6 Essential Skills Companies Seek In Accountants

An accountant is a professional who closely monitors the financial health of a business. Alongside managing the movement of money, they also deal with taxes, employee payroll, or anything that involves a business’s finances. On the other hand, accounting might not be everybody’s cup of tea. However, dig a little deeper, and you’ll find tons of career opportunities waiting for you.

The right skills aligning with the right opportunity ensure a high-paying job. If you seek a career in accounting, chances are you’ll find such a formula extremely successful. If you possess the right mix of competencies and skills the employer wants, you’ll probably impress many potential employers. That said, which skills do companies search for in an accountant? If you aren’t sure about this, take a few minutes to check the skills you have against the list mentioned below to tally up your professional capabilities. It will indeed prove to be a profitable exercise for you.

Knowledge Of Accounting Standards

However, before discussing the skills, know that mastering accounting principles is crucial for an accounting career. The principles of accounting, the International Financial Reporting Standards, or the GAAP, ensure that you maintain consistency when creating a financial statement. These accounting standards contain a few common procedures and principles for accountants to develop the best financial statements possible.

Knowledge of accounting standards is vital for reporting or recording a business’s finances and maintaining consistency. When companies interview candidates for accounting positions, they ask several questions about accounting principles. Therefore, if you feel the need to brush up on accounting principles and basic accounting knowledge, you should opt for online learning. Completing an accounting-based degree like a master of accountancy online will enhance your chances of getting hired. It will equip you with fundamental accounting knowledge and develop the essential skills necessary to accelerate career development.

Now, let’s discuss the essential skills.

1. Data Analysis Skills

Data analysis is an essential pillar of accounting and finance. Data analysis includes deriving meaningful information from raw data. It enables accountants to develop accurate financial reports based on information like expenses, revenue, and finance budget. Furthermore, performing an analysis of a financial statement will allow accountants to maintain its integrity and consistency.

2. Business Management

As a support function, an accountant usually has to collaborate with other departments of a company. General business know-how enables you to have the basic knowledge necessary to successfully and efficiently work with individuals outside of the finance realm.

Utilizing this skill, you will better negotiate and communicate with vendors to address procurement, invoicing, and pricing issues.

3. Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking involves considering a subject or matter from various angles. It includes thoroughly evaluating, analyzing, and conceptualizing information acquired from reasoning, observation, and experience to comprehend a specific action’s pros and cons. Critical thinking is a vital aspect of problem-solving. It is necessary to understand an issue and then evaluate and identify its possible solutions.

Accountants utilize critical thinking skills to identify solutions for nonpayments or overages. Furthermore, they use critical thinking to evaluate financial reports from all angles and apply best accounting practices to new data.

4. Communication Skills

Effective communication involves conveying information and ideas in a way that other people can quickly grasp. As an accountant, you’ll require both verbal and written communication skills. While working as an accountant, you’ll have to develop quarterly tax reports, budget proposals, and other forms of financial statements. Effective communication will enable you to concisely and accurately deliver information in a format understandable by managers, owners, and stockholders.  

To successfully present budget proposals and financial reports, you also require writing with clarity and confidence. You will also have to give and receive feedback to confirm that the person you’re communicating with understands you.

5. Software Proficiency

The accounting field requires proficiency in multiple accounting applications and software like spreadsheet applications and other special-purpose accounting programs and software. These specialized accounting programs will assist you with account chart management, generating financial statements, reconciling accounts, and ledger management.

Employers also require that accountants remain up-to-date with the latest and most excellent Enterprise Resource Planning program. Such specialized software acts as a central location for payroll, personnel, invoicing, purchasing, receivable, and budgetary business needs.

6. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are vital to ensure proper mentoring and training of your staff while also making you available and approachable to everyone. Accountants are in charge of an organization’s finances and act as role models for everyone who deals with cash flow. Employers want their accountants to be ethically aware moral leaders. And improving your leadership skills will undoubtedly result in professional growth, providing you with a platform to hone your skills.

Conclusion

Being aware of accounting principles and regulations and developing communication and business skills are essential skills accountants should possess. While every job has its skillset requirements, accounting is something that requires lifelong learning. That said, brushing up on a few soft and hard skills will help you become the best accountant you can be and land the job of your dreams.

Alexa Josh

Alexa Josh is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple successful businesses in the fields of design,writing,marketing, software development, and more. She's a University of Mumbai graduated who enjoys writing. Alexa's has worked for clients ranging from online retailers and global market research firms to financial corporations.