Is Public Accounting a Good Career Move?

Happy man throwing papers into the air.

When thinking of a career transition, many people think that they must stay within the same industry. Not true. Whether you are a teacher, a healthcare administrator or a bookkeeper for a small business, you may have many transferable skills for a public accounting career.

Accounting firms are also looking for more nonaccounting majors to manage new, internal technologies, services and client needs. A 2021 Trends Report by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 57.3 percent of new graduate hires were accounting graduates and 42.7 percent were nonaccounting graduates.

It may take more education and/or on-the-job training; however, you could be on your way to a dynamic and satisfying accounting job with lifestyle and income mobility. Here are some of the top transferable skills for a public accounting job.


If your mind enjoys identifying patterns and/or creating processes, you will thrive in the public accounting industry. Much of the actual math calculation is now done for you through technology; however, public accountants must be able to interpret laws and processes, test and confirm financial accuracy and advise clients by understanding trends. All of these services rely on an analytical mind.

Time Management

Are you at your best with a deadline? The accounting industry follows a calendar of deadlines for certain services, which means less ambiguity in your schedule. There is also flexibility for work and life integration. If you know how to manage your time well, you will enjoy the built-in work structure and paid time off of an accounting job.

Critical Thinking

Every professional in public accounting is encouraged to apply critical thinking to their role. We don’t want order takers. We want advisors at every level. There is independence and freedom for delivering your best to clients. If you notice a discrepancy or a mistake, you have the power to clarify it and help the team solve it.


This brings us to communication. It’s true that some accountants are technical and prefer working with numbers than with people; the public accounting industry still needs great communicators to translate financial information into easy-to-understand action plans. Whether you are in business advisory solutions, accounting or tax and assurance, client communication and team communication are highly sought skills in this industry.

Attention to Detail

While it’s important to understand the big picture of a client’s vision for their business or a family’s legacy, public accountants are also the keepers of financial records. Attention to detail is a top transferable skill that maintains a client’s financial continuity, security and opportunity.


Finally, teamwork is more important than you may think in public accounting. An individual slaving away alone at a desk is an old idea. Most accountants work in teams to distribute work, review work and advise their clients. They also learn from one another through team training and conference attendance. If you are a social person who loves to collaborate, then accounting offers many new opportunities to use your teambuilding skills and thrive.

If you like solving puzzles in an ethical and orderly way while helping clients sustain their businesses and reach their goals, talk to us at LvHJ. You could be a great future accountant!

Next: How Accounting Firm Cultures are Changing

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