Now that summer is here and busy season is over, you’re likely looking forward to some much-deserved down time! While you can certainly use the summer to take a well-earned breather, this quieter time of the year can also afford you the opportunity to deepen your accounting systems and program knowledge.
“Now that things are generally quieter at the majority of accounting firms, you’ll have more time on your hands to focus on career development,” says Rich Kahl, a Senior Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting / Finance division. “Since firms are adapting to new technologies in order to streamline their processes and become more competitive, familiarizing yourself with these accounting systems will make you a much more valuable employee and position you for success in future roles.”
Looking to use the summer to make yourself a more marketable accountant? Here are four accounting systems and programs to learn this summer:
To keep up with evolving regulations and heavy workloads, many large accounting firms are in the process of upgrading their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Not only are firms looking to hire implementation specialists, but also accountants who can bring enough technical skills to the role. “As automation becomes a priority for many firms, the use of ERPs is almost a given in today’s accounting world,” says Rich. “As a result, the summer is a great time to build your knowledge of and experience with a popular ERP system, such as SAP.”
Because of its ability to improve the efficiency of accounting processes, firms are actively looking for accountants who can use Hyperion with ease. This is especially important for analyst and financial reporting roles. “Accountants who fill these roles must be able to handle a high volume of work, both accurately and efficiently, and the Hyperion portfolio is a critical tool many firms use to help accomplish this,” says Rich. “Even if your current role does not require you to utilize this software, developing this skill can be a great investment in your career. It will not only keep you indispensable at your current firm, but also make you more marketable for future positions.”
If your background or preference is working within smaller firms, ensuring your QuickBooks skills are sharp is crucial. “QuickBooks is easily the most widely-used program to help clients with smaller revenues and limited budgets, so you’ll need to demonstrate a high-level of proficiency in it at a smaller firm,” advises Peter Tegano, a Senior Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting / Finance division. “Since QuickBooks covers so many different areas of accounting, from operational tasks to reporting, accounting professionals with this skill will have a better chance of getting called in for an interview.”
Advanced Excel skills
Every accountant should have some degree of Excel knowledge. However, advanced Excel skills such as VLOOKUPS and macros are becoming increasingly important to hiring managers. ”If you aren’t clear about what specific areas of Excel you’re proficient in on your accounting resume, a hiring manager could pass you over altogether,” warns Peter. “As a result, the more specific you can be the better.” If you can’t say that you have more advanced knowledge of the program, this summer—when the work might be slow and your schedule might be more flexible—is the perfect time to take a course.