As an entry-level accountant, you are likely preoccupied with trying to build your career. In order to do that, new accountants should focus on increasing the value they bring to their employers. The following are some of the key ways new accountants can make themselves valuable to the company for which they work and in turn grow their own careers.
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Meet All Expectations
New accountants should first and foremost focus on meeting, and in some cases exceeding, all expectations that are put forth by their employers. Meeting key expectations and proving the capability of doing more is a necessary first step to proving worth to an employer. Expectations can include finishing work in a timely fashion, arriving and departing work on time and meeting deadlines. Of course, deadlines may be missed occasionally for legitimate reasons, but new accountants should strive to ensure this happens as little as possible. Strive to exceed expectations as often as possible as well. Doing so increases an employee’s value to the company because they are shown to put extra care into their work and be highly dependable.
Entry-level accountants should strive at all times while at work to demonstrate impeccable professionalism. Doing so helps build a professional image and reputation early in a career, which boosts the likelihood of long-term career success and fulfillment. An entry-level accountant can demonstrate professionalism by dressing appropriately, carrying themselves with dignity when meeting clients or in corporate meetings, and ensuring that their work is accurate and neatly-presented. This includes being willing to deal with mistakes with dignity, work to remedy them and learn from them.
Gain Additional Experience and Credentials
All professionals, no matter their industry or where they are in their careers, should always be pursuing continuing education opportunities. Taking advantage of all of these opportunities an employer offers is one way to gain additional knowledge. This can include seminars, training sessions, college-level courses and more. It is also important for entry-level accountants to continue learning on their own by reading books, blog posts and other resources that can make them more qualified professionals. Entry-level accountants can also take on pro bono or additional work, such as during tax time, to increase their experience. Other credentials can include certifications in the usage of a specific software. The most well-known accounting certification is the CPA, which is outlined below, but there are others such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Become A Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Public Accountants, commonly known as CPAs, are held in extremely high regard for a reason. CPAs have a few rights that regular accountants do not, such as being able to make official reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Getting certified as a CPA is not easy and is not the right choice for every accounting professional. However, the prestige and privileges that accompany this certification are undeniable. Starting on the path to become a CPA is well worth considering for all entry-level accountants looking to increase their value to their companies. Becoming a CPA also opens doors for additional career advancements and options down the road.
All entry-level employees should take steps to increase their value as an asset to the company they work for now as well as into the future. An entry-level accountant should take the above steps, as well as other necessary ones, to increase their value to their employers and grow their careers.