6 Essential Skills of a Good Accountant
With the median annual salary of over $60,000 and an employment growth rate of 16 percent between 2010 – 2020, many students are choosing to pursue a career in accounting. Some even choose to go the extra mile and earn a graduate degree in accounting to grow further along the career ladder.
But besides a degree, what other skills are needed to make a good accountant of someone? The first thing that comes to mind are math skills. After all, there’s a lot of number crunching involved in this profession. However, math skills alone wont be enough; a good accountant possesses many other essential personality traits that maker her/ him good at the job.
Accountancy is a very logic-based field. Accountants spend hours analyzing balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, etc for various companies. The client doesn’t want to know what’s the obvious. Accountants have to literally read between the numbers to identify trends and make recommendations.
In fact, very detail-oriented. An accountant is dealing with thousands of numbers at the same time and attention to detail becomes pivotal to make decipher something useful out of the data. Sometimes, even a single digit or small item on a financial statement carries critical information that cannot be ignored, and accounts have to stay attentive to such details.
Good Computer Skills
Who works with a paper and pen these days? And accountants today definitely don’t. Tax registers, account books, receipts, etc are quite cumbersome to manage on paper and excel sheets and advanced accounting software are the order of the day. If you don’t know how to do your ledgers and audit reports on the computer, you’re up for some significant wasting of time and inefficient work.
Great Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Accountants are handling the financial reporting of companies and organizations. This is no small deal. Clients wish to trust their accountants and for that, good communication, listening and interpersonal skills are a must. You have to understand the requirements of the client and make them understand your projects and reports too. This means you ought to be good in written and verbal communication. These skills also come in handy when working in a team and communicating with upper management.
Organization and Time Management Skills
A good accountant has to be very organized. Otherwise, dealing with the tones of mathematical information can become a gigantic and impossible feat. This also warrants better organization of your time and schedules so that they are better equipped to meet deadlines and manage projects efficiently.
Flirtatious? Casual? Too laid-back? These are not the qualities of a good accountant. Never forget that winning clients in this profession and keeping them happy requires a lot of mutual trust and acknowledgement that that the accountant they are dealing with has a lot of integrity. A formal and professional approach when dealing with clients helps develop this conviction the most.
Work towards developing these skills if you want to excel in the accounting profession!