Skills Recruiters Seek in Accountancy and Financial Management

The accountancy and financial management sector may require intellectual horsepower, but it’s not the only thing employers look out for.
Gradsingapore Author Team
The Gradsingapore team

It’s no secret employers in the accountancy and financial management industry look for certain traits in graduate jobseekers, and while some skills looked for are unique to the firm in question, there are a few employers are consistently keeping an eye out for.

Commercial awareness

If you want to enter the accountancy and financial management sector, commercial awareness is vital. Come to know and understand your employer, the business you want to work in, the other sectors you will be collaborating and working with, as well as competitors.

Prove your commercial awareness during the interview, pinpoint some issues that may be facing the company or the industry. Show you know who owns the company you are trying to join, and, as much as you can, give your interviewer answers from the perspective of an insider, not so much a customer.

Communication

Passing on potentially byzantine information in a manner that is both professional and without accounting jargon takes a fair bit of communication and interpersonal skills. Accountants also tend to work in teams no matter the level of business, so good communication skills are vital to ensure teamwork amongst members.

As such, recruiters and interviewers will evaluate your communication and interpersonal skills through the recruitment process.

Interest and enthusiasm

Candidates who have initiative and display interest and enthusiasm usually impress employers, and those who take the time to get in touch with and make themselves known to recruiters have a higher chance of standing out. Show your enthusiasm for the position by conducting your own research and attending career fairs and networking sessions to meet people from the company you are looking at.

Later, during the interview, refer to your research and slip in a few mentions of the organisation’s work that interests and intrigue you before relating it to your own skills.

Innovation

Employers always keep an eye out for new and fresh ideas to continuous refresh an improve processes and procedures, and an ability to develop and pinpoint new opportunities to better the company is valued.

Quick learning

The accountancy and financial management industry is such that accountants and employees of the sector need to be able to grasp new concepts and ideas fast, whether its meeting new clients, understanding data or new information, or taking on a new project. For example, if you come across something new, you would need the skills to ask the correct questions and follow up on the right lead.

Recruiters will not just assess intellectual skills by just academic achievements and grades alone – they will also look at how you apply your skills and knowledge in a practical manner in real-life situations. While recruiters and interviewers are not looking for in-depth knowledge on your end, a solid understanding of the basics would impress them and help you in your job search.

While employers generally look for these skills among graduate jobseekers, some do keep an eye out for other skills. Ernst & Young, for example, looks for leadership qualities among candidates, KPMG hunts for resilience, and BDO wants to bring on graduates with colourful, interesting personalities.