There are four ways you can excite an employer: demonstrate you can make money for the organization, save money, solve problems, and reduce the stress and pressure the boss is under. Those in accounting and finance are typically able to demonstrate all four when they succeed in quantifying their results. In your job sketches, concentrate on recalling past projects you worked on and determine what the results of those projects were.
With so much financial and accounting information computerized these days, it should be relatively easy to review past reports and demonstrate what your successes have been.
Although you will certainly want to let employers know what your duties were, devote the greatest amount of time to determining what your results have been.
Although more and more accountants now have experience in converting from one computerized accounting system to another, make the most of your experience. If a firm anticipates a conversion in the next 2-3 years, your conversion experience could make you very valuable. Don’t just indicate that you were involved in conversions, but also indicate the level of success. If the conversion was smooth, if the consultant indicated you had done a good job of preparing for the conversion, or if it was completed on schedule, say so. No conversion takes place without a hitch, so to say that it was a smooth conversion merely means that bugs were quickly fixed and that it was completed on schedule or close to schedule.
Look for various types of results. Did you produce new management reports or modify existing reports to make them more useful and timely? Many reports are extremely time sensitive, so if you reduced the time needed to produce a report from 14 days after quarter-end, to ten days after, that would make a strong statement.
Did you computerize an operation which had been done manually? Then calculate the number of man-hours saved. If it eliminated the need for a position, indicate that as well.Perhaps you improved the accounting operation so well that your audits were much improved. Perhaps you could say that exceptions were reduced by a certain percentage or from ten the previous year to only one, or perhaps none.
If you were involved in accounts receivable perhaps you could state that 90-day and over receivables were reduced by a certain percent or that days outstanding were reduced from 40 to 30.
We’ve worked with numerous accountants who started making use of previously unutilized short-term cash. By creating a system for investing excess cash for a few days, we’ve seen controllers of small companies earn the equivalent of their salary just by doing so.
Other accounting people have found ways to reduce the transaction time on billings or reduce invoicing errors. Others have developed systems to avoid double paying invoices on their accounts payable.
Finance people have found ways to reduce interest expense on loans, have taken companies public and raised new monies, negotiated larger lines of credit, and found ways to reduce taxes.