Accountants, ranging from accounting technicians to financial managers, require a particular set of skills to thrive in their industry. While some skills are timeless for accountants, there may be a few new ones to consider too. Let’s look at a few of the top skills for accountants in 2017:
1. Proficiency in information technology
Not only is this point particularly important for 2017, but also for the future in general. Everything is becoming increasingly digitised and accountants need to keep up in order to stay in demand.
Experience and training in the relevant software programs is a must. Furthermore, accountants should be able to adapt to new software as the world of information technology is growing and changing rapidly. Different companies and clients may also use different programs, so consider upskilling with a computer studies course.
2. Analytical and problem-solving ability
Accountants should be able to identify problems and figure out how best to approach and solve them. Spotting errors and figuring out smarter ways to resolve recurring issues is an invaluable skill for modern accountants. Analytical thinking is something all accountants should practise. It helps to keep you thinking on your feet and out of the box.
3. An eye for detail
Accuracy is everything in this line of work. Reputable accountants are precise about their calculations and record-keeping. The smallest slip-up in the numbers can have huge consequences for a company or client, so accountants should always be meticulous about their work. This means that accountants should be careful of working while too fatigued. Needless to say, an eye for detail is an essential and timeless skill in this industry.
4. Organisational and time management skills
Many accountants have to multi-task and meet tight deadlines at certain times for certain clients. For example, preparing for the financial year-end can be quite a stressful time before an audit. An accountant’s role can include juggling administrative tasks such as managing files and records while maintaining the accuracy and coherence of the information. Effective accountants are highly organised individuals who work well with schedules and budgets.
This one seems obvious right? Accountants should ideally be good with numbers and have the relevant numerical training and financial literacy. If you are an aspiring accountant looking to embark on your career, consider doing a bookkeeping or accounting course.
Feel free to comment if you have another top skill to add to this article. Do you need more information on what it means to be an accountant? Check out this interesting article about 6 People Who Turned Accounting into the Coolest Job Ever and think about what kind of accountant you want to be.