There are a lot of skills that are beneficial to have as an accountant, but I think there are 3 main skills/abilities that I see from most accountants that I work with.
Pay attention to details - There are plenty of numerical data that you need to analyze, modify or scrutinize. Catching little discrepancies can be very challenging, but it can make a big difference in the output and is still part of an accountant's job. So it is an advantage if you can focus on details very well.
Teamwork - Unless you are a sole proprietor who runs a CPA firm by yourself, you get to work with other people. So it is good to have teamwork skills such as how to communicate with others and how to collaborate to finish the deliverables under tight schedules.
Stay up-to-date - Accounting rules change through time and it is significant to learn about the IRS news and new laws that might affect the client's tax liabilities. So if you like learning more about accounting policies and laws, you are closer to your objectives!
By being an accountant, you also have the opportunity to work in other departments such as Financial Planning, Forecasting, Sales, Marketing, Project Management, Properties, Operations. Is a career that offers many opportunities to keep growing in any direction you want.
Enjoy the numbers.....
Hope this helps!
Many of the firms teach you much of what you will need on the job. They give you many opportunities to grow while you start client work.
I am a tax and accounting professional and I work with a lot of people who are accountants, actuaries, and finance professionals. I think, as many would tell you, that a whole set of different skills is needed in order to be a good accountant, but some of the main skills are:
- Ability to stay organized: when you work on different projects, you have to organize information, make lists of questions and to-do items
- Time management: in accounting, we follow deadlines a lot; for example, you have to file a tax return by the 15th of the month; it is crucial to keep track of those deadlines so you do things on time;
- Attention to detail: you have to be careful and catch mistakes that you make and that others make;
- Team work: for any profession, you would have to work well in a team, collaborate with others, be helpful and willing to teach others.
I hope you will have these skills in mind when you embark on any career and I hope accounting is of interest to you.
a. Accountant in private firms - you need to be good in time management as you need to close the books on a monthly basis and be prepared for monthly, quarterly and annual reporting. Have a good understanding of the reporting requirements and prepare required reports with accurate figures and details.
b. External auditor in auditing firms - you need to be updated with the latest updates of financial reporting standards. Time management plays an important role as well as you will have tight deadlines for completion of audit procedures for the finalisation of financial statements. You need to have good communication skills in dealing with clients.
c. Internal auditor - you need to have good analytical skills to understand the root cause of a problem, in this way, you will be able to provide good recommendation for your clients with regard to process and control improvement. Time management and good communication skills are important as you need to comply with audit plan and deal with different departments subject to audit.
1. Technical knowledge within the accounting profession - obtaining an accounting degree and perhaps a CPA certification (depending on your focus)
2. The ability to apply such knowledge to everyday application (nothing is ever as straightforward as textbook examples)
3. The ability to pay attention to detail
4. The ability to step back after the work is done and ask the question - does this make sense
5. Being organized with the ability to multi-task
6. Teamwork and communication skills
The above is but a few of skills that I believe would be necessary.
The skills an accountant needs are:
-ability to reflect on one's own work as well as the wider consequences of financial decisions
-business acumen and interest
-organisational skills and ability to manage deadlines
-communication and interpersonal skills
-proficiency in IT I.e. Excel
-a methodical approach and problem
-high level of numeracy
Hope this helps.
For any job/career, you will always need a variety of skills. The great thing about having a range of skills is that they can be transferable into different careers. For example, an accountant needs to be organized, be a critical thinker, time management, strong written, and oral communication. More specific skills that are related to the job are things such as data analysis and software proficiency that you will most likely learn in coursework and potential internships.
I would recommend looking at the degree plan for accounting at the university you are interested in attending; that way, you can get an idea of what skills you will be learning in the classroom that will help you transition into a career in a accounting.
I hope that helps!
I have found that one of the most important qualities for accountants is to be organized. You will continuously learn things along your career that will help you on the technical side, but being organized is an important part of the building blocks.
Bachelor of Science in accounting information system
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Enjoy the numbers.....
I agree with many answers above mentioning an eye for details, analytical skills, time management and being organised.
mainly these are the key skills to accounting/ auditing.
- team work skills
- certificate (ACCA/CPA...)
- Excel skills
To work towards your career goal to be an accountant, I would suggest majoring in business with a concentration in accounting in college. You would get a good exposure of both business related and accounting courses that can help you decide whether this is the right industry for you.
- Analytical & Problem Solving Skills
- Teamwork and Organization Skills
- Time Management
- Digital Skills are becoming increasingly important too
Accountants need many skills of which some may come as a surprise. Analytical skills, love of numbers, ability to articulate conclusions, organization, adaptability, flexibility, time management and communication skills. One of the biggest assets will be your ability to build relationships and share key messages that’s are clear and concise. Depending on where you work not everyone will be an accountant, so it’s important that you can articulate sometimes complex messages for all to understand.
Accounting will offer you a large array of career opportunities and with each role certain skills are more crucial than others. Find what you love to do and be open to developing all of your skills!