Evolving profession demands new skills, says PwC

Accountants must recognise not only is the accounting profession evolving rapidly but the skills needed to serve clients are changing too, says PwC’s head of Private Clients.

David Wills, managing director of the firm’s Private Clients business, told Public Accountant that changes to the profession mean accountants “need to positively disrupt our workforce to remain competitive, innovative and relevant to our clients”.

“We’re looking for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, which includes where we source our graduate talent. We’re expanding from the traditional pool of recruits with qualifications in accounting and law. It’s about finding people with broad business and commercial acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to adapt and learn quickly, not just the very best accountants.”

Mr Wills said PwC has recognised that a diverse workforce will ultimately help the firm realise greater value.

“While accounting skills are clearly at the core of what we do, emotional intelligence and the ability to build deep, long-term relationships are critical for enduring success in the private clients space,” he said.

“As a result, we’re looking for people who understand the importance of developing strong personal connections with clients and take the time to build relationships based on an understanding of each client’s unique circumstances. For us, relationships with our clients can be inter-generational, so we need to marry up personal commitment with professional expertise to ensure we stay relevant to our clients,” Mr Wills said.

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