While it can take a significant amount of time and effort to become a senior accountant, many who work in those positions still have aspirations beyond their current role. Transitioning from senior to manager is a common goal, and the number of opportunities to do so only seems to be increasing.
However, making the move into management doesn’t happen automatically. There are additional steps senior accountants need to take to advance professionally. If you are ready to shift from senior accountant to manager, here are some career development tips to get you started on that path.
Know Your Target
Certain roles have unique qualifications. While becoming an accounting manager may require a college degree and a certain amount of experience, soft skills are also critical. Since you would be overseeing the work of others, communication and leadership skills are both essential. Otherwise, you may struggle to articulate your expectations or inspire your team, and that would lead to poorer outcomes.
If you have your eyes set on being a CFO or Controller, then data-oriented technical capabilities are vital. Similarly, analytical skills and the ability to discuss complex information to those without accounting backgrounds would be critical to your success.
By understanding where you want to go, you can make sure that you gain experience in the proper areas. Otherwise, you may end up with enough time in your senior accountant role only to discover you fall short on other requirements.
While plenty of senior accountants have Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credentials, not all seniors have pursued a certification. If you want to transition into management, getting certified could be a necessity, as some companies may consider it a requirement.
However, even if a prospective employer doesn’t list a certification as a must-have, it is still wise to pursue one. Being able to list the credential on your resume could help you stand out from other candidates, increasing the odds you will land the role.
Which certification you choose may depend on where you want to take your career. Consider whether you want to work in the public or private sector, then select a certification that aligns with that goal.
It is never wise to assume your current manager knows about your career goals. If you haven’t discussed your desire to advance your career with your boss, letting them know you’d like to move up is a smart move. After having the conversation, they may provide you with access to additional career development opportunities. Additionally, they may share guidance regarding areas where you need to improve, ensuring you have everything you need to take that step when the time is right.
Work With a Recruitment Agency
Recruitment agencies commonly have access to opportunities that aren’t advertised elsewhere. Further, they can help you prepare for your job search, ensuring your resume and interviewing skills are up to the task.
If you are ready to go from senior to manager, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our current vacancies and see how our career development expertise can benefit you.