Skills Every Accountant Should Have

121900825We all know that accountants are expected to be good with numbers; it’s the primary technical skill that one needs to even aspire to be an accountant in the first place.

If you’re pursuing a career in accountancy or even in the financial field in general, it is important for you to remember that you won’t be restricted to work that solely involves crunching numbers.

There are other skills and characteristics that you need to develop, too.

Analytical skills. These primary skills are the thought processes required to evaluate various information correctly and effectively. Examining a problem thoroughly requires attention to detail, perseverance and maintaining your focus. Decision making processes often require high level of analytical skills that allow top management to choose the best possible business solutions.

Communication and presentation skills. You won’t just be sitting in front of a computer all day. From time to time, you will be expected to go to meetings and update management on key financial issues that they have to address or meet with clients to inform them on the best financial strategies to adopt.

You have to be able to express yourself clearly and explain matters to others in simple, easy-to-understand terms; remember that not everyone you will talk to knows about every single finance-related term. After all, the objective of communication is not the transmission but the reception.

In any presentation task, the accountant should always remember that the average human being has a very short attention span and a million other things to think about. The accountant’s job in the presentation is to reach through this mental fog and to hold the attention long enough to make a point.

Ability and willingness to learn. It’s not enough for you to enter a job and expect to get by with the skills you already have. You need to remember that to move ahead in your career, you have to be ready to adopt new practices and embrace new knowledge. Learning new things will keep your skills fresh and ensure that you remain relevant at work.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is required for CPAs to maintain their professional competence and ensure that they are able to provide quality professional services. They are responsible for complying with all applicable CPE requirements, rules and regulations of state boards of accountancy, as well as those of membership associations and other professional organizations.

Computer skills. Aside from being able to use basic accounting software, you also need to use office program suites. Having knowledge of Internet skills and social media may also help you shine a spotlight on you as an industry professional.

Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations. Clients will be seeking your advice on any laws they need to be aware of when it comes to taxes or other related matters. You want to be able to provide answers quickly instead of fumbling for an explanation.

Some people might not value so-called soft skills too highly, but they are definitely necessary to help you advance in your career and be able to do your job well.

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