No one ever said that being an accountant was easy. It takes a lot of skills and knowledge to be good at the job. But with the right training and experience, you can be an effective accountant and help your company or clients stay financially healthy.
A list of creative accountants may give you some tips. So, that is something to think about when it comes to thinking outside the box with your job.
Here are some of the most important skills that accountants need to have:
Strong maths skills
An accountant needs to be able to do complex calculations in their head, as well as understand financial reports and statements. They need to be able to find errors and discrepancies quickly. It is not true necessarily that a calculator will always get you out of trouble, or a piece of software. There needs to be that in-built or trained understanding of figures.
It pays to have paid attention in maths classes at school and college because this carries forward to what we might achieve later in life. It is not everyone that knows what they eventually want to go into, of course, so we should always have kept our options open.
However, you will be glad that you persevered with maths if you discover later that it is where you are heading with your job. Not all skills will come naturally, although, we tend to be better at either words or numbers. So that is a good indicator.
An accountant is responsible for tracking and organizing large amounts of financial data. They also need to be able to stay organised when working under pressure.
Knowledge of software solutions helps accountants to better organise the way they work. For instance, spreadsheets such as Excel can re-total figures automatically when formulas are used. These are the key to successfully using Excel. Formulas are often complex to work out but well worth the effort when the same data can be carried over to different sheets and used in other calculations.
Accountants need to be able to explain financial information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
Many who run businesses will not necessarily understand figures all that well because they usually have another skill that has formed the business. This is why they have perhaps hired a financial assistant or accountant.
It makes sense to have not only someone who can handle the figures themselves with ease and expertise but who can also communicate what is quite complex to the business owner and a bank perhaps loaning money. This is a skill in itself and takes the accounting technician to a new level.
Those who teach accountancy will, of course, have this skill in putting over information effectively to others. Although, it might be different from interpreting what specifically has gone on within a particular company compared to textbook examples.
Critical thinking or analytical skills
Accountants need to be able to analyse financial data and make sound decisions based on that data.
An accountant needs to be able to see the bigger picture and understand how all the pieces of financial information fit together. They also need to be good at spotting trends.
If we are in any kind of financial management position, we will want to be able to analyse data to make greater sense of what is going on and measure performance against expectations. Strategies are formed this way.
Attention to detail
Every accountant knows that even the smallest mistake can have major consequences. That’s why it’s important to be able to pay close attention to detail and catch errors before they lead to problems.
If you’re thinking about a career in accounting, or are already working as an accountant, brush up on your skills and make sure you have what it takes to be successful in this challenging field.