“It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin
Accounting is an ever-booming profession. As long as the world exists, there will be a need for accountants to manage accounting and tax processes no matter how advanced the technology becomes.
However, one thing is for sure that only gaining knowledge is not enough to be a good accountant or build a reputation in the accounting industry. Even if an accountant has a strong knowledge of tax codes, accounting equation, financial statements, and ratios, it may not have the desired impact if he/she is not able to present himself/herself in front of the clients, analyze the tax data, or utilize the accounting and tax applications.
In this article, we will discuss some of the top skills that an accountant must have to be able to draft financial strategies and make the best decisions for clients.
Table of Contents
Communication is one of the essential skills that an accountant should possess. If an accountant is not able to present his/her strategies and processes clearly to the client, there are minimal chances that the client will choose the accountant to manage their business.
An accountant should have the ability to mold the numbers, data, charts, and tables into an easy-to-understand narrative to indulge clients’ interest.
Awareness is something that people tend to ignore after a while. However, with many advancements happening now and then in the accounting industry, an accountant needs to keep themselves updated with the changes.
What if they are not aware of the latest update of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA), but the client is. It will create a hindrance in establishing accountants’ credibility and trust. Thus, it is essential to keep an update of technological, economic, social, or political changes affecting the accounting industry.
3. Numerical Skills
Having excellent numerical skills is one of the essential skill requirements an accountant must possess. It is no rocket science in deducing that accounting processes involve extensive calculations. Hence, performing quick and efficient calculations is a sign of a good accountant. Good numerical skills will ensure that the accountant can work precisely on financial budgets, payrolls, and audits.
Accountants nowadays use accounting applications such as QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, etc. or tax software such as Lacerte, Drake, and ATX to provide faster and efficient services to their clients. If they are still stuck with the traditional methods of accounting, then they are majorly lacking behind other competitors in the market.
An accountant must easily adapt to the new updates in the software they use. Adaptability to new technology will ensure clients that the accountant is proactive and will be a good asset for their business.
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A leader is someone who can guide his/her colleagues and clients during tough times by motivating them towards a unified goal. A leader should be easily approachable and available to his/her team members.
With respect to the clients as well, the accountants must possess leadership qualities to offer long-term plans, consulting services, and business advice. Thus, they need to acquire good command and creativity over their work processes to imprint an impression on the client.
6. Analytical Skills
Different clients have different financial needs depending on the size of their firm and industry they work for. Thus, an accountant needs to have good analytical skills to deduce key insights from the corporate as well as personal tax data of previous years so that they can provide optimal strategies depending on the requirements of their clients.
Such strategies will also help their clients to save more, resulting in increased credibility of the accountant in the long run.
An accountant’s willingness to put all his hard work into the project is recommended. However, it does not guarantee an easy path to the result every time. Thus, an accountant needs to be resilient towards his work.
An accountant’s real test is especially during the busy season when they need to manage multiple accounting processes at once and provide efficiency even through tight deadlines. Their true resilience shows when they keep their cool and don’t let challenges to affect their work.
Proactiveness means that the person works towards making things happen instead of waiting for someone to do it. If an accountant is proactive, that means he/she is ready to take on any future challenges that come his/her way. This ability also suggests that the accountant can work on his own as and when the situation demands.
A proactive accountant will be eager to engage in meaningful conversation with his/her client to gather every bit of information and make long-term plans. It will allow the accountant to build strong relationships and grow swiftly.
Accountants deal with enormous information from multiple clients on a daily basis. Thus, they need to have the ability to stay organized to be able to manage multiple portfolios, transactions, and meet deadlines. Staying organized also shows that the accountant is responsible and reliable. They can use tools like day planners, calendars, and apps to store and access information.
10. Time Management
No matter what profession one has, time management plays an essential role in completing the tasks on time. An accountant handles many clients at once. Hence, they should have the capability to multi-task and optimize time to increase productivity without compromising on efficiency.
Time-management skill helps the most during tax season when accountants are overloaded with clients and are bound to strict deadlines.
Acquiring these skills helps an accountant to find a better position for themselves where they can grow and achieve success. Apart from having skills, an accountant must be passionate about learning new technologies that can enhance their productivity.
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