Geeks’ days are numbered
THE days of the geek may be numbered with staff in jobs once considered low profile increasingly required to have people skills.
Accountancy firms increasingly look for people able to build relationships and acquire management skills ahead of technical geniuses who struggle to develop interpersonal relationships.
The improvement of accountancy software together with the development of search engines has meant many accountancy candidates not only need to look technically competent in front of the client. Building a good relationship with that client is most important.
Accountancy firm Collins SBA principal Sean Devenish says the idea of the reclusive accountancy geek was valid in the past but progressive firms are changing that.
‘‘ I’ve been stuck in those social situations where people say: ‘ Accountancy is so boring. Why did you go into it?’ ’’ Devenish says.
‘‘ Where accountancy is going is far more exciting and demands a much higher calibre of person.
‘‘ You are managing a client relationship now and they are coming to you for advice.
‘‘ It’s not just spitting out technical answers to them.’’
Devenish says workers able to quote obscure tax laws are becoming obsolete because the typical client can find most of that information on Google.
One Test development psychologist Melinda Garcia conducts psychometric testing for employers and says there has been increased interest from employers in soft skills.
‘‘ These sorts of social and communication skills are quite critical in the accountancy world,’’ she says.