By Ruoro Kairu
According to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), there are more than 20,000 unregistered accountants in the country. This means there are only 22,000 duly qualified and registered accountants.
In late 2018, ICPAK focused on formarly registering all accountants, as well as taking lawful measures against accountants who had not followed the registration guidelines. This was to be enforced through the signing of the Finance Act Bill of 2018.
The law was intended to get rid of false accountants in the market. According to Edwin Makori, the Chief Executive at ICPAK, the law has been successful in registering more accountants. However, he also notes most accountants –though registered, do not have the basic accounting skills.
If you have just joined the job market as an accountant, there are a few key abilities that will increase your chances of getting a job. These are the skills and abilities that many employers are looking at while screening candidates.
1. Computerized Accounting Competency
Many schools teach accounting on paper. While this is a great way of ensuring students grasp every concept, the job market is quite different. Most companies have digitized their accounting systems and use customized and sophisticated systems such as QuickBooks, MC, Oracle, Sage-Pastel, and Turnquest. Many accounting graduates have a hard time using these software.
Before you start applying for accounting jobs, ensure you can handle the major accounting software.
2. How to write cheques
While it may sound mundane, learning how to write a cheque is important for every accountant. The problem is such a simple skill is not taught in schools. One of the ways you can learn how to write cheques is by accompanying a relative or friend to the bank and learn firsthand. With the advancement in technology today, you can also look up how you ought to write cheques. If you use online resources, ensure the examples are applicable in Kenya.
3. Proficiency in MS Excel
MS Excel is the basic accounting application used in the market and every accountant needs to be well versed in using it. As a follow up to computerized accounting, most of these accounting software are dependent on MS Excel.
Basic computer packages are one of the most learned short course today. However, you need to ensure you have as much understanding of MS Excel as possible. This will increase your chances of getting a job as most firms require a practical interview for accountants. Feel free to enlist in our Advanced Excel Course.
4. Filing taxes in the iTax portal
Taxation is an integral bit of finance and accounting in most organizations. Various fields of taxes need to be filed with the government before set deadlines. Such taxes include PAYE, VAT, Corporate Tax, Rental Income Tax, and Withholding Tax.
If you are looking to learn practical accounting skills such as how to file taxes through iTax, you can join our five-day class. The high impact class will guide you an all the important aspects of accounting and prepare you for the job market. Our next practical accounting lesson commences on the 14th of January. To book a spot, give us a call on +254 718 610023 or email us today.