Posted by Robert Half on 07 January 2017
There's more to a career in finance and accounting than simply scrutinising spreadsheets. These often unsung professionals experience great diversity in their role.
Here are some of the aspects of accounting and finance jobs cited in the survey that demonstrate just why they love their job so much:
1. Your voice is an important one
Today’s financial analysts, auditors, accountants and compliance professionals are considered valued business partners and key decision makers. Companies rely on their sound advice to make recommendations and shape strategy. Companies increasingly want them to speak up and identify problems before they get out of hand. In fact, being outgoing and client-oriented are key strengths for a career in accounting and finance today. Executives want their finance professionals to provide candid assessments of the firm’s books and financial practices and to offer data-grounded insights and solutions.
Finance and accounting professionals give senior management accurate financial information that executives use to meet company objectives and ensure growth. They are also key players in strategic decisions such as hiring and navigating changes in tax laws, and many serve as leaders in mentoring programs and team building. Fulfilling all of these roles is a source of pride for these professionals and make a career in finance and accounting very appealing.
2. Diversity of tasks keeps it rewarding
Many accounting and finance professionals love the scope and dynamic aspects of their jobs. They like being able to tap their technological know-how, methodical approaches to problem solving and deep understanding of how businesses work. They enjoy being called on to help predict and prevent risks associated with new products and ventures, implement and monitor software solutions, analyse large sets of data and help with staffing issues. In a finance and accounting career, you must be both detail-oriented and able to see the bigger picture.
3. Finance work aligns with your personality
If you’re an accountant, you were likely drawn to the profession because you are confident working with numbers. Many accountants share traits such as being highly organised, logical and reliable. Perhaps you’re even a borderline perfectionist. You love your job because it fits well with your temperament. And when your profession matches your personality, the result is greater career satisfaction.
4. Finance pros are strong team players
The 'fact' that people who are good with numbers aren’t effective in a team setting isn’t a fact but a stereotype. Many accountants are extroverted, agreeable and open. As such, they enjoy sharing ideas, making strategic decisions and solving problems with colleagues. Their jobs allow them to use both the left (analytical) and right (creative) sides of their brain.
5. There’s room to explore and grow
Doctors specialise during their residencies and generally stick to their chosen area of medicine. Similarly, athletes and academics often adhere to one area of expertise. Not so with accounting and finance professionals, who, with some additional training, can handle a broad range of positions and roles. The potential for personal and professional growth in a finance career is wide and as employers are eager to hire such specialists, this career path offers great upward mobility.
An accounting degree or Master of Business Administration, especially when paired with the right certifications and ongoing training, can open doors to a wide variety of jobs. With a solid work history, you likely have the requisite financial, technical and interpersonal skills for roles in a number of different industries and companies. You could even strike out on your own as a financial consultant.
6. Finance professionals and accounting careers are growing
As businesses expand, the need for finance professionals is growing, especially positions in accounts payable / accounts receivable, accounting, compliance, payroll, and business and budget analysis. The upshot:
- You’re not wedded to one company. Whether you’re relocating or just ready for a new challenge, the positions are out there.
- Salaries are rising. According to the Robert Half Salary Snapshot, starting pay in the accounting and finance field is projected to rise 3.5 percent this year. Before you ask for a promotion or negotiate salary for a new job, consult the Robert Half Salary Guide and our Salary Calculator so you’re on solid ground.
Aside from your affinity for working with numbers, there are many reasons a career in finance and accounting is a great move. Take advantage of all the opportunities your job offers, and you can have a long and satisfying career.