3 Ways to Build your Accounting Professional Network

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

Do you want to build your professional accounting network? The accounting profession is competitive, and it's up to you to put yourself ahead of the pack. Why does it matter at all for accountants who work mostly behind-the-scenes as bookkeepers or tax preparers to build your professional network? 

If you're looking to build a solid foundation or prepare for a job hunt, having a reliable, professional network can help take your career to the next level.

Networking helps you achieve this by:

1. Providing opportunities for collaboration and growth in your area of expertise.

2. Improving your chances of promotion.

3. Allowing you to develop invaluable contacts that can help you in your career later on.

Here are three ways you can do to build a successful professional network in accounting:

1. Join Professional Accounting Organizations

Start with your local or regional accounting organization. Commit to attending meetings regularly, and invite anybody who may be interested in joining you for drinks or coffee afterward--even if they aren't members of the organization.

Joining a local or regional accounting organization is a great way to meet new people and expand your professional contacts. Many organizations arrange monthly meetings with topics relevant to the industry.

Search through different organizations until you find one that's right for you. If several organizations in your area have different specializations, you may even find yourself joining multiple organizations.

2. Attend Networking Events

Attend accounting conferences or seminars where you'll get the chance to network with both peers and senior leaders in your field of expertise. You can learn new skills that can help you improve on your day-to-day work.

Networking events can be helpful when you're job searching, but attending them can also be a great way to build relationships with others in your industry. You never know when you might run into someone who could give you a vital contact or reference down the road--so it's best not to pass up opportunities to meet new people. Plus, networking events are usually free and can be an easy way to learn more about different areas of accounting.

Remember to be friendly, open-minded, and always be yourself when networking.

3. Volunteer For Local Community Events

Volunteering at an event is an excellent way to network because you'll already have something in common with the other attendees--you'll both be there supporting the exact cause. Join local volunteer groups in your area to meet people passionate about what you're interested in and who can help you learn more about the industry.

Do something related to accounting outside of work, like volunteer work for not-for-profit organizations. If you are active in the community (a "go-getter"), people will notice. They may be interested in getting to know you better.

Decide which methods will be most successful for building up your network. Each option can help you strengthen your position in the accounting field. You can start with one, two, or all three--but don't forget to have fun while you're building your network!