As a former Director of SEC Reporting, Big Four auditor and inactive CPA, I absolutely understand the stress of the frantic quarterly turn-around, and the type of skills necessary to flourish in that environment.
Some of them are obvious. Some of them not so much. If you’re considering this high-octane career path, keep scrolling for my list of the top qualities you’ll need in order to succeed in SEC reporting.
You’re an accountant, and you need to have rock-solid foundational accounting knowledge (GAAP and SEC regulations for starters) in order to make it in SEC reporting.
Why is this so important? When you’re doing SEC reporting you are the last line of defense before the information is filed. See a journal entry that looks odd based on past trends? That accounting Spidey-sense will be the thing that tells you to dig in, speak up, and determine if there’s truly an error.
I doubt this one will come as a shock. Your ability to nail down those finicky numbers and stay focused amongst a sea of data is probably what drew you to this career in the first place.
Why is this so important? There is a LOT of information to gather, organize, and record in SEC reporting. And it’s absolutely critical that it be accurate.
To succeed in SEC reporting, you need to have excellent time-management skills and an understanding of how to prioritize your work.
Why is this so important? Depending on the size of the company, your 10-K can be up to 200 pages, and you typically have a 40-day window within which these high-profile regulatory documents must be compiled, checked, double-checked, and filed. You need to know what is crucial to triple-check, and what’s good as is.
In SEC reporting you’re always racing to the finish line. You need to know when to sprint, and when to pass the baton.
This one surprised me when I first got into SEC reporting — but this role involves a lot of writing, so expressing yourself with precise and accurate grammar is critical.
Why is this so important? I once had the Head of Legal and Head of Investor Relations sitting in front of me arguing over comma placement. Comma placement! Brush up on those writing skills, and they will serve you well.
As in any other career, traits like staying cool under pressure and communicating well are also at the top of my list. Most of all, you need to love what you do.
That’s why I joined Gappify. We’re accountants helping fellow accountants with technology that eliminates routine, manual tasks — so you have more time to focus on higher-value work.
Director of Professional Services
Gappify, founded in 2016, is a cloud-based provider of accrual automation solutions for mid-market and enterprise accounting teams. The company is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Berkeley, California, Washington DC, and Manila, Philippines.
Its team consists of accountants and CPA’s from Big Four accounting firms and software innovators. Gappify is also supported by strategic advisors from some of the world’s most recognized technology companies and is affiliated with the top companies & accounting organizations.
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