accounting skills

August 23, 2016, by Carla

What Skills Do You Need to Succeed in Accounting?

Wondering whether you’re a good fit for accounting? Whether you’re studying accountancy now or it’s something you end up picking up later in life, you will always be apply the skills and experience you gain at university.

If you’re not sure you have what it takes or if you’ll enjoy it, read on.

Here at The Accountancy Partnership, we love all things accounting and business! So on that note, here are seven skills and qualities you need to work with us in this field. You might already have a few…

1. Get organised

You will probably be required to work with several different accounts for several different clients. As long as you are organised and can keep on top of the work then you’ll do well. This should be easy for most students; how many time have you had to balance a few different projects at once during your academic life?

You’ll also need to be able to manage your time effectively. You may have several clients who all have different requirements and deadlines for accounts submissions. You have to adhere by HMRC’s timetable and work well ahead of time to avoid your clients getting penalties.

2. Communication is key

A key skill is being able to communicate effectively. As accountancy can be complex, you need to be able to explain things in a clear way for clients who are less informed about your practice.

While accounting is a bit different from the average customer service-oriented job you might have held while at university, you are still providing a service and the same basic rules apply.

3. An eye for detail

Accountancy is very much about being able to look at company accounts closely and keep an eye out for details. When auditing companies for example, you’re going to have to review your client’s records to make sure everything is in order and resolve any discrepancies.

If you’re still feeling sharp 9,000 words into reading your dissertation, you’re on the right track.

4. Honesty and integrity

It is an accountant’s responsibility to adhere to strict codes of ethical and legal practice. It is also their duty to make sure that their clients are doing things above board. This means at times you will need to research legislation and regulation.

5. Get tech savvy

Computer skills are needed now more than ever, especially with the rise of cloud accounting software. Accountants are also quickly realising that they need to provide technical support as well as help with the accounts themselves.

You will probably need to get comfortable with using various types of bookkeeping software that different clients will use, similar to new software you use during your studies.

6. Learn to love numbers

It probably goes without saying, but you need to be comfortable with numbers for this line of work. While the job of an accountant has changed from simple number crunching, you still need to have a knack for pouring through numerical data and making sense of it.

7. Brush up on your business knowledge

Finally, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how businesses operate. Accounting isn’t just about managing finances. You need to be able to apply strategic thinking and business logic to your work and your dealings with clients. You should also know about how you can help your clients become more tax efficient while abiding by the law.

So, how can your studies prepare you for a career in accounting?

Although, accounting qualifications are important for credibility and knowledge of the industry, if you don’t have additional skills to back them up then your hard work studying could go to waste. In order to get a job in this field, it’s important to have a number of additional skills to help you stand out.

Most degree programmes will equip you with skills such as organisation, analysis and time management, which are areas you should definitely highlight on any accountancy job applications. Think about how you can show off your communication skills, be it through group work or presentations that you might have been required to do for your course.

If you think accountancy and business is the career for you, now is the perfect time to fine tune your skills in an education environment.

Has this piqued your interest in accountancy? You can find more information about careers in accountancy and financial management on our website. Do you want to discuss an accountancy interview you have coming up? Book an appointment with one of our careers advisers now.

Written by Kara Copple – Content writer for The Accountancy Partnership

Image courtesy of the The Accountancy Partnership

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