Top 10 Financial Accounting Skills You Need to be Best in Your Career
If you are in the financial accounting career, you need to have certain skills and qualities to give best performances on your duties and responsibilities.
This post helps you to identify and develop these skills, but first, let’s see what a financial accounting professional does.
What Does a Financial Accounting Professional Do?
If you are interested in the financial accounting career, it is good to know the duties you may likely perform in the future when you have become qualified.
These include: preparing monthly and year-end accounts, financial documents, and accounts for clients or employers; and conducting audits and tracking company’s income and expenditure.
A financial accounting professional cannot perform all of the above tasks without acquiring adequate job skills needed to achieve the company’s goal.
To have successful outcomes in your financial accounting job, possession of the following skills and qualities is necessary:
10 Skills Financial Accounting Professionals need for Career Success
1. Analytical Skills
Financial accounting professionals need to have analytical ability to approach each situation with a critical mind, and to decide the right course of action and the techniques to be used.
With a strong analytical mind, you will be able to use and interpret financial data effectively and analyze the information contained; and also to analyze information from the overall organization and various individual departments within it.
Financial accounting experts need to develop the ability to make decisions and solve problems.
They must be able to analyze information to discover problems within and challenges facing an organization and its accounting framework, then use an integrated approach to develop effective solutions to address them.
A good leader knows how to mentor and teach their followers and make themselves approachable and available to the people they are responsible for.
You need confidence, patience, and the ability to delegate and plan ahead before you can think of being a good leader.
Leaders must be visionary and have the ability to make logical decisions with a bit of creativity.
Leadership skills enable you to develop new insights, manage projects, engage team members, and motivate them.
Leadership is not all about being a good boss or a trusted advocate; it’s about earning respect through effort. It’s about communicating well and thinking about the audience and how they are corrected.
Financial accountants must be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
They need to work together with colleagues from different departments, and communicate key insights to non-finance staff.
Communication helps financial accountants to develop successful relationships with clients, build the ability to think critically and translate thoughts into compelling documents; and also the ability to convey relevant financial information to executive teams and stakeholders.
In a financial accounting job, you’ll need to work on communicating complex financial topics in an understandable manner so you can work as effectively with those outside finance as you do with those who are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of money management.
Whether you communicate via email, phone conversations, in-person meetings or presentations, being able to communicate well in writing and in person will help you to get a job, work as a team, interact with clients, and then progress professionally.
4. Time Management
As a financial accountant or someone in other financial accounting field, you need to take care of many tasks beyond financial management and should be able to prioritize them to make the most from your time at work.
You should not undervalue creating a schedule and making lists, because you can’t manage your time effectively if you do not have a schedule.
Your schedule should contain all the things you have to do, as you can’t remember everything you should do during the day.
Therefore, you should not forget to make lists of your tasks and goals, and make your organizational capabilities to go hand-in-hand with your time management ability.
The ability to work within deadlines and to continually re-prioritize your to-do list will take you far in your financial accounting career, not only will it impress your boss, colleagues, and clients, it will also help you to maintain a healthy work/life balance and keep your day-to-day projects productive.
Financial accounting professionals must keep up with all figures, data, statements, assortment of files and paperwork in their daily jobs. They need a system to quickly find the information that they need.
Accountants should be able to organize their work to increase productivity and allocate time for uninterrupted analysis and research.
They need good organizational skills to help ensure they stay on top of everything that needs to be done, and build up a scheme to keep up with those responsibilities, which include the transactions they handle; portfolios they manage; and any important dates and deadlines they need to meet.
If financial accountants are working in a big firm, chances are that they’ll have multiple managers giving them work to do urgently.
They should therefore learn how to prioritize these tasks, and also manage the expectations of those who are counting on them to get the job done.
They need to design programs to help them stay highly organized and make use of tools like calendars, alphabetized folders, day planners, color-coded post-it notes and highlighters, and apps.
6. Customer Service
Solid customer service skills are important whether you work in a public or private accounting firm. The skills will help you to be able to retain current customers and bring in new clients.
Working in corporate accounting jobs requires that you meet the needs of the organization’s other departments and managers.
Good customer service skills can be achieved through listening to the needs and concerns of your clients; and you need to also apply a positive attitude so as to go a long way, especially when stress levels are high.
You must be careful not to overpromise when it comes to deadlines or deliverables.
Therefore, it will be better not to bite more than you can chew for the sake of rendering a better customer service.
As a financial professional, you don’t need to sit behind a desk all day, you are frequently required to meet and talk with clients and discuss everything from budgets to recommendations.
7. Technology/Computer Skills
With technological and computer skills, you can develop the ability to work with different types of accounting software such as SAP or ERP systems, Excel, Word, and others.
Advancing in your career will be tough if you don’t know the laws and how to pull insightful data out of a balance sheet; and how to use other tools necessary for your job.
Therefore, you should stay abreast of the modern popular technology in the financial accounting industry in order for you to grow with time and impress your superiors.
8. Business Acumen
Financial accounting experts need to understand the business as a whole, and not just having an understanding of numbers.
It’s easier for them to understand issues and make decisions based on frequent interaction among a company’s services, employees, customers, and stakeholders when they come across the opportunity for stretch assignments, cross-training, and job-sharing.
Accounting and finance professionals are playing a major role in organizations today, making other departments across the enterprise to increasingly rely on them to provide strategic guidance and support on key business decisions.
For this reason, these professionals require the skill-set that extends beyond typical accounting competencies to expand their general business knowledge.
9. Attention to Detail
Giving much attention to detail is a very important skill that every financial accounting professional needs to have.
It is a skill that requires paying attention to the small things, keeping track of tasks that need to be accomplished, and limiting distractions.
Attention to detail is obviously crucial in the daily work of financial experts who need to make sure that numbers work and are correct.
An eye for details and due diligence for accuracy should be part of their procedure, not something they need to be reminded of.
10. Accounting Skills
It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of accounting when trying to build a financial model.
These include concepts like the matching principle, growths, revenue recognition, and non-cash items such as depreciation, paying back, and lots more.
With enough accounting skills, financial professionals can understand how to read financial statements, how to break them down, and how to build them back up again.
Accounting skills include the entire math necessary to handle budgets, as well as strong understanding of applicable regulations.
If you are planning on working in public accounting, you will need a strong understanding of auditing and taxation, and you will need to be completely relaxed reading and discussing budgets in order to give financial advice.
Financial Accounting Skills for Resume
If you are writing a resume for a financial accounting position, you can apply the skills presented above in describing your core competence for the job.
Recruiters commonly want to see the skills and qualities that you are bringing to the financial accounting job that can help you to succeed in it.
As a financial accounting professional looking to succeed in your career, you need to develop the right skills and qualities to enable you perform your assigned duties and responsibilities excellently.
Make use of the ideas shared in this post and you are on your way to becoming a good and reliable financial accounting expert.