No matter the size of a company, it needs an accounts department to take care of their finances. Accountants have a variety of tasks in hand, like – auditing, filing tax returns, preparing financial reports, and a lot more. Leading a team of accountants can also be a big responsibility.
To manage the entire team and perform the tasks to the best of their abilities, accountants need to succeed in several skills. Here are 10 leadership skills that everyone aspiring to become a successful accountant needs to have.
1. Communication Skills
No matter what industry you work in, having strong communication skills is extremely important.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written communication skills.
Accountants have to communicate with their clients and colleagues on day to day basis. If you are leading a team of accountants, you would require conveying complex information in an easy manner.
These days most of the communication work is done via email. Hence, it is very important for you to have good writing skills to convey information in the right manner.
2. Organizational/Management Skills
Being an accountant, you have to manage a lot of tasks and responsibilities. In order to ace your work, you must be extremely proactive and have excellent organizational and management skills.
You must pre-plan all your work and make deadlines in order to complete them on time.
Making use of project management tools and software for managing tasks, creating reports, handling transactions can help you complete your work on time in an organized manner.
3. Time Management Skills
Time is precious for people dealing with finances. Good time management skills are extremely important if you are leading an accounting team. In order to meet deadlines, you must make a list of tasks and prioritize them and work accordingly.
Apart from work, it is also very important to take out enough time for your personal life. 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitments.
Thus, it is important for you to have good time management skills for the betterment of you and your teammates.
4. Instructing and Mentorship
When you are leading a group of employees, it is very important for you to understand each of their strengths and weaknesses and then guide them accordingly.
You should be a role model and should be able to motivate them to become better at their jobs. As a leader, it is also important for you to ensure that you are easily available and approachable to all your teammates.
The accounting industry is ever-changing. Hence it is very important for you to be able to adapt quickly to whatever comes your way. Being an accountant, you would meet different types of clients and customers, each of who requires a different set of ways to deal with.
You must be ready to embrace all the changes and be proactive in order to grow and succeed as an accountant.
The accounting industry is so dynamic that in order to survive, you must always be up to date with everything that has been happening. You must always know the latest market trend and understand what fits your business best.
In order to train your juniors efficiently, it is important that first, you have complete knowledge about the business. Hence, awareness is one of the most important skills that you must succeed in as an accountant.
Leading a team requires you to come up and take initiatives. This shows that you are capable of thinking and working on your own. Taking initiatives also shows how self-confident you are. It also motivates your teammates and helps them trust you more.
Moreover, taking initiatives is a way of continuously growing and developing yourself for better opportunities.
8. Critical Thinking
The work of an accountant is not just limited to numbers, reporting, laws, and regulations. You also are required to analyze data, find out trends, and form strategies accordingly. All of this requires you to think critically.
This skill is something that you develop over time as you gain experience in the industry.
9. Persuasion Skills
For anyone who is managing a team, it is important to be extremely persuasive. Being the leader, you represent your entire team in front of the management, and hence it becomes important for you to put forward the views and requirements of your team in front of them in a persuasive manner so that it yields better results.
You also need good persuasion skills to deal with your teammates. As a leader, you have to persuade your teammates to do certain tasks without being too bossy.
This skill is important to be learned in the right manner so that you don’t sound arrogant and at the same time, are convincing enough.
10. Moral and Ethical
Every action that you take as a leader should be based on the principles of morality. This not only will inspire and motivate your teammates but also help you build a strong relationship with your group.
People will also trust you more if you are a person of strong moral values and empathy. 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention.
In the end, all these skills will help you become a better accountant and a leader in such a way that it not only benefits you but your entire team and the company.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to add something to the list? Please share in comments section below.
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