Why QuickBooks Certification is Worthwhile in Today's Competitive Job Market
By Ray Kelly
May 26, 2011
Intuit's QuickBooks is the top managerial accounting program in the U.S. Anyone can put QuickBooks on their resume, but offering potential employers tangible proof keeps job seekers relevant since those credentials reflect real-world job skills. Becoming a QuickBooks Certified User verifies the certificate holder has the knowledge and skills necessary to use QuickBooks proficiently in a business setting without costly software training.
About 60 years ago, bookkeepers worked for small local businesses or small firms and manually recorded entries in a large bound book. For many years, it was commonplace for accountants to graduate from college or finish their training, and then spend the next 30 or 40 years at the same job. Their employer paid for ongoing training, provided benefits and rewarded longevity.
Then, the market changed. Our financially driven economy, compounded by accounting regulations, is now motivated by dollars and cents instead of quality goods and services. Accounting firms can be large international organizations with billions of dollars in revenues. Accountants are valued consultants, but they are typically autonomous from their clients, left to obtain training and improve their skills on their own to advance their careers.
In addition, accountants today are responsible for information concerning all facets of a business from tax services to financial planning. Accountants are dependent on the latest technology for processing that information, and the role of accounting continues to expand greatly as technology advances.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, accountants and auditors should enjoy much faster than average employment growth from 2008 through 2018, with predicted growth of 22 percent, or 279,400 new jobs. Still, recent accounting graduates are finding a more competitive recruiting market than in the past. College officials report a general decrease in new-graduate hires, and fewer new graduates are finishing school with a job lined up at a large public accounting firm.
So, how can students and new graduates boost their resumes to be more attractive for open positions? How can they compete for jobs with ever expanding requirements based on the latest technology? The people dimension of technology often gets overlooked. Software doesn't work by itself; it is people who maximize its value.
Companies are looking for seasoned, well-trained and well-certified employees who are ready to start working and perform with minimal supervision and training. When a hiring manager reviews multiple files with similar work experience; the specialty certifications and additional education will give an advantage over the competition.
Earning certification for a key accounting application, such as QuickBooks, shows employers the following:
- Drive: Earning certification takes time and effort, and it shows employers the candidate cares enough to develop their technology skills beyond basic competency.
- Proof: Certification gives employers tangible proof the candidate can use a software program effectively, instead of having to take their word for it.
- Real world skills: A college degree and specialized accounting training teaches concepts, but certification demonstrates real world skills that will be more useful on the job.
- Increased ROI: With certification, employers will see an immediate return on investment from a new employee, without having to spend time training them on current software programs.
Bookkeeping in the 21st Century requires more than knowledge of GAAP principles or an eye for detail - students need relevant computing skills. A recent Monster.com study analyzed more than 1.2 million tax and accounting resumes, and only 7 percent of job seekers listed QuickBooks as a hard skill on their resume. Obtaining QuickBooks certification as verified proof for this hard skill will set accounting job seekers above the rest.