For those with a flair for numbers, accounting can seem the ideal job. But is there more to being an accountant than simply an ability to work out sums? Accounting requires both hard and soft skills. Hard skills include maths, numerical reasoning and working with computers. Soft skills are those that determine how you work and include things like conflict resolution, time keeping, networking, teamwork and creative thinking. For success in the workplace, here are some of the top skills required by accountants:
- The ability to analyse
It’s not just about sums but accountants must also be able to interpret sets of data and read and analyse different types of information. Auditors might need to analyse if fraud has taken place or an accountant might need to calculate a client’s tax liability. This takes a methodical mindset that has close attention to detail and an ability to focus as well as being numerically gifted. Accountants also need knowledge of legal responsibilities. For the help and services of Cheltenham accountants, go to a site like Cheltenham accountants Randall & Payne
- Attention to detail
An accountant must have an excellent detail oriented mind so as not to miss important transactions and figures. A lot of data must be analysed and without this level of attention to detail, important things could be missed and this could have a knock on effect for compliance to financial regulations, for example.
- Good IT awareness
The ability to use software is now an important part of an accountant’s daily workload. There are financial software applications, cloud accounting, Excel for bookkeeping and auditors may need data modelling programs. As technology plays an increasingly important part in our work lives, it is essential today to have good knowledge of applications such as Microsoft Office, Zoom, Google Meet and a myriad of financial software packages available.
The need to communicate to clients, partners and colleagues is paramount to be a successful accountant. This communication could be over the phone, online, written or in person. An accountant may be asked to provide presentations at company meetings so there is a requirement for confident communication skills. Often an accountant will need to explain complicated numerical information in an easy to understand way so communication is vital. An accountant might also be involved in training and recruitment.
- Organisational skills
With multiple clients, tax deadlines to meet, financial years and investment planning, there is a lot going on for an accountant. Data and documents relating to a range of clients must be kept secure and up to date, so the ability to multitask and keep organised is highly important. Organisational skills stretch to include a wide range of duties including asset management, providing reports, data management, compliance and any special projects that are being undertaken.
Accounting can be a demanding profession and training to become one takes hard work and determination. There are many areas of accounting to specialise in such as tax law, corporate finances, debt management, budgeting, forecasting and even payroll, for example.