What skills will accountants need going forward?
I was looking at the job market via Reed, Total jobs, CV Library, Indeed etc and I noticed a couple of growing trends.
The movement away from Qualified By Experience (QBE):
This is for people who have been doing accounting for a while but have not taken/signed up for a professional accounting qualification; I have noticed a decline in the QBE roles advertised.
The requirement for a degree and a professional qualification:
This one is moving at a slower pace but I have started to notice jobs requiring a professional qualification and a degree, in some extreme cases for very senior posts there is also the requirement for a MBA.
MS Excel: Lookups and Pivot tables, no longer enough!
The definition of intermediate/advanced Excel differs depending on person, nothing is really set in stone but soon ‘Indexing’ and ‘Matching’ will be mentioned on job descriptions and interviews, I am surprised I don’t see ‘Macro’s’ mentioned more but it is definitely an accountants friend and worth learning.
The requirement for at least one additional European language, has risen but this is still a relatively flexible requirement; I’ve also seen jobs looking for candidates who can speak Chinese or Japanese; I’ve actually been surprised at a couple of companies who were owned by Chinese or Japanese investors.
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA):
This tends to be mentioned in finance analyst positions but Microsoft Visual Basic is becoming a necessary requirement for analyst; I don’t know much about VBA I’ve never used it but I know it is a great skill to have.
Structured Query Language (SQL):
Same as VBA, This tends to be mentioned in finance analyst positions but Structured Query Language is becoming a necessary requirement for analyst; again another great skill to learn.