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What skills are required in your position on a day-to day basis?

I am a senior in high school who is currently in an accounting class. #accounting #finance #business #accountant


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Lora’s Answer

While knowing what you enjoy about accounting, finance and business are really important as you're likely learning what it takes to be successful in the future is evolving. Our firm talks a lot about the importance of digital skills and developing a growth mindset as technology and the way we work is changing.

So one skill I'd highlight is learning agility, being a continuous learner and embracing change in both your mindset and on-going growth and development. As I work with leaders at all levels of the firm, and we define leadership in terms of both leading yourself and leading others.

One way to lead yourself is to know your values, what you care about and taking care of your well-being. We think in terms of developing well-being as a leadership skill so that you can live a fulfilling life and also have sustainable performance by renewing your energy. This is a skill you can cultivate in high school, college and beyond by knowing what brings you energy, whether that's through sports, working out, sleep, nutrition, spending quality time with family and friends and connecting with something larger than yourself, for example, volunteering.

Once you know yourself and develop your own self awareness around what brings you energy and how you renew your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy, you can also role model for others as a way of leading others. For ideas on how to cultivate well-being habits to enhance your energy in each of these four dimensions, check out the habit bank https://habitbank.pwc.com/#tab=1 and find what might work for you!

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Brett’s Answer

Hello,
On a daily basis I would say that my position requires customer service skills, the ability to communicate verbally and with the written word. Time management is also a big part of my position. Accuracy and a level of understanding of both what I am being asked to do as well as what the financial rules are regarding what I am being asked to do. For instance a customer requests something, is that within our regulations to accommodate that request. Also computer skills, basic math skills. I think as you gain confidence in your field or job a lot of these things will fall into place. Treating people the way they deserve to be treated and handling difficult situations appropriately will help you deal with any encounter in the professional world and personal world. Also I feel asking questions to get the answers you do not know. Its ok not to know just try not to assume that what your doing is always right. Use the experience of those around you to help you. I hope this helps!

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Brett’s Answer

Hello,
On a daily basis I would say that my position requires customer service skills, the ability to communicate verbally and with the written word. Time management is also a big part of my position. Accuracy and a level of understanding of both what I am being asked to do as well as what the financial rules are regarding what I am being asked to do. For instance a customer requests something, is that within our regulations to accommodate that request. Also computer skills, basic math skills. I think as you gain confidence in your field or job a lot of these things will fall into place. Treating people the way they deserve to be treated and handling difficult situations appropriately will help you deal with any encounter in the professional world and personal world. Also I feel asking questions to get the answers you do not know. Its ok not to know just try not to assume that what your doing is always right. Use the experience of those around you to help you. I hope this helps!

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Alex’s Answer

Hi, Anaya,

I believe what everyone said above is 100% true. I would like to piggyback off the time management aspect as life is a lot different from college to your first job. You must be able to prioritize your time for what is most important in your work day. For myself, I am in Sales, so using my calendar for everything helps me understand where my time is going and what I am focusing on the most. Then at the end of each week I revaluate and make sure that what I spent my time on was worth it and if it wasn't I change my strategy. Also, asking questions, as no question is a dumb question. Make sure you are curious in your job and communicative with people around you.

I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks,

Alex

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John’s Answer

Hopefully you're catching the repeat theme, but being an excellent communicator is imperative to my job. Whether I'm sitting in a team room and having to speak and listen, or remote by myself and leveraging technology (emails, phone calls), there are no days where I'm not having to be proactive in communicating with people. Heck, when I slip up on my technical accounting, I have 2-3 people I know to reach out to because we have a great relationship from being proactive communicators.

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Roy’s Answer

Hi Anaya,

Others have mentioned the need for strong "soft" interpersonal skills such as communication. This is absolutely true, but I see you've mentioned you're in school and taking accounting courses.

The knowledge of accounting is still important, but not in the way you may anticipate, as many of the concepts you are learning in school will fall away once you begin employment and hone the concepts specifically needed for your group. The purpose of learning all the concepts that you do in school (and the reason there is an emphasis on getting good grades) is to demonstrate that have a mind willing and able to learn and apply new skills. I would hence encourage you to do well in your classes in tandem with building your soft skills.

Those who have the most influence have both a). knowledge and b). good communication. Having knowledge without means to communicate it results in one's knowledge remaining siloed. Having communication skills without appropriate knowledge results in the spread of information that may not be correct.


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Alex’s Answer

Hi, Anaya,

I believe what everyone said above is 100% true. I would like to piggyback off the time management aspect as life is a lot different from college to your first job. You must be able to prioritize your time for what is most important in your work day. For myself, I am in Sales, so using my calendar for everything helps me understand where my time is going and what I am focusing on the most. Then at the end of each week I revaluate and make sure that what I spent my time on was worth it and if it wasn't I change my strategy. Also, asking questions, as no question is a dumb question. Make sure you are curious in your job and communicative with people around you.

I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks,

Alex

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Meghana’s Answer

I definitely agree with those above! I just graduated college and had similar questions related to yours!

Time management is crucial! You'll usually never just be working on one thing at a time, often times you'll be balancing many tasks with different deadlines. Setting a prioritized to do list helps so much! That way you know what is due when, and know where to put your efforts first.

