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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.