What Skills Do I Need To Be An Accountant?
Companies need accountants to take care of their financial records. While many assume that being good at numbers is the only trait that is necessary to succeed in this profession, nothing could be further from the truth. There are other skills that accountants and those aspiring to be one must possess to be able to do their job more effectively.
While mathematical skill is not the only thing needed to succeed as an accountant, it is definitely the most important. You may not have to perform complex equations but you do need to be proficient in basic mathematical operations since you will be doing a lot of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in the course of your work. Facility in applying formulas involving various kinds of financial ratios is also going to be a regular part of the job so your comfort level and expertise in applying these to various situations are going to be important. At this point, it’s probably safe to say that you can’t succeed in this career if you aren’t comfortable with math, numbers and operations.
Accountants also need to be very analytical. When reviewing a company’s financial records, you must be able to look beyond the numbers and understand what these numbers are telling you. In essence, you must be able to see the big picture. When comparing figures, you should be able to spot if something is amiss or if a potential transaction is fraudulent. Being able to present a thorough analysis of a company’s financial records is a very crucial part of the job because the company’s top executives often rely on your analysis to make important decisions.
The ability to pay attention to detail is another important skill that all aspiring accountants should master. You must see to it that the figures in all documents you examine are correct since inaccurate figures can result to penalties or even potentially make a transaction fraudulent. When examining records, you must be quick to spot errors and make the necessary inquiries as to why the mistake occurred.
In this day and age, proficiency in the use of computers and accounting software is also going to be a must. This is part and parcel of the technology you will be using every day. Doing so will not only make your work easier but will also reduce errors to a minimum. In addition to the intimate familiarity you need to have with the software you will use, you also need to be comfortable using social media and the Internet to keep yourself updated on the happenings in the industry and use platforms like LinkedIn to showcase your professional credentials.
Although you will be working in your office and crunching numbers on your own most of the time, you still need to possess excellent communication skills. You will be talking with co-workers, top executives and even representatives from other financial institutions and government agencies in the course of your work. You will also be attending meetings and making presentations. All these activities require you to have good speaking and listening skills. You must develop these skills as early as now if you want to become an accountant.
All accountants must be highly efficient and organized. You will be working with a number of clients and the paperwork you do is, without a doubt, going to span volumes. Add this to the meetings and presentations that you will go to and it becomes easy to understand why efficiency and organizational skills are crucial to being effective in your job. These skills will ensure that you get things done on time, avoid costly errors and address the concerns of all your clients as soon as they arise.