12 Accounting Skills to be best on the Job
For you to be successful in your accounting career, you need more than hard math skills because employers these days consider both hard and soft skills equally when hiring professionals.
Accounting involves money, and dealing with money needs good math skills. Therefore, as an individual in the accounting career, you should always be ready to come across numbers and formulate equations all day.
This post gives you a better idea of some of the skills and qualities you need to succeed in your accounting profession, which are capable of increasing your job performance and making it easier for you to build towards your long-term goals.
12 Best Skills to be Effective in your Accounting Career
Working in an accounting position, you will probably be required to work with several different accounts for several different clients, and to keep track of assorted files, statements and data.
For you to be able to balance various projects at once, you need to be able to manage your time effectively.
Learn to always adhere to timetable and work ahead of time. Organize your digital filing system in a clear and consistent manner, and remember to keep the personal and business receipts separate, and to back up your files.
Being organized will help you to stay on top of everything that needs to be done, and give you the ability to prioritize tasks.
Be a good planner and look far ahead to your next deadlines, and also keep up your organization skills even under pressure and during busy times.
Build up a system where you can quickly find information you need, because you will always be busy.
Keep track of portfolios you manage, transactions you handle, and important dates and deadlines you need to meet.
Use tools like calendars, day planners, alphabetized folders, and color-coded post to memorize future tasks and deadlines.
Strong communication skills are exceptionally valuable no matter where you work, what your job entails or who you work with.
It helps you to communicate effectively and explain things in a clear way for clients who are less informed about your practice.
Your accounting profession demands that you communicate well in writing and in person, work as a team with your colleagues, and interact with clients.
Don’t neglect the importance of making a good first impression, and develop the ability to announce yourself when meeting new people in order to establish profitable relationships.
Work on your smile, your handshake, and your posture. Then move onto practicing communicating clearly, confidently, and tactfully with family and friends, and memorize a short list of questions to ask people about themselves when you first meet them.
Good leaders mentor and teach, and make themselves approachable and available to the people they’re responsible for.
It also takes confidence, patience, and the capacity to delegate.
Employers recognize the value of having a finance background when it comes to executive roles, so when they make finance and accounting appointments, they are often looking for candidates with leadership potential, and who have a proven track record of leading teams, delivering results, and getting the best out of people.
A leader emerges when the team is facing a challenge, and one person demonstrates the commitment and competence to make sure the team delivers.
To be successful in accounting roles, you need to be able to make logical decisions that involve a bit of creativity, and show your clients that you’re working to make both their present and future expectations come to reality.
You will make a good accountant when you are able to adapt quickly and easily.
Individuals who can quickly adapt to changing circumstances will likely have a successful career because they can turn any challenge that they are confronted with to an opportunity to learn something new and test their skills.
As clients have new expectations, you need to collaborate and work with your customers concurrently. And as technology brings constant change, you need to be able to adapt quickly and react to whatever curve ball is thrown at you.
The key to being adaptable is to embrace change and be proactive. If something sudden occurs within your work environment, look for the opportunity in the situation.
The ability to change easily will earn you some respect from your coworkers and ensure that others look up to you when planning ahead.
5. Customer Service
Customer service skills will enable you to retain current customers and bring in new clients. You can demonstrate customer service by truly listening to the needs and concerns of your clients.
You can show a positive attitude at work but don’t overpromise when it comes to deadlines or deliverables.
When you are to meet and talk with clients to discuss budgets, good customer service skills are required.
The skills will also help you to interact well with clients and respond to their needs and problems.
6. Computer Skills
Computer skills can mean your ability to work with different types of accounting software such as SAP or ERP systems, Excel, and Word, and to create a spreadsheet, track sales, bar charts, pie charts, and graphs; and demonstrate annual earnings, profit/loss statements, and other corporate financial information.
Without knowledge of how to use different accounting software programs and spreadsheets, creating and updating the financial statements of a company will be a stress.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, people working in accounting departments need to be skilled on varieties of database software programs to keep track of customer expenditures.
Nowadays, it has become almost compulsory for accounting professionals to use a wide range of tools, including job management software, resource management software, timekeeping software, and payroll software in carrying out their duties.
it is a must for accountants to use a wide range of tools such as job management software, timekeeping software, resource management software, payroll software, and many other diverse types of systems and programs.
