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What skill does an accountant need?


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Susana’s Answer

You should be organized, analytical, detail oriented, be able to multitask.
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.

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Steve’s Answer

One needs to be good with numbers and enjoy deep-diving into the details. Suggest taking Accounting 1 and Accounting 2 along with related math coursework tied to Accounting field. Try to shadow an Accounts Payable, or Accounting Team Leader for a few days to get a lay of the landscape to determine which part of accounting you desire - A/P, A/R, Billing, Collections, or Management of any of these areas.

Enjoy the numbers.....

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Sunny’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

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!

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Kristina’s Answer

Hello. I agree with many answers regarding the analytical, time management, and organizational skills. I also wanted to stress the importance of interpersonal skills, as some people tend not to associate those with accounting. In public accounting, for example, we spend a lot of time working together, communicating with clients, and collaborating across levels throughout the firm. Another point I want to highlight is the importance of being willing to continue to learn. The industry is constantly changing, and it is very important to be open to continuing the learning process throughout your career. This might include learning new rules, implementing new technologies, or building expertise. I believe that these skills along with an interest in accounting can lead to a very fulfilling career.

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Jessica! Some of the skills that an accountant should have are analytical skills, organizational skills, critical thinking and time management. They need to be able to work with large sets of financial data, identify errors and deliver results in time for their clients. Industry knowledge is also very important to ensure compliance with accounting standards. Some firm also prefer accountants to have professional qualifications such as the CPA.

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.

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MacKenzie’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

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!

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Rachit (Richi)’s Answer

Would highly suggest taking beginner level accounting courses to develop your interest and see for yourself if you have those skills. The most important ones I can think of are:
- Analytical & Problem Solving Skills
- Teamwork and Organization Skills
- Time Management
- Digital Skills are becoming increasingly important too

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Hongyun (Heley)’s Answer

Curiosity and capability to learn.

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Steve’s Answer

One needs to be good with numbers and enjoy deep-diving into the details. Suggest taking Accounting 1 and Accounting 2 along with related math coursework tied to Accounting field. Try to shadow an Accounts Payable, or Accounting Team Leader for a few days to get a lay of the landscape to determine which part of accounting you desire - A/P, A/R, Billing, Collections, or Management of any of these areas.

Enjoy the numbers.....

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naveen’s Answer

The primary task of accountants,is to prepare and examine financial records. They make sure that records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors perform overviews of the financial operations of a business in order to help it run efficiently.

Requirements
Bachelor of Science in accounting information system
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

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Laurie’s Answer

Hello, to be a good accountant you need to have strong analytical, communication (both verbal and written) and personal skills. You also need to be very detailed oriented. Accountants do more than just add and subtract, we help run businesses.

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Bryan’s Answer

Getting CPA license or at least pass all 4 exams after college should be your starting point.

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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

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.

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Nathan’s Answer

Hey Jessica, good question. In terms of primary skills for an accountant in an independent role, I would echo one of the above posters in saying that organization is key. From a public accounting perspective (as that is my background), setting up your day for success is key. I found it helpful to set calendar reminders for things that I have to do across the week, almost like the planners they used to hand out in school. Next would be technical competence which will come with time on a job and asking questions when you are unsure. Lastly, I would say that communication will be more important than you think in the accounting role. The numbers/situations that you analyze or process won't be in a void. These will be sent up the chain and it will be key to do it in a clear manner! I hope that helps.

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