I didn't become a CPA to get hugs, but Tom Hood, the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, won't stop talking about how we all need to spoon while listening to James Taylor. For instance, Hood says:
The key to unlocking value for firms is soft skills.
Sorry, but no. Tom Hood is the second most influential person in the accounting profession, and that didn't happen because of any soft skills, like influencing people.
Soft skills are the opposite of technical skills. Technical skills are developed through 150 college credit hours plus 40 hours of CPE annually, and soft skills are distributed by the Firm Handshake Fairy.
So what kind of soft skills does Mr. Hood think we need to acquire? I hope it's horse whispering.
Of the interpersonal skills valued by CEOs, collaboration came out on top at 75 percent, with communication (67 percent), creativity (61 percent) and flexibility (61 percent) close behind. … Along with collaboration, the Business Learning Institute has identified five other critical skill sets: technological savvy, communication ability, corporate/practice specialty, and strategic thinking.
Fortunately for you, none of these skills are really going to impact your career.
Collaboration is bullcrap. The holy grail of accounting is making partner, and there's nothing about a partnership that implies working with other people.
Communication is unnecessary. Me can be good until bussines no have can communication.
It is true that creativity makes accountants more successful. Like Andy Fastow.
CPAs don't really need to be flexible. Double declining balance only sounds like yoga.
A leader is only as good as his team. An accountant who's a leader is going to lead a team of accountants. Enough said.
Technological savvy and corporate/practice specialty shouldn't even be on a list of soft skills because they're hard skills. Plus technological savvy's easy. Control. Shift. Delete.
Strategic thinking is clearly unnecessary. Strategic thinking includes considering the consequences of various options and choosing the right course of action based on the most likely outcome. For instance, a strategic person wouldn't write a post shitting on the second most influential person in his profession. No way that’s going to bite me in the ass.
In conclusion, you don’t need soft skills to get ahead in this profession, unless the ability to eat time without gagging is considered a soft skill.