Computing skills help job-hunting accountants

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The Independent Online
QUALIFIED accountants who are looking to change jobs need to emphasise computing, leadership and team-building skills rather than training in a leading firm or performance in examinations, according to a survey published today.

Eighty per cent of employers believe that computing skills are more important than they used to be when they are recruiting qualified accountants with up to five years' experience, Reed Accountancy, the recruitment agency, says.

This is followed by 68 per cent citing leadership skills, 65 per cent rating team-playing ability and 50 per cent opting for communication skills.

In contrast, 48 per cent of employers say that a 'classic' big six background is less important than it used to be, and only 20 per cent see first-time passes as more important than before.

The report, Qualified Accountants: What do Employers Want?, also finds that industry-specific experience and management information and analytical skills are in demand.

Alec Reed, founder and chairman of Reed Accountancy, sees the reduced intake of students by the leading accountancy firms as posing a threat to the standards of the profession.

'Very few companies will be as stringent or cohesive in attracting top potential at this age as accountancy firms have been in the past,' he said.