By Ruoro Kairu
There is a false perception concerning the skills needed to succeed in professions such as accounting. For many accountants, they focus only on practical skills. However, there’s more to accounting than just crunching numbers on an abacus.
If you are seeking a successful career in accountancy, there are several key skills that you should strive to develop throughout your career.
A combination of accredited qualifications, professional skills, and interpersonal skills will propel you towards the top of the industry.
I interviewed three employers who have previously used our services to recruit accountants. Here is what they had to say;
“At any time, we have at least half a dozen client accounts running. If an accountant wants to work with us, they need to show us they are organized, and they can handle multiple accounts without mixing them up.” A COO at a local advertising firm.
In most companies, accountants are integral people. They manage a lot of responsibility, which means they are generally busy most of the time.
To excel in accounting, you will need to keep track of all these responsibilities –managed portfolios, transactions handled, company budget, and approaching deadlines.
You can utilize tools like alphabetized folders, calendars, day planners, color-coded notes, highlighters, apps, and software.
With an improvement in your organization skills, you will be effective at keeping track of all your tasks and responsibilities.
When you improve your organization skills, you will subsequently portray qualities such as reliability, competence, and ability to get your work done effectively.
2. Time management
Time management is a skill that closely relates to organization skills.
After you have organized your work into relevant categories, you will then have to manage how much time is spent on a particular task. Some tasks are important and need to be catered for with fresh eyes and energy. Other tasks may involve redundancies and thus only need a minute or two after you’re used to them.
With proper time management skills, you will not only be able to deliver your work on time, but you will also be able to achieve work/life balance.
No matter the line of work you’re in, communication skills are incredibly valuable. The ability to communicate well both in person and in writing will help you get a good accounting job, foster a working relationship with your colleagues, interact with clients, and ultimately, advance professionally.
With developed interpersonal skills, you will find it easier to network. Activities such as welcoming new personnel to the team as well as attending corporate events will be easier and prove more productive.
The effects of good communication skills cannot be over-emphasized.
“Times have changed, we are no longer just looking for accountants. We are looking for employees who can handle other roles like customer service and other roles within the office. The more versatile you are, the better.” A Top Executive at a leading accounting firm.
There are certain professionals who know what they have learned in institutions, and nothing more. If you want to make it in today’s business world, you will need to be highly adaptable.
When employers are looking to fill a position, they will most likely go for someone who can adequately fill their position, as well as handle another task should the need ever arise.
5. Creative problem-solving
As with any other field, change is inevitable in the accounting industry. Therefore, when companies are looking to hire, they will lean more towards accountants who can think out of the box. While the hard skills will most likely assure you get that job, how you navigate an obstacle both within and without the accounting department could help propel you to the next stage of your career.
6. Practical Accounting
“We once hired an accountant who had no idea what I-Tax was. I’m not [an accountant], and even I knew what I-Tax was. Now, we have to hold practical interviews for any accountant before we hire them.” A CEO in a local hydroponics company.
Finally, to excel in the accounting world, every accountant needs to be rightly equipped with practical accounting skills.
You might be a graduate with pleasing academic details. However, even with CPS, CPA (K) certifications, you could struggle to get a job if you do not have the experience. Employers are always in the search of accountants who have knowledge in skills like filling VAT, N.S.S.F, P.A.Y.E, N.H.I.F, and I-Tax.
The accounting world is an intriguing one that is full of growth and possibilities. To make a success of the field, an accountant needs to integrate both the soft skills and the hard skills. If you are an accountant and would wish to gain practical experience, you can engage us to know more about our Accounting Class.