If you want to succeed in accounting, you know you’ll need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. And as we trend toward a more analytic-driven world, accounting professionals should expect to take on more predictive financial analytic tasks. This advanced type of analytics uses many different techniques to evaluate current data to make predictions about future trends.
“Accountants are no longer solely tasked with reporting on historical data. Many of the manual task-oriented, repetitive processes commonly taken on by accountants are becoming automated,” says Mike Ruben, a Senior Director within the Accounting/ Finance division at The Execu|Search Group. “And with the help of AI, accountants have the ability to not only analyze historical data, they now have the chance to find patterns in the data and predict what will happen for their organization.”
Mastering predictive financial analytics can take some time, but honing in on these three skills can help you take advantage of this new trend in the accounting industry:
Financial modeling skills
If you want to take on predictive financial analytic skills, you’ll need to be an expert in financial modeling. Being able to build out financial models of real-world financial situations and properly forecast different situations will make you a top candidate at any organization. “If accounting candidates are looking to advance their careers and become competitive in the market, they should make learning financial modeling a priority,” says Mike. “Few accountants have these skills at the moment, but as more organizations take on a forward-thinking approach, they’ll need to hire accountants with this complex skill.”
Advance Excel skills
It should come as no surprise that Excel skills are a necessity if you want to get ahead in predictive financial analytics. Most financial modeling components are built in Excel. So, understanding Excel like the back of your hand will make these predictive financial analytic tasks easier for you to do. In particular, Macros and SQL are important components to learn if you want to build your skillset up. If you don’t have these particular skills mastered, websites such as Lynda and Udemy can help you learn the basics. However, getting experience with these programs at work should be a priority.
Technical skills aren’t the only thing accountants should consider if they want to get ahead in their careers. They should also work on their communication skills if they want to succeed. In fact, being a good communicator is one of the top skills employers look for in new hires. If you can’t clearly communicate your findings and insight to stakeholders at work, your predictive financial analytics work may go to waste. To build up your communication skills, practice your public speaking skills or take a business writing class. Becoming a better communicator will give you the opportunity to showcase your new technical skills and can help you stand out at work.