Ready to explore some of the top career skills you’ll need in accounting? Start here!
Identifying the skills that lead to success in accounting will not only increase your job satisfaction, but also make it easier for you to build towards your long-term career goals.
Here are the top 6 skills that will help you to stand out as an egg-cellent accountant. We’ve included some tips to help you start developing these skills while you’re still in school, but don’t be afraid to look for other opportunities as well!
Accountants are important people. They manage a lot of responsibility, which means that they generally stay pretty busy.
To be a good accountant you need to have a system to keep track of those responsibilities – such as any portfolios you manage, the transactions you handle, and any important dates and deadlines you need to meet – to ensure that you fulfill all of your duties to the best of your ability.
You can make use of tools like calendars, alphabetized folders, day planners, colour-coded post-it notes and highlighters, and apps and programs designed to help you stay highly organized and in the short- and long-term.
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Being well-organized is a great way to demonstrate to your coworkers and manager that you are reliable, competent and able to get the job done. Start honing your organizational skills now and by the time you begin applying for jobs, you’ll be able to discuss your organizational skills with confidence.
2. Time management
Good time-management skills go hand-in-hand in with strong organizational capabilities.
A system for managing your workload is only effective if you also know how to budget your time. As an accountant, you’ll need to manage competing priorities and juggle myriad tasks – while completing everything on time.
The ability to work within deadlines and to continually re-prioritize your to-do list will take you far. Not only will it impress your boss, co-workers and clients, it will also help you to maintain a healthy work/life balance and keep your day-to-day productive.
The accounting industry is highly dynamic, so accountants who are able to adapt quickly and easily are at a distinct advantage.
In addition to being able to provide better services to their clients, adaptable individuals are more likely to learn and grow in their careers because they see each new challenge as an opportunity to learn and test their skills.
Embrace change – learn to make the most of every curveball that your work throws your way.
On a related note, it’s also great to be proactive. Although it takes a bit of extra effort to be informed about changes as they happen, it definitely pays off: it will keep you on the cutting edge of the industry, earn you the respect of your peers and ensure that others look to you when planning ahead.
No matter where you work, what your job entails or who you work with, strong communication skills are incredibly valuable. Being able to communicate well in writing and in person will help you to get a job, work as a team with your colleagues, interact with clients and, with time, advance professionally.
Well-developed interpersonal skills will also be useful for networking. Whether you have to attend a corporate function or are simply welcoming a new coworker to the office, the ability to assert yourself when meeting new people in order to establish profitable relationships will serve you well. Never underestimate the importance of making a good first impression.
Honesty and integrity are highly valued in the accounting world.
Accountants – and the firms they work for – pride themselves on adhering to the strictest ethical standards. It’s why the public, other businesses and the government know that they can trust accountants to always look out for their best interests.
Being transparent when making decisions and giving advice has the added benefit of improving your working relationships. It will make teamwork easier and will help you to foster an environment that is respectful and collaborative.
Many accountants work on larger teams, so the importance of being trusted can’t be overstated. Get into the habit of thinking about the consequences of your actions each time you have to make a big decision.
Being a good leader means knowing how to mentor and teach, and making yourself approachable and available to the people you’re responsible for. You have to balance being a role model and the person in charge while still being part of the team. It also takes confidence, patience, and the ability to delegate – traits which don’t come easily to most people.
In accounting, leadership skills also include strategic thinking and long-term planning. Many accountants provide consulting services, which means that they offer advice and business solutions to help companies improve their operations, so the ability to look ahead is key.
The top players in accounting are generally known for being visionary – for making logical decisions that also involve a bit of creativity. To be a successful accountant, you need to be able to show your clients that you’re working to improve their present and future.