What's the Secret to CPA Success?

Gina Deveney
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The secret to CPA success lies in focusing on exceeding expectations of the clients that accounting professionals serve together with other stakeholders. Hard work, diligence and good interpersonal skills are paramount to achieving success. Young accounting professionals must prepare for lifelong learning and self-development.

Success starts primarily from an appetite for risk. As a young financial expert, learn to stretch your limits and get an appetite for bigger challenges. It takes a lot of effort to succeed as a CPA. There cannot be any learning if you do the same thing over and over again. Trying out new avenues gives you a new insights, opportunities to learn and getting your work noticed by those in the management level. Talk to your supervisor before undertaking a challenge so that he can support you as you give it your best shot. Use failures as learning experiences.

A mentorship program is also a step towards success in the world of finance. In corporate America, most firms appreciate the value of mentorship to both the protégé and the firm. Mentorship is a sure way of passing critical skills and experience to newer members of the firm, which guarantees continuity. It also gives the young accounting professional a chance for higher pay and career advancement. Get an experienced CPA to mentor you; he could be within your organization or in another firm. However, you must swallow your pride and work under him.

Upward management is another great opportunity for young accounting professionals to move to the top. Over time, new technologies emerge that offer tools for better quality work. Young professionals learn the skills more easily than older professionals. Seize the opportunity to teach the older professionals how to use new technology at the workplace. Brainstorm great ideas to solve challenges and complete projects. Give this opportunity a try and soon, you move up the ladder with new responsibilities.

Success is also dependent on the right frame of mind. Take charge of your career and steer its direction. If you find that you are not improving in the position you hold, it may be time to seek other opportunities within the firm or elsewhere.

Use your bosses to assess your weaknesses and guide you into improving them. Most accounting professionals worry about candid appraisals, but they are good opportunities to get constructive criticism. A study by Leadership IQ in 2010 showed that less than 50 percent of workers felt that they received positive criticism from their bosses. Ask your supervisors to give as much positive criticism as possible. Work on areas that your supervisors point out as your weaknesses.

CPA success is a product of planning, dedication and networking. As a young accounting professional aspiring to hit the top, tactfully combine all these qualities as you move up the ladder. That the bottom line is to provide quality services that exceed the normal expectations of all the stakeholders.


Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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