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Accounting Skills You Need to Know

Accounting Skills You Need to Know

No matter how much technology changes, accountants will always be needed to oversee accounting and tax processes as long as people exist. Accounting is a field that is growing quickly and is expected to grow even more in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 125,700 new auditing and accounting jobs open up every year. It will grow at a rate of 4% between 2019 and 2029.

To be a good accountant, though, you need more than just theoretical knowledge. Even if an accountant knows about tax codes, accounting equations, and financial statements, that may not be enough. Every accounting professional needs a set of hard and soft skills in addition to their accounting knowledge. There are many different accounting jobs, such as accountant, auditor, bookkeeper, comptroller, and many more. All of these jobs look for a set of core skills.

There's more to these skills than just a desire to crunch numbers, fill out expense sheets, and keep records. In today's digital world, accountants need to be tech-savvy and keep up with the latest tech skills. All you need to learn the basic skills of accounting is a professional course and training. Finance experts who have IFRS certification have an advantage over others because they are familiar with international accounting standards.

Top 10 Must-Have Skills for Accountants

Here are the Top Accounting Skills you need to know;

  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Mastery in Preparing Financial Statements
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for Industrial Skills
  • Data Analysis Skills
  • Cognitive Numerical Skills
  • Technology Expertise
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel
  • Taxation Basics and Software
  • Leadership Skills
  • Organization and Management Skills
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Interpersonal and communication skills are important in every job, and accounting is no different. Accountants do well when they have skills like being able to negotiate and taking care of clients. As an expert in accounting, you should be a great speaker so you can get your reports across well.

To present their financial reports, accountants have to talk to a lot of clients and coworkers every day. Good communication skills help you turn financial jargon and charts into stories that are easy for your clients to understand.

  • Mastery in Preparing Financial Statements

The purpose of financial statements is to provide investors and other stakeholders with accurate and transparent records of an organization's financial health. Experience with these three primary statements is essential in an accounting role. Income statements or profit and loss statements, cash flows statements, and balance sheet are all part of these financial reports.

Taking accounting classes can help you understand and use each of these reports effectively.

A company's financial health can be gauged with the help of these statements.

  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for Industrial Skills

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) specify a specific set of principles that regulate accounting practice worldwide. For financial statements to be reliable, it is necessary to adhere to industry-wide accounting standards. A company would be lucky to have someone with GAAP expertise.

Employment in a publicly traded firm requires it. Creditors for private companies also have a strong preference for GAAP compliance. Financial statements that adhere to GAAP are a regular need for every accountant. It is recommended that all accountants be familiar with GAAP.

  • Data Analysis Skills

An attentive mind and a keen focus on detail are essential for success in the field of accounting. To get a good look at everything, you have to sift through mountains of financial documents. Accountants need analytical skills to help them make sense of numbers and make comparisons.

By digging into their clients' financial histories, accountants can look for ways to reduce their clients' tax obligations. You'll need to be able to recognise patterns in Big Data and anticipate trends if you want to work with today's AI-driven systems. You can better assist your clients in forecasting future profits by honing your data analysis skills.

  • Cognitive Numerical Skills

If you're looking to pursue a career in accounting, you'll need to be comfortable working with numbers. The ability to comprehend information, calculate accurately, reason logically, and analyse data are all integral parts of a solid mathematical foundation. In order to complete financial reports and prepare financial accounts, you must be familiar with the financial structures of businesses.

Superior numeric skills are required in the accounting field for the management of accounting systems. These abilities help guarantee a sensible financial strategy and produce reliable assessments of assets.

  • Technology Expertise

It can be difficult for businesses to find qualified accountants who also possess cutting-edge technological skills. Learning to use a variety of finance-focused automation tools will increase your marketability and give you a leg up on the competition. Every accountant needs to have a firm grasp of the following technologies:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning Tools like SAP, Oracle
  • Advanced Excel Knowledge
  • SQL, Big Data Analysis, Advanced Modelling Methods
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Skills
  • Proficiency in QuickBooks
  • Expertise in Business Intelligence Software like Power BI and IBM Cognos
  • Payroll and Resource Management Software
  • Database Reporting Software like SAP Crystal Reports
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Tax Preparation Software 
  • Compliance Software
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel 

Accounting as a profession without proficiency in Microsoft Excel is like aviation as a profession without a pilot's licence. All professionals working in finance and accounting must have expert proficiency in Excel and Advanced Excel. You need to be a master of spreadsheets if you want to make a living as an accountant.

Candidates for accounting positions should develop a solid foundation in Excel's fundamental features, including formulas, filters, and sorts. Additionally, candidates with advanced Excel skills, such as pivot tables and Power Query, have an advantage when applying for jobs.

  • Taxation Basics and Software

Financial and accounting professionals can specialise in tax matters. Experts in the field of accounting should educate themselves thoroughly on all types of taxes, taxable items, income thresholds, tax rates, etc. If you know your way around tax law, you can guide your customers through the process in a way that is both efficient and ethical.

You should be familiar with the various tax preparation software used by businesses if you want to work in this field. Drake, ProSeries, and Lacerte are just a few examples of popular tax preparation programmes. A working knowledge of tax software will increase your marketability as an accountant.

  • Leadership Skills

Throughout their careers, those working in finance must play the roles of reassuring advisors, inspiring leaders, future-focused thinkers, and skilled negotiators. Proficient accountants who also possess strong leadership skills are better able to guide their clients and teams through the challenges of the modern business world.

Strategic thinking, critical analysis, and forward planning are all hallmarks of a leader with initiative and vision. In addition to their core services, many accountants also provide advice and guidance on how to run a business. You need to hone your leadership abilities to take them to the next level, both now and in the future.

  • Organization and Management Skills

Professionals in the field of accounting have a lot on their plates. The tasks in this category include managing projects and conducting business. You can keep track of everything more easily if you have excellent management and organisational skills.

An experienced accountant will be able to manage their workload by setting priorities and delegating responsibilities. You will quickly rise through the ranks of the accounting profession if you can keep track of your money and meet your deadlines.

While some accounting knowledge is acquired through experience, taking a formal course can give you a leg up on the competition. You can go from being an average accountant to a rock star by mastering these ten skills. In addition to honing your accounting chops, it is essential that you develop your interpersonal and cooperative skills. Develop your abilities in accounting, interpersonal communication, organisational management, and technological know-how. When you're finished, you'll be able to bring praise to any company.

Here at Ujuzingo, we've made it a habit to support accounting and finance enthusiasts put their best foot forward as they search for opportunities that meet their skills and career aspirations, while also assisting employers in finding more job-ready applicants. Check out our accounting and finance courses or current job openings.