6 SMART Goals Examples for Your Accounting Career

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Goals can motivate you to stand out and become the best accountant you can be. Using a SMART goal framework, you’ll have measurable objectives that systematically help you increase your chances of achieving them.

For any goal for career enhancement, SMART goals can help get you there. Read on for six accounting smart goals examples you can use or for an idea of how to design them.

(Side note: One of the best ways to get what you want from life is to create and set SMART goals. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.)

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are a goal-setting guide used to plan specific objectives towards achieving a goal. The term is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Goal setting under the SMART framework ensures success in meeting your goals with a solid plan for how and what’s considered an achievement.

Each component is broken down as follows:

Specific

Your goal will have a significantly higher chance of being accomplished when specific. So here we’ll address the five “W” questions:

  • Who: Who is involved in the goal?
  • What: What do you want to achieve?
  • Where: Where will the goal be accomplished?
  • When: When do you want to achieve the goal?
  • Why: Why do you want to achieve the goal?

Measurable

This measures your progress and helps to let you know you’re on track. For a measurable goal, you’ll need to define the metrics by asking yourself questions like:

  • How much/many?
  • How do I know that my goal has been reached?
  • What will indicate my progress?

Achievable

Is the goal achievable within the time frame you’ve set? You should strike a balance between stretching yourself enough to make you feel challenged and defined well enough so that it’s achievable. Ask yourself:

  • What resources and capabilities you’ll need to accomplish the goal?
  • Has the plan been achieved successfully before?

Relevant

Your goal should be in alignment with your long-term career goals and values.

Time-Bound

Your goal will have a start and finish date to maintain its priority and your motivation. First, ask yourself when you want your goal to be achieved.

The components of the SMART goal framework tie together to help eliminate guesswork and generalities with clear, measurable, and achievable goals. With a well-written and comprehensive goal, you’ll be set up for success. If you’re want to learn more about SMART goals, check out our Ultimate Guide to SMART Goals article.

Why SMART Goals Are Important

Like most careers being an accountant comes with both rewards and challenges. Your role is crucial to the accurate reporting and financial health of a business. SMART goals can help support your growth and manage the ups and downs of being an accountant.

Here are some other benefits for using SMART goals throughout your career:

  • First, they increase your productivity as you do what’s necessary to achieve them.
  • They add to your firm's efficiency and make you a solid and competent accountant that anyone would want to work with.
  • As you achieve them, you’ll see how you have contributed to the broader objectives of your company.
  • They add to your fulfillment and confidence, driving you to want to accomplish more.

Overall, using SMART goals will help you fulfill your career goals by outlining what is necessary to achieve the goal and knowing once it’s been completed.

6 SMART Goal Examples for Your Accounting Career

1. “I will gain a deeper understanding of SEC compliance rules and regulations by attending the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission National Compliance Seminar on (date). Then use this knowledge and additional study to increase my compliance knowledge testing score by 25% or more by the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2022.”

S: This statement discusses how this person will improve their core knowledge by attending the next SEC seminar and include additional studies.

M: They’ll know whether their goal has been achieved through a 25% or more score on the compliance test.

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Goals can motivate you to stand out and become the best accountant you can be.

A: This goal is achievable within the timeframe set.

R: An increase in compliance knowledge is relevant to career progression in accountancy.

T: The timeframe is to achieve a 25% test score by the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2022.

2. “To introduce data communication in my firm, I will complete daily data captures and compose weekly metrics for bi-monthly balance sheets for the chief financial officer, operations manager, and the sales team leaders. Weekly metrics and bi-monthly balance sheets will be checked against the quarterly balance sheet on April 1, 2022.”

S: This goal discusses how the person will develop data communication with their firm. It discusses the types of data, who in the company they’ll be producing the information for, and when the data will need to be ready.

M: This person will know when their goal is achieved when it’s time to work with the quarterly balance sheet in April.

A: This SMART goal is achievable.

R: The goal is relevant to career progression in introducing a more efficient way of working with balance sheets. Being assertive by implementing a new system gives a great impression.

T: All captured data will need to be ready by April to compare balance sheets.

3. “I will implement new auditing software by July 15, 2022, to expedite our internal auditing process. I will complete three associated compliance learning evaluations with a grade of 85% or higher before implementing the software.”

S: This SMART goal outlines how the person will increase their firm's auditing efficiency by implementing new auditing software.

M: The three evaluations will need to be complete before implementing the software.

A: This goal is achievable within the time allocated. Before implementing the software, courses to expand their knowledge can support the project’s success.

R: This goal is relevant to progression and increasing accounting knowledge.

T: Implementation of the new process is planned for July 15, 2022.

4. “In six months, I will improve my leadership skills by motivating my team members to increase efficiency. Through providing the team with training and resources to support their work and provide positive and meaningful input with team members using weekly check-ins. I will improve employee productivity and build team morale by 50% as indicated by feedback.”

S: This goal outlines how the person will enhance their leadership skills by motivating their team.

M: The 50% increase in improvement will be measured through employee feedback and weekly check-ins with the team members.

A: The statement outlines how the person will increase team productivity and morale by 50%.

R: This goal helps the person improve their leadership skills and boost the productivity and morale of the team.

T: The 50% increase will be measured in six months.

5. “I will become better at public speaking by improving eye contact with my audience and being less reliant on slides. So, for my next set of presentations and talks, I’ll practice my speech every day before the speech date to memorize it. Then, on the day of the speech, I’ll have one of my colleagues record me from the audience. I’ll go through the footage to see how my eye contact has improved over time compared to other talks. I’ll also get feedback from my audience to find out how their experience was in terms of engagement and what they learned.”

S: This SMART goal outlines making more eye contact during presentations.

M: To achieve this, they will memorize the presentation by going through it every day until the presentation day. Progress will be measured by going through recordings of speeches to check for eye contact and audience feedback.

A: This is an achievable goal. Getting better at public speaking requires preparation and practice.

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SMART goals are a goal-setting guide used to plan specific objectives towards achieving a goal.

R: Developing practical presenting skills by setting a goal like this can enhance your success as an accountant. Being believable when you’re telling an audience how your accounting firm can help them, for example, offers unique opportunities to accelerate your career.

T: Time frame is set to be ready by the presentation(s).

6. “I will begin a healthy eating and exercise routine to lose 15 pounds starting next Monday. I’ll work out three times a week for 40 minutes. I’ll weigh myself every Friday until I lose 15 pounds. Then, I’ll cut down on TV and wake up earlier to go to the gym. I’ll listen to high-energy workout music to stay motivated during workout sessions.

I’ll replace take-out for healthy packed lunches and employ an accountability buddy for support. The aim is to reach my target within four months. However, if it takes longer, I’ll keep going until I achieve it.”

S: This SMART goal outlines how the person intends to lose weight, how much weight they want to lose, by when, and how they’ll achieve it.

M: Their progress will be measured every Friday with a weigh-in.

A: This goal is achievable, especially with the support methods available.

R: A healthy improvement goal will help improve your mood, increase your energy levels, well-being, and many other ways to support you in achieving all your other goals.

T: Time frame is set for four months. However, they will keep going if it hasn’t been achieved within that time.

Final Thoughts on Account Smart Goals Examples

When using account smart goals examples like those mentioned in this article, you can ensure you get to where you want to be in your journey as an accountant. SMART goals can be challenging to write when you first start. Use one of our examples as a framework, then customize it to suit your specific plan.

For more SMART goals examples, check out our SMART Goals article.

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

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6 SMART Goals Examples for Your Accounting Career