Joe O’Brien, Partner and Head of Talent, speaks to Business Plus about the ideal skills for a career in accountancy. August 2019.
'Accountancy firm Walsh O’Brien Harnett provides advisory, accounting, taxation and audit services. The firm has five partners and 40 professional staff, and partner Joe O’Brien believes that the most underappreciated aspect of an accountancy career is communication.
“This is fundamental when working in a client-facing role,” O’Brien explains. “The three key skills are being a good communicator, a team player and being able to think in a logical and commercial manner. The use of technology in auditing and accounting is becoming more important every day in the way we do business and provide services, so this is something graduates should be comfortable with.”
“I think the training bodies need to start looking at soft skills,” O’Brien adds. “This aspect is often forgotten about, but it is vitally important once graduates begin their careers. Being flexible and dynamic is also now expected as the norm, and we always want our graduates to be proactive and take responsibility.
“What we see most is that people don’t know what’s involved in pursuing an accountancy career. We always recommend securing summer work experience or completing an internship with a practice or business to make sure it’s the right choice for you.”'