When I am at my best I bring out the charm that best highlights my strong interpersonal traits. Often many people have a notion that accounting is all about looking at numbers, paperwork and sitting quietly behind a desk and therefore no need to use your conversational skills. That is actually a very wrong perception of this job. At one time my former colleague James was reminding me of an incident at our place of work a while back. I was still a very junior accountant back then and learning the ropes of the trade and this one time the largest shareholder in the company in which I was working came and visited our department unannounced. He found me behind my desk and having never seen him before, he engaged me on a normal discussion about the companys financials. He wanted to get a simplified opinion of the figures in the financial report that he had from an objective perspective. I did it perfectly and the man left quietly without discussing anything with my superiors. Later, during one of the companys stakeholders meetings the investor spoke very highly of me and this has seen me land huge roles in ice-breaking at company meetings several times.
I have often been accused of being very highly attentive to details. For my best support system that includes my family, they have been particularly affirmative of this trait. At this one time, my spouse and I were remodeling our house as we planned on hosting a few friends and family and have a homecoming party for one of my siblings who had been away on military duty. When the interior designers came we disagree on several occasions over minor details, especially about a specific kitchen item and we had to delay the completion for a while until the specific item I wanted was brought in, days to our ceremony. It later turned out that the item the designers wanted to be installed was actually not value for money as I later learned from some of the friends and my sibling who came for the visit. My spouse later came and apologized for getting mad at me at delaying on completing the project after it turned out my attention to detail actually brought quality and saved on our finances in the long run.
At best, I offer resilience and commitment to achieve my goals. Starting out at accounting was not out of sheer luck but a long journey in junior school where I always envisioned my love for numbers growing into a career that I would love. During my undergraduate days as I juggled between academics and part-time jobs, there is one employer who specifically stood out. I had a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant where I would serve and wipe tables up to the late hours of the night. At times we would travel home with my boss so there this time I had two early morning exams and still had a later afternoon job and the usual job at the fast-food restaurant. On this day, I told my boss I was going to the library for a late-night reading session and he was surprised at my tenacity to continue working even after having a long day. Sometimes I visit his restaurant and while revisiting the old times my former boss reminded me of this incident by showing me my old apron with its name tag on. He reminded me that my success and growth in the accounting profession has always been through the resilience that I presented even at a young age.
Ideal job description.
As an accounting double major student and at senior accountant level, I believe I understand and have a clear picture of the ideal job description I would expect to encounter in the future. One of the toughest things that an accountant faces, is to make key and in some instances life-changing decisions in a firm. In investigating the books of account of a firm an accountant gets the true picture of the state of affairs of a firm and can easily predict the future of the company from this analysis. In some instances, the accountant may be exploring the books of accounts of a firm for tax calculation purposes and then realizes this anomaly. The accountant, in this case, is not required to give their opinion, however, I often believe in the effectiveness of a business. From a personal perspective, I would expect to have a chance to discuss what I have witnessed. It would require great inter-personal skills to convince a firm that their business is not developing as expected while all along the internal management was convinced otherwise. It would be unsettling to some of the firms officials but what I have realized in this profession is that in most instances many people hate corrections and therefore would rather avoid facing the truth. I like a scenario where people are allowed to learn their mistakes, especially from a professional opinion since this will enable the quality solution of the problem.
Likewise, I believe in the keenness of every accountant. One of the most common errors in accounting are errors in commission and omission. In the worst-case scenario, these errors can lead to the qualification of an audit through evidence of material misstatements. I would expect under ideal working circumstances of an accounting professional attention to detail is emphasized. For example, through extensive counterchecking of work already done one is able to outline the errors already missed out during preliminary reporting. Most individuals would rather finish up on their work fast, rather than ensuring that they input specific details correctly which in most instances drives me to work on one project at a time. I believe ensuring that each employee should work on one job at a time to ensure attention to details which are key in the efficiency of accounting work.
The accounting profession can at times offer key challenges to both the professional and personal lifestyle of an individual. The jobs are mainly based on strict deadlines and which can lead someone to work for long hours. This has led to high labor turnover rates, especially among many employees. I believe to ensure that accountants are ready to follow this profession one key trait that should be emphasized and checked especially during recruitment is resilience. To identify this trait and nurture it among young students taking up jobs and internship during formative school years should be greatly encouraged as they prepare individuals mentally for what is to be expected in demanding jobs like accounting. Although Im a very resilient person, I would expect to work in a team that possesses the same trait so that we can easily complete group projects without having to be dragged behind by a lethargic individual.
Career reflection and development plan
As of now, Im grateful for the far I have come including reaching a senior accounting position at Aluminium Corporation. I have had a chance to greatly sharpen my accounting skills as well as other life skills such as communication and ability to work under pressure. Through my MBA study, I have had a monumental change in perception. One thing about the MBA program is that as you attend each class you gain more analytical skills. Effectively, it means that you learn to be more inquisitive before making any decisions by having more facts at your disposal. The inclusion of better analytical skills as part my training is very important in my accounting profession as it has now opened my mind to venture into more roles in investigative work especially in audit and also into more senior management roles. I started out my accounting career as a junior level accountant where most of my roles were the standard accounting practice of calculating figures and making the data presentable to the end-user. However, with my MBA study, I have realized I need to exploit my hidden talents and have a chance at providing an opinion on various matters in an organization.
As of now, I believe Im ready to take on new challenges and to this effect, Im now more open-minded in my decisions and actions. Most of the accounting work at junior levels is routine work but there are more changes in senior levels where the unpredictability begins. I have now embraced unpredictability and believe in making an analysis of a situation before making a decision as I anticipate the expected outcome of my decision. Audit work is unpredictable and so is senior management positions in a firm. As an auditor, you are expected to understand the weaknesses of a business and offer your opinion on the matter. This gives a chance at running a firm by offering your thoughts and prepares you for the high uncertainty levels that senior management positions offer. I believe in growing my audit skills and learning to anticipate the outcome of various business decisions Im preparing for a more prominent role in senior management levels and can make CEO or senior partner in one of the top international audit firms.
As a leader tasked with the huge responsibility of running a firm, I would offer a hands-on approach to the work. Delegation is a good management practice, however, most staff feel motivated to work when they see their leader and role model show them the best way to work. I wouldnt micro-manage individuals as it leads to low employee morale in most instances but I would offer a threshold on how I would wish for them to work. I encourage innovation in the work environment and would always be welcome to any revolutionary ideas from the staff without discriminating on the rank or experience levels. I have great attention to detail and resilience to work for long hours while these might be viewed as excellent traits for a leader I would still wish to develop and improve my analytical skills. As a leader improvement in my ability to visualize the future while using my other underlying strengths would ensure that I take the organization that Im leading to great heights.