Forget being the walking, talking IFRS regurgitator (unless you are wanting to be the technical director at a large accounting firm of course!) - accounting has moved on.

Whilst technical skills are always at the heart of what we do - if you can’t communicate effectively, or work in a team, or show motivation to learn and develop over time then your career is doomed to be average.

It’s fair to say that when we are studying accounting - it is the technical aspects on which we focus, but as soon as we step foot into a commercial environment - this is a given and we must develop skills such as leadership, mentoring, conflict resolution and teamwork. Knowing how to get along with people - and displaying a positive attitude - are crucial for success. At Consult, we see first hand that the people who are the leaders in the accounting industry are those who have the strongest soft skills.

This view was supported this week at the fourth CPA Congress held in Auckland, where there was a huge emphasis on developing your soft skills in your accounting career. And based on our conversations with attendees of the conference - this was extremely well received and applauded.

Speakers at CPA congress ranged from leadership guru Charlie Brockhoff, from the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL), to conflict resolution master psychologist and author Clare Mann to goal setting, world-beating netballer Irene Van Dyk who spoke about goal setting, resilience and tenacity to My Food Bag founder Cecelia Robinson who gave some exceptional insight into the secrets of her entrepreneurial success.

And the audience loved it.

Why did they love it? Well because everyone has the desire to be the best they can be; to have better conversations, to drive business success and to drive toward those aspirations of long ago that have started to gather dust.

Thanks, CPA Australia for providing us accountants with a congress that inspired, motivated and enabled us all to be better at what we do.

We are looking forward to next year’s Congress already.

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