Accounting is an ever-thriving profession. Accountants will always be in demand to oversee accounting and tax processes irrespective of the advancement of technology, as long as humanity stands. Accounting is a rapidly booming field, with high growth forecasts in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that 125,700 new auditing and accounting jobs open up every year. It will experience a 4% growth rate through 2019-2029.
However, only gaining theoretical knowledge is not the only requisite to be a good accountant. Even if an accountant possesses knowledge of tax codes, accounting equations, financial statements, it may not be enough. Besides traditional accounting knowledge, every accounting professional requires a set of hard and soft skills. Accounting positions range from accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, comptrollers, and much more. All these positions value a group of core skills.
These skills incorporate more than the passion to crunch numbers, complete expense sheets, and record statements. The digital era today demands accounting professionals to be tech-savvy and evolve with the latest technological skills. A professional course and training are all you need to acquire the essential skills of accounting.
This article will reveal the top ten must-have skills for accountants of today. Let us begin.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Interpersonal and Communication skills form a crucial part of the accounting industry like every other profession. Skills like negotiation skills and client management go a long way to polish the success of accountants. As an accounting expert, you should be an excellent orator to communicate your reports effectively.
Accounting professionals have to interact with numerous clients and colleagues daily to present their financial reports. Good communication skills assist you in moulding the financial jargon and charts into easy-to-comprehend narratives for your clients.
- Mastery in Preparing Financial Statements
Financial statements are monetary records prepared by accounting experts for investors and stakeholders for an organization. An accounting career demands you to be adept at maintaining three chief statements. They include income statements or profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.
You can master all these statements with the help of accounting courses in Dubai. These statements serve as a crucial indicator of the financial health of a company.
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for Industrial Skills
GAAP defines a particular set of standards to govern accounting practice in every country. Their function is to standardize accounting practices across industries to ensure that the financial statements are complete and coherent. If you have adequate GAAP skills, you can prove to be an asset to an organization.
It is a mandatory requirement to work in a public trading company. GAAP compliance is vastly favoured in the eyes of creditors in private organizations as well. Every accountant needs to file GAAP-compliant financial statements often. GAAP knowledge is the best practice for everyone working in the accounting sector.
- Data Analysis Skills
Accounting work necessitates a detail-oriented eye and meticulousness. It requires sifting through loads of financial records to examine every detail accurately. For that, accountants must possess analytical skills to compare, read, and interpret figures correctly.
For example, accountants might work towards minimizing the tax liability of a client by investigating their finances. The AI-powered systems of today will entail you to spot Big Data patterns and forecast trends. Developing data analysis skills will grant you the ability to transform numbers into meaningful insights helping your clients predict profits.
- Cognitive Numerical Skills
Numerical skills are vital requisites for a career in the accounting domain. Fundamental mathematical skills integrate the ability to understand data, calculation finesse, logical thinking, and data analysis. You must recognize the financial frameworks of businesses to prepare financial accounts and to complete other financial reports.
The accounting field needs top-level numerical skills to manage the accounting systems of an organization. These skills contribute to ensure a sound financial approach and generate accurate asset evaluation.
- Technology Expertise
Firms get often challenged when looking for professionals with the latest tech-savvy expertise listed among their accounting skill-set. Diversifying your skills in various finance-specific automation tools will maximize your chances of having a competitive edge over your competition. Some must-have technological skills for every accountant are:
- Enterprise Resource Planning Tools like SAP, Oracle
- Advanced Excel Knowledge
- SQL, Big Data Analysis, Advanced Modelling Methods
- Microsoft Visual Basic Skills
- Proficiency in QuickBooks
- Expertise in Business Intelligence Software like Power BI and IBM Cognos
- Payroll and Resource Management Software
- Database Reporting Software like SAP Crystal Reports
- Account Reconciliation
- Tax Preparation Software
- Compliance Software
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel
A career in accounting without Microsoft Excel knowledge is like becoming a pilot without an aviation degree. The accounting field demands all the finance specialists be highly competent in Excel and Advanced Excel. If you are looking to have a lucrative career in accounting, you must have an A-level spreadsheet game.
Accounting candidates should cultivate a stable footing with Excel’s primary features like formulas, filtering, and sorting. Further, candidates with advanced Excel knowledge like pivot tables and Power Query are at an added benefit of getting hired.
- Taxation Basics and Software
There is a whole segment of the finance and accounting industry dedicated to tax. Accounting specialists should imbibe an in-depth knowledge of various taxes, taxable items, tax income limits, tax rates, etc. With adequate taxation skills, you can navigate your clients through tax procedures hassle-free and ethically.
You must be aware of various software the organizations use for tax preparation if you decide to work in this field. Some commonly used taxation software include Drake, ProSeries, and Lacerte. Basic knowledge of this taxation software will heighten your chances of a successful accounting career.
- Leadership Skills
Finance professionals have the task of being reassuring voices, motivating mentors, visionaries, and shrewd negotiators at several points in their lives. Accounting experts who encompass leadership abilities find success in navigating their clients and teams in today’s fast-paced era.
Leadership skills embrace strategic thinking, critical analysis, and long-term planning. Many accountants offer consultancy services and business solutions to their clients. You have to hone your leadership skills to level up not only their present but the future too.
- Organization and Management Skills
Accounting experts manage a plethora of responsibilities in their daily schedules. Such responsibilities consist of project management and handling transactions. Efficient management and organization skills will assist you to track all the responsibilities seamlessly.
A seasoned accounting professional with organizational skills can manage the workload effectively by prioritizing and delegating tasks. The ability to manage your financial activities within deadlines will turn you into a successful accounting professional in no time.
While many accounting skills are furnished over time, a professional course in accounting can open several doors for you in this field. These ten skills can transform you into a top-class accounting professional. Ensure to hone the skills of integrity and collaboration to fulfill your bundle of accounting skills. Train yourself with a combination of accounting skills, communication skills, management skills, and technological skills. Once done, you will be in a position to bring laurels to any organization.
He is a Financial Accounting trainer with over 7 years of teaching experience in Financial accounting fundamentals and software. Apart from training experience, he has industry experience of two years as a senior accountant at GCC countries. He is well versed in Tally, Sage 50, Zoho Books and SAP FICO.
He follows easy to learn methodologies which work wonders on his training. He loves to travel a lot and has a craze in driving too. His passion for teaching and training engages him to attend conferences and in exploring new areas of learning.