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Essential Skills for Accounting Grads – Advice from the Director of Mawer Consulting

August 25, 2015 by Curtin CEL Team

Essential Skills for Accounting Grads – Advice from the Director of Mawer Consulting

Greg Mawer is an experienced taxation advisor with extensive experience in public practice, commerce and academia. He is currently the Director of Mawer Consulting  (a firm that provides a range of successful businesses with business coaching, accounting and taxation services and advice) and a sessional lecturer with Curtin University’s School of Accounting.

Greg has highlighted three essential skills that accounting grads will need to successfully enter the workforce:

There are many ways in which you can set yourself apart from the other accounting graduates. Choosing the right units during your study, as well as learning other non-academic skills, are critical factors to give your career a kickstart. Here are three of the most important skills that you need prior to graduating to be a highly employable accounting graduate:

  1. Accounting Computer Package Experience: Knowing how to use an accounting software package is an essential skill for all accounting graduates to have. Whether it be MYOB or Xero, the skills are relatively transferrable. I have dealt with graduates who don’t know how to use any accounting computer packages; they would be at least six months behind the game compared to other graduates.
  1. Accounting Modelling Experience: I heard a saying a number of years ago, “Good accountants record the past, great accountants influence the future.” Building financial models is an imperative skill for any accountant who wants to become more than a ‘bean counter.’ Being able to review the past, gather the relevant information, analyse the situation and provide financial direction is an ability that will put you above other graduates.
  1. Interpersonal Skills: Accountants are stereotypically (rightly or wrongly) known for having personalities like bricks. Being able to socialise, network, and hold down a conversation are all skills that will increase a graduate’s employability. Getting outside your comfort zone and meeting new people is a great way to build these skills. Another way is presenting in front of other people. This will build confidence in yourself and your speaking ability.

If you have a these three skills and a high course weighted average, you will be among the most employable accounting graduates.

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