Accounting is one of the most in-demand professions in the job market today. As economies and markets continue to evolve, the skills required for successful accounting careers must also develop. But what are those essential skills?
What sets apart a good accountant from a great one? This post will discuss seven sets of skills that are considered valuable complements in this constantly evolving marketplace.
- Technology Skills: A modern accountant needs to be proficient in the most common technologies used to record financial transactions such as Excel and QuickBooks. Many companies have begun using software designed specifically for accounting purposes. An accountant who can demonstrate proficiency with these programs will be an asset to any organization.
You’ll want to gain familiarity and even enhance your expertise with the specific software and tools accounting leaders are looking for:
- Advanced Excel
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) (e.g., SAP, Oracle)
- Big data analysis, advanced modeling techniques and SQL
- Business intelligence software (e.g., IBM Cognos)
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- Hyperion (for analyst and financial reporting roles)
- Microsoft Visual Basic skills
- QuickBooks (for positions with small and midsize firms)
- Problem Solving Skills: Accounting is all about solving problems, whether it’s uncovering discrepancies or ensuring accuracy in data entry.
An accountant must not only recognize when a problem exists but also be able to quickly identify possible solutions and take action accordingly.
- Communication Skills: Good communication skills are essential for any job, but particularly so for accountants as they often work with clients or customers directly on financial matters.
Accountants must be able to clearly explain complex financial matters that may not always make sense to everyone involved, so strong verbal and written communication skills are highly valued by employers looking for a new hire.
- Analytical Skills: Analytical thinkers are able to look at data objectively and draw conclusions based on the evidence provided by that data; this is an invaluable skill set when dealing with large amounts of financial information on a daily basis! The ability to analyze facts and figures quickly is something that many employers value greatly when hiring an accountant.
- Time Management Skills: An accountant’s day can be filled with many tasks, both big and small; thus, good time management skills are essential for success in this field. Being able to prioritize tasks efficiently will help ensure deadlines are met without sacrificing quality of work product along the way!
- Attention To Detail: Accounting requires paying careful attention to detail because even the smallest mistake can have serious repercussions; it’s important that accountants stay vigilant while working through their day-to-day tasks.
- Business Acumen: Understanding how businesses operate internally and externally is key for success within any industry; however, it’s especially important for accountants because they often work closely with other departments within companies. Knowing how various business processes interact with each other helps accountants provide more comprehensive advice and counsel when needed.
In order to succeed as an accountant today it takes more than just numbers – you need sound technical knowledge coupled with complementary soft skills like effective communication, problem solving abilities, analytical thinking, time management capabilities, attention to detail and business acumen, too.
Employers now expect their accounting staff members possess a wide range of competencies which go beyond crunching numbers – having these additional abilities gives you a competitive edge in today’s ever-evolving marketplace.
We know the best talent in the field and we know the marketplace. Make your next hire a great one by leveraging our knowledge and experience. Contact us to make your next move.