I also think strong communication skills have helped me a lot, both verbal and written. I often times have to take complicated information and turn it into a powerpoint or document that is simple to understand.

That being said, you'll learn so much everyday just by being on the job, so just be willing to learn and grow!

All the best,

Meghana


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Janice’s Answer

The most important skills in my job today are:

Be a good listener; be open and flexible to change; continuous learning is very valuable as you keep your skills tuned, you are more likely to be able to move into different roles. Communications is key to everything! Observe your surroundings so that you are aware of what is happening with who....Networking with others is another key element if moving around within your company is something you wish to do. I take a lot of notes and save them....as a reference - I've had several managers come to me asking for notes to help a case/cause. Don't be afraid to voice your opinion and know that it is okay to say no at times. Believe in yourself and be strong internally - that has helped me get through some of the struggles in life that one may encounter. Be professional to others - kindness goes a long way. Ask for help when you need it.....

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Jamie’s Answer

Hi Anaya. Good question. Based on my experience working in public accounting I believe It is very important that you have good communication skills to be able to communicate with both your teammates and also with clients. It's important that you are able to communicate any questions or findings based on the work you are doing to your teammates and concise/direct when speaking to clients to help get answers to your team's questions. In addition, you should have good teamwork skills, as a large part of the job is working with other people (sometimes even people on different teams or with different specialized knowledge) to get the job done. Also, you should be willing to learn, especially during your first few years, where the learning curve can at times be steep. For example, my firm is always coming out with new programs, trainings and digital tools, so being willing to embrace the changes and dive into learning how to use these new programs will be very beneficial to you in your career. Finally, I think it is important to have a positive attitude with every task that you are assigned.

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Megan’s Answer

Hi Anaya,

On a day to day basis, I generally use the following skills:

  • Ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing. Being as concise and precise as possible is important, as well as tailoring my message to my audience (the right amount of detail, technical jargon, etc.).
  • Project management - the ability to juggle multiple clients and various demands on my time, thinking through timelines to help clients plan, anticipating issues that may arise, etc.
  • Working with and leading teams - I work at an accounting firm which is really a people-based business. Coaching and fostering the professional development of the people I work with is a big part of my job.

Looking at that list, it's less about what you do (technical knowledge of accounting or tax) and more about how you do it (communication, project management, leadership skills). I hope you find that helpful!


Agree with Megan's feedback completely. Communication and project management are absolutely critical. Heather Lashway

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Paul’s Answer

What I have learned in my career is that communication is key, whether it is one-on-one discussions, team meetings, listening to customers, or most importantly mastering public speaking (small to large audiences). There will be one point (probably many) in your career when you are going to be required to present in front of an audience and mastering public speaking and having effective communication skills is essential. This skill will help you get noticed in your organization. Start now with mastering your communication skills, take speech classes in school, join Toastmasters.org (great organization you join, they have locations all over the country where you can practice public speaking with others and master your skills – I belong to this and has helped me so much), bottom line take any opportunity to public speak starting now regardless of your career path.

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Christopher’s Answer

The most important skills for my job as a Leadership Development Lead involves project management, communication skills, instructional design, public speaking skills, and general people management skills.

You definitely want to be a person who knows how to work independently and collaboratively.

I'd encourage you to look at job postings for jobs you are interested in and see what skills they mention. That could be a great first step for identifying a list of skills that you can then begin working on.


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Brandon’s Answer

You need to be open to new ideas and being able to research. A lot of the accounting profession is being able to back up your reasoning with the appropriate guidance so research skills are a must. Along with good analytical skills overall to be able to interpret and analyze data in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

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Olivia’s Answer

I think it is really important to be open and willing to learn. I am a new hire at PwC and I have learned that getting feedback and learning from mistakes is a great way to improve yourself. There are various tools to encourage employees to give feedback to others, therefore, it is essential to be able to take advice and use it to better your work.

As many others have answered, communication is very important. Having the ability to build relationships with others is a valuable skill that will help you be successful no matter what career you choose. Having a network of colleagues to support and guide you will encourage personal and professional growth.

Although technical and analytical skills are something you can build up throughout your career, having an interest and learning about them while in school can only better prepare you for a successful career.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Anaya,

I think Megan gave you a great answer. I'd also add the willingness to be a lifelong learner. The world is constantly changing and the accounting field today is radically different from what it was even a few years ago. Technology has transformed accounting and will continue to do so in the future. Businesses everywhere must implement technology solutions to compete. In the professional services industry, data analytics and visualization tools are an integral part of how we serve our clients.

I hope this helps - good luck!


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Emilio’s Answer

I think time management is key. Accounting can be very deadline oriented at times so being able to plan out tasks is important. Two other things I think are important is the ability to solve problems and also ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in asking for help if you get stuck and actually shows that you want to get the task done right and have a better understanding of what you are doing.

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Kathryn’s Answer

Hi Anaya,

Everyone has given you great advice to follow. In addition to the above, be sure to embrace change and not be afraid to think outside the box. Use constructive critiscm as a learning, training & growth opportunity. Remember, no one is perfect and we have all made mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them & don't let mistakes define you.

Best of luck to you!

Katy

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Yunqing (Meredith)’s Answer

1. Communication skills.
2. Data analysis skills, especially Excel.

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