7. Time Management
Good time management skills will enable you to set short term and long term goals, create a schedule, prioritize your goals, make lists, use optimization tools, and split bigger tasks into smaller ones.
Many accounting professionals who undervalue creating a schedule and making lists do not know that these tools are useful, and that they can’t manage their time well without having a schedule that contains all the things they have to do.
You need to make lists of your tasks and goals because you can’t remember all the things you should do during the day.
Managing your time well reduces the stress of deadlines and allows you to prioritize your work.
Reshuffling the recurring work and completing it earlier in the month gives you more time to focus on new projects and innovations.
The ability to prioritize well, especially when under pressure is one of the most important qualities hiring managers look for when recruiting for accounting positions.
They want to see how you will fit into their team by being on time for an interview.
You should therefore have the ability to take care of many tasks at the same time beyond financial management and prove yourself to be able to prioritize them in such as way as to make the most with your time.
8. Analytical Skills
Most accountants and other accounting professionals are analytical by nature and are drawn to the profession because of the high level of analytical ability the job requires.
The accounting job entails using figures to analyze finances within the context of current regulations, and coming up with reasonable suggestions to solve problems.
Companies with in-house accountants often anticipate them to come up with solutions to financial issues, and make recommendations for meeting future goals.
As an accounting expert, you need the ability to properly interpret and implement complex tax rules based on your company’s financial statements.
Analytical ability helps auditors to analyze data to find instances of people misusing funds.
They approach each situation with a critical mind, and work from a strong, integrated foundation of accounting knowledge to determine the appropriate course of action and the techniques to be used.
9. Attention to Detail
In order to maintain your role in an accounting job, you must keep detailed notes and follow up promptly with colleagues to ensure that all needs and expectations are met.
Having an eye for details and the ability to perform due diligence and ensure accuracy in your work should be part of your modus operandi and not something you need to be reminded of.
Since accountants receive financial receipts and detailed information from different clients or departments, they must then take this incoming information and clearly enter number and data into balance sheets, income statements or cash flow reports without making any error.
If you want to be a good accountant, attention to detail skills are important for you. You have to be able to give much attention to the smallest details concerning your work, keep track of tasks that need to be accomplished, and limit possible distractions.
Much of accounting work involves careful management of important documents, including tax returns, income statements, and cash-flow reports.
Making one error could cause a big loss in the company’s treasury, so detail-oriented people are needed to ensure accuracy in every document.
When auditing companies, you’re going to have to review your client’s records to make sure everything is in order, and resolve any discrepancies.
Offices change at an accelerated pace in this digital age and accountants must be able to adapt and take advantage of those alterations.
A high degree of alertness is also necessary for responding to regulatory changes in the industry – only then they can provide quality service.
The best accountants can easily multi-task and shift priorities when necessary; they are extremely comfortable with regular deadlines and busy periods, such as month-end close.
Organizations do not want to hire slow thinkers who are only set in their ways and are not ready to embrace change.
They rather look for employees who are early adopters and who hold close new and innovative solutions and ways of working.
Employers are looking for individuals who have the soft skills and an open mind, and who are prepared to use their accounting skills in various ways.
As technology becomes a more vital influence in business, there are various opportunities for flexible working, which can be used to maximize productivity, improve performance and output.
You need to be able to apply your math and statistics skills to solving complex problems that affect organizations on a high level.
A lot of companies need accounting professionals who can think outside the box and come up with effective ways to solving new problems, because change is likely to bring about challenges as well as positives.
They must also develop the ability to gather required information from different sources and to investigate and analyze financial entries in accounts, clients, and vendor transactions.
You need the ability to adapt old practices to modern situations, to incorporate technology, and to allow departments to establish new standards that will benefit the organization.
You need innovation to make fresh ideas that will make a positive impact on the future of the accounting system.
You need to display creativity and fresh thinking in devising new ways to generate efficiencies and improve accuracy.
Accounting Skills for Resume
If you are making a resume for an accounting job, you can effectively highlight the skills you are coming with to the recruiter by using the ones discussed above if you have developed them.
If you can give the above skills a hug, you are on your way towards a great career success.
What you need to do is to memorize those skills and you will see yourself get familiar with them for best result.
Each skill has a role to interpret in the accounting profession, so you need to grab a good number of them to help you render a better service to your prospective customers, and to make your employers happy too.