Seven skills you need to succeed in accounting
The world of accounting is one that is constantly evolving and being an accountant in that world requires so much more than just being able to crunch numbers. Whilst having the right kind of technical skills is essential, there is a wealth of other skills that can help you stand out from the rest and can take you from being a good accountant, to a great one.
Knowing what it takes to be successful in this industry will not only increase your overall job satisfaction, but will also make it easier for you to hone the specific skills that can help you reach those long-term career goals. We take a look at those skills you need to brush up on in order to succeed in accounting.
Time management maestro
Tight deadlines are not foreign to accountants and as a result, they have to be able to be wizards at managing their time. Very often, an accountant has to juggle various tasks and the reality is, that if he’s not meticulous when it comes to budgeting of time, chances are that many missed deadlines will occur. Correct time management will equal maximising productivity and hopefully getting everything done, not only well, but more importantly, on time as well. Timing is everything and when you have many competing priorities, being able to manage your time effectively will mean dealing with them more efficiently.
Master of organisation
This ties in strongly with the first skill: organisation is the key to successful time management. Without being organised and having a set structure in place, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on top of tasks and manage your various responsibilities. Accountants are busy people, usually with large workloads, and in order to carry out their duties to the best of their ability, they need to be organised. Many will develop their own systems for staying on track and completing tasks because without them, things would invariably fall through the racks. Accountants need to prove that they are reliable and competent, and being organised can certainly help them achieve this.
Rock star communicator
Being able to communicate effectively and clearly is a skill that is almost always valuable in any line of work – and this is even truer when it comes to accountants. They require both excellent written and verbal communications skills that allow them to convey necessary information to those who require it. Accountants need to be able to present their findings in a way that is understandable and digestible for all. Often they end up working independently but when it comes to communicating the vital information and data with which they’ve been tasked to determine, a great accountant will be able to deliver that in a clear and logical way.
Leader of the pack
Another essential trait accountants should possess is strong leadership qualities. Great accounts are usually good leaders who set an example for others, and who mentor and teach those around them. They successfully find the balance between being a role model and the person in charge, and are often seen to be visionaries who are able to make logical, impactful decisions that will serve in the long-term. An impressive leader is one who combines the right amount of confidence with patience and approachability, and is someone who isn’t afraid to delegate as he sees fit. More than just strategic thinkers, successful accountants are also able to lead effortlessly and fairly.
Natural business acumen
The one thing that undoubtedly stands accountants in good stead is having a knack for business and its processes. Possessing natural business acumen can only help an accountant go far in his career as it will allow him to see the bigger picture and understand how his role in the business can assist it in reaching its goals. The more knowledge you have about the inner-workings of the business you’re in, as well as that gut instinct when it comes to conducting business, the more likely you are to succeed in your role as an accountant.
As mentioned earlier, the world of accounting is a dynamic and ever-changing one. It’s because of this that as an accountant, you need to be adaptable and flexible. Situations can change in an instant and a great accountant will know how to bend with the change and quickly take on the role he requires. It’s when you’re open to adapting that you learn and grow the most, two things that are sure to help you become the best accountant you can possibly be. No matter what’s thrown your way, you need be able to adjust and make it work – that’s the mark of a truly impressive accountant.
Transparency is the name of the game
Successful accountants are those people who establish themselves as trusted players within a team and constantly show that they are always looking out for their clients’ best interests. They adhere to the strict ethical guidelines that govern the world of accounting and make it their business to foster working environments that are both collaborative and respectful. Establishing a level of trust between yourself and those you work with/for is vital and one way of doing that is to be open and honest 100% of the time – people value that more than you know.
There are many skills one needs to succeed in accounting, so whether you’re considering getting into the field or you’re already in it and you’re looking to improve, then take note of these seven skills. Here’s to becoming great!
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