Accounting, as a profession, is known for its technical and compliance skills. However, in a world where competition may be a bit stiff, and with rapid changes brought by changing technology, accountants have found themselves needing to adapt.
The evolving needs of today’s modern clients means they are now seeking different services than that which they had availed in previous years. Such services require the need of different soft skills.
What are Soft Skills
Soft skills are skills largely untaught when one is studying to be an accountant in college. They are not part of the curriculum but are of equal importance when you’re practicing the field. There are a whole host of skills apart from a technical knowledge of compliance that are needed to make genuine connections with clients. Accounting services in the Philippines concur that these soft skills may include:
– Leadership skills
– Relationship building
– Creative Problem Solving
– Teamwork skills
– Time management
– Crisis aversion skills
– Customer service
These kinds of skills are often people-oriented. It involved the cultivation of connections with people and the knowledge of how to navigate complex situations.
Navigating the Shifting Tides in These Modern Times
Soft skills are extremely important in a profession that is highly commodified. Many people are capable of offering the completion of technical tasks. Technology also makes the hard skills of bookkeeping and accounting more accessible to even everyday individuals.
This is why recent times have seen the rise of advisory services that offer a combination of technical accounting know-how with soft skills. What sets firms and accounting professionals apart is their communication. Soft skills, like good communication, excellent customer service, and relationship building are essential to building true and good relationships with clients, in a move towards becoming an essential part of their team and operations.
Any accountant can keep a business book compliant, but not everyone can offer advice, and be involved in helping them find solutions to their problems. Businesses are looking for tax and accounting services in the Philippines that they can also trust, and build lasting connections with.
Steps Needed to Improve Soft Skills
If you provide accounting and bookkeeping services in the Philippines, you must improve your soft skills to address the demands of modern clients.. Here are things you can do to harness the power of soft skills:
1. Converse more
Practice makes perfect. To improve communication skills you must actively practice communicating and conversing with others. Encourage your team to try increasing the volume and quality of conversations had with clients. Teach them to take time to explain things that need to be explained, and have them do so over the phone or in person as this is better for developing rapport rather than email.
2. Become client-focused
Accounting firms serve clients. It is important to teach your time how to be client-focused and thus, people-focused. Do not make team performance solely about numbers. It is important to also ask about the people that you serve, what their needs and concerns are, how they are faring, and the like.
Doing so will ensure that your habits are more focused on connecting rather than simple service delivery. Good client relationships start with understanding, and that can only happen when you create a culture that centers on your clients themselves.
3. Ask questions and listen well
Developing better rapport with clients can start with simply asking questions and listening well. This is a key factor in good communication. Ask them the ‘why’ questions.
By allowing your client to speak and express their thoughts, they will feel understood. This is essential for building trust and rapport. Besides, you cannot be properly equipped to serve their needs if you do not know what it is they are in need of in the first place.
Accountancy is a profession necessitating multiple hard skills. It is technical and sometimes rote. For some, it is a profession that may be viewed as detached; but, it does not have to be. Accounting can be much more fulfilling, fun, and inviting, especially to your clients, with the right soft skills in tow.
Remember, what sets a firm apart is not just their ability to meet compliance requirements, but their capacity to build good, solid, and lasting relationships with the people they work with. If you need more insight, don’t hesitate to contact our accounting services in Pasig. Our team is on standby to assist you.