Why Strong Cross-Departmental Skills Help Young Accountants

Why Strong Cross-Departmental Skills Help Young Accountants

In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses the importance of learning the art of cross-collaboration with different departments. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies.

Although accounting and finance professionals must regularly interface cross-departmentally, a 2015 study of 2,200 CFOs found that the greatest challenge they faced was interacting with different personalities. If you’re entering the accounting profession, you can make yourself a highly desirable candidate by honing your interpersonal skills. Here’s why.

  • You expand your range of employment opportunities. The amount of expected collaboration varies dramatically depending upon the industry in which you want to work. Even if you have your sights set on a career at one of the Big 4 public accounting firms, you’ll have to have a knack for relating to a broad scope of client personalities, all with different levels of accounting experience and understanding.
  • It prepares you to take on different, more challenging roles within the organization. An accounting professional who can wear different departmental hats is extremely valuable. If you exhibit the ability to network effectively, your supervisors and team members will have confidence in your leadership abilities.
  • You help management make sound decisions. Being comfortable in collaborative environments and having clear and persuasive communications skills is not common in the world of accounting, and therefore extremely desired. If you can effectively present your findings and ideas in a language that non-accountants can understand, you can effectively influence decisions and help to create an efficient and orgainized methodology to problem solving and issue resolution.
  • Your team members will like you! Okay… “making friends” clearly isn’t going to be incorporated into your job description. However, when you have a strong rapport between team members, it creates a cohesive company culture. This results in every member of the team speaking the same language, ensuring that directives and ideas are always clearly understood.

Lewis Daidone works alongside boards of directors, venture capitalists, senior executives and partners toward improving infrastructure, growth projections, and fiscal results of financial services and technology companies.  Follow him on Facebook to know more.

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The Job Interview: Coping with Curveball Questions

The Job Interview: Coping with Curveball Questions

In today’s post, Lewis Daidone discusses how challenging questions during your job interview can be used to your advantage. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to tech companies and financial services firms.

As job interviews become more and more extensive and multi-faceted—including, in some cases, luncheon meetings and video conferences—questions will inevitably become faintly personal. While simple queries about home towns, parents, and associates might only be meant to put applicants at ease or discover common associations, sometimes they can open up unexpected cans of worms. Family relationships might be strained, past friends no longer on speaking terms, or beloved relatives stricken by some tragedy. Although such questions aren’t meant to “test” you necessarily, they can lead to very uncomfortable moments if they aren’t handled well. Here are a few things to remember that could help you transform difficult interview situations into positive ones.

  • Always, always, always be honest. It is never a good idea to be untruthful in an interview because if your interviewer discovers the deception later… game over. Be as forthright as possible, better to deal with a mild awkwardness than get caught in a lie.
  • Ease into the difficult subject. Let’s say your interviewer used to know a relative of yours who is now under hospice care. When the interviewer, unaware of this fact, asks how she is, do your best to reveal the circumstances as gently as possible. Do not blurt out the information. While the situation is definitely sad, you don’t want to give your interviewer the impression that she said something wrong, which could make the rest of your interview uncomfortable.
  • Frame bad circumstances as triumphs, or learning experiences. If your interviewer is a close associate of someone who dislikes you, don’t act like this is not the case. Diffuse the situation as best you can, because your interviewer will definitely ask this associate about you. When you are asked if you know this person, explain that there had been difficulties in the past which were unfortunate, but you recognize how misunderstandings may have occurred, and believe that under different circumstances this all could have been avoided. In any case you learned from this experience and are confident that, as a result, nothing of the sort could ever happen again.

No one’s life is perfect, but your capacity to meet diverse challenges combined with the ability to discuss them maturely and openly will help you to ace the job interview process. Remember, you might not have the right answers, but very often it is the way you deliver your answers that will give interviewers confidence in your abilities.

Lewis Daidone works alongside boards of directors, venture capitalists, senior executives and partners toward improving infrastructure, growth projections, and fiscal results of financial services and technology companies.  Follow him on Facebook to know more.