Accountants are a vital part of the financial world, making sure that a business’s finances are in order, filing taxes for individuals, and balancing the budgets of entire countries. To complete these tasks, accounting skills are vital.
Whether you are interested in accounting or are already working in the field, there are many skills you need to be successful. Some of these skills are even transferable between accounting and finance.
In this guide, we will go over the soft skills and hard skills you must to become a successful accountant.
What Is an Accountant and What Are Their Duties?
An accountant is someone who prepares and reviews financial statements and documents. Their day-to-day duties include:
- Reporting and analyzing accounting data
- Supporting financial transactions by auditing data
- Analyzing account information for assets, liabilities, and capital account entries
- Entering account information into spreadsheets by documenting financial transactions
Interpersonal Skills for Accounting
Interpersonal skills are necessary for any job and they vary depending on the industry. For accountants, essential interpersonal skills include the following.
While dealing with multiple clients, spreadsheets, and financials, it is important to stay organized. Be sure you are not misplacing documents or missing deadlines, and be sure to follow proper guidelines.
Time management is important because you may be working with multiple clients simultaneously and must meet all project deadlines.
Analytical Skills are important in the accounting industry because you must be able to solve complex issues.
Attention to Detail
Along with analytical skills, attention to detail is important. You must make sure that nothing is left out while you are analyzing reports.
General Business Knowledge
Having general business knowledge is important because it shows that you understand the actions taken by a business’s leaders and how those choices affect the organization’s financials.
Technical Accounting Skills
Along with interpersonal skills, there are many technical skills that an employer will look for on your accounting resume. The following accounting skills will prove how much you know about accounting.
- Generally accepted accounting principles
- Proficiency in Microsoft Excel
- Knowing how to prepare financial statements
- Data management skills
- Financial reporting
- Tax preparation
Skills to Include on an Accounting Resume
While applying for jobs, you might wonder: “What should I include on my accounting resume?” Be sure to include any accounting experience you have, as well as any skills related to the job that you have learned through your past work or studies.
This should include technical and interpersonal skills. Below are some examples.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Excel
- Proficiency in balancing spreadsheets
- Organizational skills
- A keen eye for detail
- Knowledge of accounting software
As you learn new skills, add them to your resume. Potential employers will be looking closely to see who has the most experience and the most relevant skills for their specific organization.
Accounting Skills: Take the Right Course to Sharpen Your Knowledge
If you are pursuing a four-year degree in accounting, you will take many accounting courses that will prepare you for your career. You can also apply for an internship to demonstrate your skills in a real-world situation and learn new skills on the job.
Outside of school and internships, you may want to consider taking some of these courses to build up your skills:
In this course, students learn how to use and operate QuickBooks and other accounting software. The course covers how to process payroll and banking information, track business expenses, and practice sales transactions.
This course gives a basic rundown of federal taxing, including laws and policies and potential issues. In this course, students will learn about IRS Tax Compliance and Individual Tax by reviewing the IRS audit process and learning about income tax returns.
The course also covers Corporate Operations and Accounting for Income Taxes, Corporate Taxation and Formation, and more.
In this course, students will learn to read and prepare financial statements and to know what assets and claims look like on a balance sheet. They will also learn how a business makes a profit and how it can use its liquidity.
This course teaches students the difference between credit and debt. As part of the course, students will also learn how to analyze cash inflows and outflows and determine the state of a company’s finances, to ensure financial statements are accurate, and more.
Best Accounting Jobs
As you are trying to determine your career path in accounting, keep in mind that there are many jobs within the accounting field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an accountant makes an average of $71,550 per year and has a four percent increase in job outlook.
Other jobs related to accounting include:
- Certified Public Accountant
- Forensic Accountant
- Cost Accountant
- Investment Accountant
Conclusion: Do You Have the Skills to Become an Accountant?
Accounting can be tough and tedious, but someone interested in finances will know what to expect. You should practice all of the skills above to make sure your career in accounting is a success. Consider adding new soft skills and technical skills, as they can be vital to securing a job that will launch you on your career path.
Accounting Skills FAQ
What interpersonal skills do I need?
Attention to detail, analytical skills, general business knowledge, and communication skills.
What other accounting jobs are there besides a certified public accountant?
You could also work as a forensic accountant, investment accountant, bookkeeper, auditor, and many more.
How much does an accountant make?
In the US, accountants make an average of $71,550 per year.
Where can I learn accounting?
You can get a four-year degree in accounting from most accredited colleges or universities, or by taking a course online.