Experienced accountants who can lead with courage are in high demand right now. In part, that’s due to VUCA, the acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. All four of these conditions have been present in our lives for the last couple of years, and accountants are no different in trying to overcome challenging times.
An accounting director is one of the hottest jobs in finance and accounting for 2022 and compensation for this role can be robust. And if you’re seeking your first leadership job in accounting, you’ll find that entry-level positions can offer attractive salaries, too.
Let’s take a closer look at current compensation trends for this in-demand role.
Highest Salaries in Accounting Require Leadership
Although they aren’t the only enticement into accounting leadership, salaries can be a prime consideration for taking on the role of a courageous leader.
Accounting directors makes an average of $178,173 per year. Add-ons like bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing could increase an accountant’s pay by as much as $25,000 — or more each year. Three years earlier, tax accountants earned an average of 25% less than this year’s salary.
Salaries vary by geographic location and industry, too. For example, if you worked in Oakland, California, you could earn as much as $230,000. In Salt Lake City, Utah, the salary for someone in accounting leadership might come in at a $134,000 salary.
Leadership roles like these require more than accounting experience, though. You must be able to direct and supervise employees, understand industry regulations and how they affect accounting practices. You must use all this information to support your team.
And that takes courage.
How to be a Better Leader in Accounting
Courageous leaders put their heart and mind into what they’re doing. They work with the confidence and resolution needed to refine existing systems, take on new challenges and correct the course when necessary.
Here’s how you, too, can lead with courage in an accounting leadership position:
- Be confident in your ability and skills but avoid pride. Leaders limit their bragging.
- Be sure that you know how to do what you advise others to do — and that you’re doing it. Lead by example, not excuse.
- Maintain a dedicated focus on the tasks at hand.
- Find purpose and engage in it.
- Keep your team engaged and motivated.
- Remain strong regardless of the circumstances around you.
- Implement the suggestions offered to you; the people on your team have a different vantage point, and usually, it’s insightful and often, accurate.
- Recognize a good strategy when you see it. Then execute it.
- Persist, even when the going gets tough.
- Commit to continuous learning and growth.
- Develop emotional intelligence; use it when listening to and advocating for employees.
- Be yourself by avoiding the temptation to be a carbon copy of someone else.
Courage in leadership means overcoming our fears and accepting responsibility, even when the work becomes challenging. We learn to develop the courage we need from facing hardships; they make us stronger, more determined and even more adaptable, especially after the economic turmoil of the pandemic.
Don’t be surprised if a recruiter comes calling with an offer for another leadership position. Courage is in high demand.
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