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3 Skills Recruiters Look For In New CPAs

3 Skills Recruiters Look For In New CPAs

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A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is a professional title for an accountant that passes their state’s accountancy board. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that 46 states require CPA applicants to have 150 academic hours of accounting work, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting, some years of professional work, and passing the Board of Accountancy examinations for the state the accountant resides in.

Although the BLS indicates CPAs are very qualified in a competitive job market for accountants, recruiters will still try to find aspects of a CPA’s resume that will make them stand out from other applicants. To learn about key CPA skills, contact a company like ADP Solutions today. Here are the top three skills recruiters look for in new CPAs:

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills seem apparent, but CPAs cannot be accountants that bury themselves in books. CPAs must consistently provide financial insight and analysis to managers and executives as well as write up clearly written reports to government agencies. Having a genuine, out-going personality will be one part of the communication equation; being able to discuss frank financial information in meetings or with government officials is the other part of the equation to being a successful CPA.

2. Knowledge

CPAs will need to enroll in continuing education credits to maintain their status in their state. Displaying a willingness to learn and incorporate new financial information is incredibly important for a CPA.

For example, take the example of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA. This legislation affects how businesses conduct themselves in terms of health care policies, human resources, and financial planning. A CPA that has not trained themselves to understand the ACA and how it would impact the business they work for is a serious risk to hire.

Seeing a CPA that continues their education requirements and is savvy to the latest financial regulations and laws will attract recruiters.

3. Some Business Skills

Although a recruiter will assume a CPA either has a bachelor’s degree plus a master’s degree or a 5-year bachelor’s/master’s degree, recruiters will want to see the student has some business acumen. CPAs will usually have some years of work since states require CPAs to have a few years of professional work before applying for CPA-status.

Nevertheless, recruiters want well-rounded CPAs who understand all aspects of business. A CPA who can show classwork, a minor, or double-major in finance, marketing, management, or other business field will look more attractive to recruiters. A CPA who can show they branched out with work responsibilities during their first few years of entry-level work will also appear more well-rounded.


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Hayley Granton Hayley is a freelance blogger, author, and business consultant. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her two young daughters.