The CPA Guide to Management

As CPAs hone their skills in corporate accounting, public accounting, and other financial services, many naturally want to move up the management ladderBut, a management position is not necessarily a given. Yet, you know that your certification is valuable. And that, combined with the right experience and continued education, will grant you entry into your choice of management opportunities.  To be promoted to management, CPAs needs to show they can handle any of the work being performed by support staff under them.  So, where to begin?

Identify Options and Direction

As a CPA, you can choose from several career pathways. Begin by reviewing your interest and aptitude for each.

  • If you excel at technology and information analysis, consider options like big data analysis or business systems manager.
  • You can advance your banking or tax sector management eligibility with certifications in those areas.
  • Interest in accounting’s legal applications may guide you toward studying law.

Pursue Management Education

It is a given that accounting advancement and continued learning go hand-in-hand. Though there is on-the-job training, formal education assures management success.

  • Begin with a course or first step toward a certificate.
    • If most of your coursework was in finance and accounting, consider an IT or human resource option to broaden your knowledge base.
    • When you are considering different career paths, take a continuing education course in each. Doing so offers lessons that can guide your next career step.
  • Use educational benefits at work. Meet with your supervisor to discuss your aspirations.

Refine Your Tech and Soft Skills

Continually upgrade your technical and interpersonal skills to enhance your management potential.

  • Advancing your tech prowess can be accomplished at work or in school.
    • Request to be part of an IT department project or the chance to job shadow.
    • Take a course that will advance skills and demonstrate your commitment to learning.
  • Read about leadership, communication, workplace culture, and employee engagement.
    • Yes, you may find a course on these topics!
    • Objectively assess your workplace in these areas. As a future manager, you can learn as much about what to do well as what to avoid.

Be Your Own Manager First

This is a twist on the “walk the talk” adage. Manage yourself by mastering areas that will benefit from growth.

  • Practice extroversion if you are reserved.
  • Hone your listening and observation skills.
  • Learn to speak before groups.
  • Gain leadership experience by volunteering in your community.

For more career advancement tips, check out Plan Your Path to the CFO Office