What skills do I need?

Aug 11, 2011

If your first reaction to becoming a CPA was, “I’m not a math person,” don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. Sure, basic math skills are important, but being a CPA is really more about the ability to think differently.

Today’s CPAs act as consultants and are looked at as business advisors to their clients or their organization.

As a CPA, many opportunities will come your way. Perhaps you’ll be asked to help a client hire employees, put together a business plan, or help your company restructure. The point is, math really isn’t the focus. Yes, there are numbers and dollars and you need to know how to add and subtract. But beyond that, it’s having the critical thinking skills to work through problems and focus on the bigger picture.

Companies want to hire CPAs with a wide range of skills, beyond those you learn in math and finance. To become a CPA, you’ll need strong communication skills, technology and problem solving skills. Also ‐ besides your accounting and business courses, be sure to prepare by taking courses in finance, management, marketing, communications, economics, computer science, humanities and science.