Willingness key to successful accounting career, says AAA
The recent American Accounting Association's annual meeting saw the presentation of a paper that outlined the reasons why the most successful corporate accountants are hired and promoted.
According to the association's new study, the key to having a successful corporate accounting career appears to revolve around a willingness to interpret earnings data.
The capacity for adaptability when it comes to earnings was found to be a deciding factor for many employers in the Accountancy sector.
"Executive recruitment professionals indicate that the job candidate whose personality characteristics signal an aversion to earnings management is likely to be screened out before even being considered by prospective employers," said the study.
The study, which was conducted by Scott Jackson of the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business along with colleagues Ling Harris and Joel Owens, looked into how executives made decisions when hiring for senior accounting positions.
It found that when presented with a choice between two candidates with similar qualifications, credentials and backgrounds, 87.5% of accounting and finance executives opted for the candidate who was clearly more open to the idea of earnings management.
Experienced recruiting professionals rated the more flexible candidate's potential for the job at 81% while the one with a more rigid approach only scored 35%.
"We couldn't help but be surprised by the overwhelming consensus in favour of a candidate whom study participants considered inferior in just about every aspect of management except the ability to remove roadblocks to reporting a profit," Jackson said.