Want to get ahead? In today’s job market, it’s no longer enough to be a top drawer accountant with a head for numbers.
These days, you have to be nimble. You have to be a strategist.
You have a nose for business and a keen eye for how to cut waste, boost efficiency, add value for clients and forge extra income streams for your team.
The change is being felt all across the industry. And, for the clearest indication of how the leading firms envision the role of accountants shaping up in the future, you only have to look at what they ask for in the new generation of recruits.
Earlier this year, KMPG caused a stir by scrapping the conventional interview questions about numerical and logical reasoning skills and instead evaluating graduate applicants based on their decision making, flexible attitude and ability to prioritise.
“We want candidates who demonstrate business critical competencies that are relevant to our evolving business, with its emphasis on innovation and agile working,” said Susan Ferrier, the company’s head of human resources, who also tasked candidates to navigate a virtual game environment and completing a four minute “selfie video” describing their personal impact.
“These young people are digital natives. To get a true understanding of their potential we have to immerse them in an assessment where they will respond naturally,” she added.
Embracing the latest technology might be helping accountancy firms to attract the best young graduates, but what does it mean for the old guard? How will they fit in to this brave new digital-driven world?
The answer is simple: you have to adapt. You have to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing and the technological innovations that are available in order to make it to the head of the pack – and to stay there.
And the good news is, it doesn’t just give you an edge on your CV. It really will make your working life more efficient and productive, too.
It gives you a way to add value – while also adding value for you.
That’s because tools like Microsoft 365 and enterprise grade mobile workspaces allow you to tap into your desktop from anywhere, responding rapidly to your clients, your colleagues or your boss and staying on top your work from wherever you are.
It means collaborating seamlessly with other departments and offices, pooling knowledge and sharing best practice approaches with people you might never get to speak to face to face.
It means you’re always learning, always networking and always on the radar of those that are best placed to help you further your career.
KMPG isn’t alone. The Big Four are all making marked shifts towards psychometric testing and “situational judgement tests” which suggest how and where you work best. They’re looking for the kind of people who can weather the storms of the future, not just learn the best ways to work today and expect them to still be the best ways tomorrow.
And when accountancy firms and their clients are looking for people who are dynamic, technologically adept and able to adapt to a rapidly changing professional landscape, it’s time to harness the benefits of the cloud to show you’re ready to rise to the challenges ahead.