EDUCATION

10 Skills You Need as an Accounting Student

We make new advancements in technology almost every day now. These advancements have made fields like accounting more complex. Nowadays, a bachelor’s degree is no longer sufficient to get a job. Employers prefer candidates with relevant industry knowledge and advanced training through industry certification and courses. It would help if you also had a combination of technical and soft skills. We have listed the ten most critical skills accounting you need down below. 

Technical Skills

1. Understanding of Information Technology & Information Systems

Information technology plays an integral role in the accounting profession. Information Technology’s influence is expected to grow as businesses become as efficient as possible. Employers want candidates who have a background in IT and information systems. Most universities that offer accounting programs have at least one class on information systems. You can gain additional experience through online courses to help you stand out.

2. Business Analytics

Business analytics is all about finding solutions to problems in business processes to increase efficiency and improve finances. Possible solutions are then reported to management to make informed business decisions. To stand out to employers, you need to analyze data to help businesses grow. Many universities offer MBA in accounting programs that focus on business analytics. There are also several online options from reputable universities for those who cannot attend college. One such university is Eastern Washington University which offers an online MBA Accounting program that teaches business analytics to students. 

3. Advanced Knowledge of Excel

Excel is the bread and butter of accounting. Back in the day, you did not need to know much about excel as you were allowed to learn on the job. But, now employers want candidates who are proficient at using Excel. Many resources are available online that can teach you how to use excel. Surgent offers a paid comprehensive course on excel, which teaches you all the skills you need to stand out. 

Soft Skills 

4. Effective Communication

Effective communication is a skill that you must have. As accountants, you will have to present your reports to the upper management of a company about their financial situation. If you lack effective communication, you can practice communicating more often with your classmates, professors, and friends. 

5. Professionalism

Professionalism refers to having a positive attitude no matter what the situation, owning up to your mistakes, and leading by example. If you have these skills in your locker, you will stand out head and shoulders above the rest. It will show potential future employers that you are emotionally mature. To practice, you should look for opportunities to lead either on campus or in your community. Also, own up to your mistakes when you are wrong. Admitting that you were wrong does not cause any damage to your integrity. It does the opposite as people respect you and trust your ability.

Furthermore, keep a positive attitude no matter what. Life never moves in a linear pattern. It moves in a constant up and down pattern. No matter what the situation, always think positively. It will show employers that are can handle anything. 

6. Teamwork

All industries have some element of teamwork. Accounting is no exception. You will inevitably have to work in teams at one point in your career, and you should be comfortable with it. Despite the stereotypes of accountants working alone, you will be working with accounting teams covering every aspect of accounting, from tax returns to financial audits. To practice, you should work in teams during school projects, conduct study sessions with classmates for exams, or start a community outreach program with your neighbors. It will teach you valuable collaboration skills which will help you in college and later on in your career.

7. Adaptability

Due to rapid advancements in technology, industries are also changing. Accounting is no different and is much different now than twenty years ago. These changes will continue to grow due to AI, automation, and data analytics in the industry. Your future employers expect you to adapt to any situation and do so quickly. You will have to adapt to new technology, new laws, and new situations during your careers, sometimes with little information to no information. Lastly, you must conduct research on relevant technologies in the industry and their impact on the future. It will show employers that you are ready to adapt to any situation.

8. Innovation

The ability to innovate is critical because the business world is constantly changing. The world of accountancy is also constantly changing because of it. Innovation is crucial to a business’s continued success. Therefore, employers prefer accountants who have fresh ideas to solve business problems. As an accounting student, you should try to be as innovative as possible. You can practice by being creative and taking risks. Creativity allows you to develop new information that did not exist before. Taking risks allows you to learn what works and what does not. 

9. Initiative

Due to COVID-19, most universities and companies have adopted policies that allow students and employees to study or work from home. As a student, you should have confidence in yourself and take initiatives that help your community. A good example is to create an organization that educates people on how to take care of the environment. It is not too difficult to do and positively impacts your surroundings. These initiatives will show your future employers that you are independent and trusted to handle responsibility.

10. Integrity

You have to build your brand on trust. Trust is not possible if you have no integrity and practice unethical standards. To have integrity, you must be honest and have strong moral and ethical values. It will lead to you building credibility in the industry, which is critical in business. In the business world, people must trust you and recognize you as a person of integrity to get opportunities. Lastly, if you want more responsibility, you must first gain the trust of your employers, and that is impossible without integrity.

Conclusion

The accounting profession is constantly advancing due to advancements in technology. It has the industry more dynamic and complex. Nowadays, a background in accountancy is not enough to land you a job after your degree completion. You must have additional technical and soft skills to help employers notice you.