A recent survey conducted by Robert Walters reveals that accounting and finance professionals value mentors with technical skills and expertise more than professionals in other industries.
The survey, distributed to US professionals working in various disciplines, asked a series of questions concerning a range of employment related topics from work/life balance to environmental policies and employer support.
When asked to identify what they consider to be the most valuable attribute in a professional mentor, the majority (64%) of accounting and finance professionals selected a willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise more than any other attribute. In contrast, the majority of those respondents who work in other industries (54%) indicated that they value the provision of guidance, recommendation and constructive feedback most in a mentor.
Nick Louca, associate director, Robert Walters, New York comments: “These results are not surprising given the nature of the industry. Technical skills are integral, if not most important, for every accounting and finance professional to possess. Employers looking to hire professionals in this discipline are placing a strong emphasis on skills and relevant expertise. Therefore, this survey confirms that accounting and finance professionals are aware of the importance of technical skills within their line of work and that they value any opportunity to develop those skills.”
The study also reveals that 64% of accounting and finance professionals have been involved in a formal mentoring program as opposed to only 35% of professionals from other disciplines. Interestingly, 71% of all respondents thought they would benefit from being involved in a professional mentoring program.
This is further reflected in how finance professionals answered what defines their career progression. The majority chose skills and their contribution to the business (55%), followed by team dynamics and the role they play within the team (27%), and then politics and their ability to position themselves favorably with managers (18%). No accounting and finance professionals selected the success of their firm as a whole as defining their career progress.
These responses show the common mindset shared among accounting and finance professionals today - a focus on developing skills and proving their ability to add value to the business. It is also important to note that the unpopular answers among this group are those concerning collaboration in the workplace. Accountants are currently aware of the competitive atmosphere of the job market and are focused on increasing their skill set in order to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Technical skills are integral, if not most important, for every accounting and finance professional to possess.
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