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How to Enhance Your Accounting Career
Posted on 31st August 2017 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
The world isn’t going to wait for you to catch up with the latest trends and developments. It can be intimidating just thinking about updating your skills to fit into the advisory space, but fear not. With a huge community of advisors at our disposal, we know exactly how to get you on a professional upwards trajectory. Read on to find out the best practices to undertake to elevate yourself to the top of the field.
Don the reading glasses and kick back – there’s a whole wealth of information out there which will give you an edge over your competitors!
Keeping up with literature created by industry pros is a solid way to stay in the know. Technology is ever-evolving, and you need to be too. If you’re struggling to know which blogs are trusted sources, take a look at our top accounting blogs roundup and see who made the cut. There are plenty of suggestions there to get you going, but it’s also smart to read the blogs of your peers on their own websites. You’ll gain valuable insight into the way they operate, and this practice is more than likely to give you a few ideas for your own firm.
Checking in with the business sections of national, and even international, news sites is a great plan too. You’ll probably stumble across something that’s changing or is being reformed, which you can pass on to your clients. We like to check in with The Huffington Post and the Guardian most mornings, as their well-written articles make for an easily digested news injection.
Spending a few hours here and there re-reading your clients websites and blogs. You’ll impress them if you refer to something they’ve published, and you could even ask to share something in your own blog. This also opens up the conversation about testimonials and case studies, which are probably the best things to obtain from clients other than referrals. Our case studies sum us up as a company, but they also allow our existing customers to tell their story. This benefits both parties, and gives us the chance to catch up with clients and see how they’re getting on.
Getting your voice heard can be tough, especially if you’re guilty of hiding behind email and social media to speak to peers and prospective clients. In a world obsessed with the internet, the majority of us are small fish in a big pond. It’s a constant battle to be noticed, so take a step away from your screen and grow your brand organically.
Making connections is a key part of your professional development. While it can be a bit awkward at first the more you get out to networking events, the easier it gets. If you are a bit nervous, take your second in command (or colleague) with you so you’ve got an ally in the room, which could help break the ice with people. But be warned – sticking together for the entire event is going to limit your chances of success, so divide and conquer!
If you’re able to, check out the attendees before the networking event. Beelining the relevant people means you can take on the event efficiently, and get out of there before it turns into general chit chat you won’t get anything from. When you speak to the people you’ve targeted, make sure you’re armed with a bit of small talk. Mention a recent blog post, or anything their firm or business has recently updated or produced. You’ll show them you’re genuinely interested – and that you’ve done your homework. Most people enjoy talking about themselves to an extent so take advantage of this to really get on someone’s radar.
Exhibitions are extremely tiring. More often than not you’ll need to travel, and an early start can see you burnout before the day is up. It’s not all doom and gloom by any stretch of the imagination, though, as they are the unrivalled best place to make valuable connections.
We’re big fans of the larger events like Accountex and Xerocon because anyone who’s anyone is present and ready to share their exciting news. Spend the day in this lovely environment – you just never know who you might bump into. We’ve had the privilege of exhibiting FUTRLI to our industry peers over the last few years and these events have contributed to our growth. And while you’re there, look out for the freebies – there’s always some coffees, sunglasses, drinks bottles or similar knocking about, so take advantage! If you’ve not been before, don’t fear – we’ve put together some handy tips to see you through any exhibition.
There are a wealth of local events around which we’d advise you check out. As we’re based in Brighton, our local exhibition is Let’s Do Business, often located up on the racecourse boasting gorgeous views. But, of course, that’s not all. They report that 92% of attendees generated new business in their last event, which is a statistic we can get behind! With 90 businesses in attendance, it’s a pretty humble event compared to those across the globe. Just think where it could take you. Additionally, research and sign up with Chamber of Commerce groups. They’re pretty tight-knit groups of business people, sending out news, contacts and often events, always there to support you.
Your degree may have once felt like the top of Everest in terms of education, but nowadays it’s more like base camp three. That’s why continuing professional development (CPD) schemes are brilliant. The whole idea is to upskill yourself, and your team. As you’ll have noticed, it can be a challenge to keep up with industry advancements. Joining a CPD scheme is going to keep you a head above the rest, and combined with some on-point marketing, you’ll notice a snowball effect with client interest and retention in no time.
We love to learn, and that’s why we’ve created our very own CPD course: FUTRLI certification. The course is designed to teach you everything you need to know about advisory services, from the basics of forecasting right the way to rolling out your new way of working internally and to clients. We focus on educating potential advisors on the why and how. Divided into core strategies, the 6-part course features 25 modules for you to work through, taking you from being a history-lesson accountant and depositing you in the agile, revenue-increasing and (most importantly) fun world of advisory.