior-level staff or partners at your firm, depending on your current career standing.

Landing a mentor who works at the same firm as you is generally your best bet for finding true value in the relationship. You’ll naturally be in the same accounting specialty and they can provide you sound advice on managing your job duties, as well as advancing within your company.

These are the individuals most familiar with the ins and outs of your firm, and can help teach you best practices, both technical and general.

Finding a mentor is also an opportunity to help expand your professional network. Even if you end up leaving your firm, the right mentor with whom you’ve built a deep relationship will likely be willing to help your accounting career wherever they can.

4. Stay on top of the latest accounting trends

One final way to take advantage of the continued pandemic is to stay on top of the latest accounting trends.

Whether this means researching legal updates or keeping up with the latest technology, staying up to date can help you look good in your manager’s eyes and become an asset for your firm.

The simplest way to stay on top of accounting trends is to read industry-specific articles on the internet, but you can also use your carefully crafted network to help you learn about the latest information.

Read posts on LinkedIn from fellow accountants and bookkeepers, and reach out to industry professionals you know to be exceptionally knowledgeable to help you stay in the loop.

In addition, don’t become complacent with your software.

Whether you own your own solo practice or work for the largest accounting firm in the country, keeping apprised of the latest and greatest software trends always helps. This will make you a valued member of your firm, as well as an attractive candidate for new jobs or promotions.