Would You Make A Good Accountant?Publish Date: Sep 15, 2009
Do you have what it takes to enter the field of accounting and become successful? While in the past, an aptitude for numbers was the most recognized attribute for accountants, changing roles and technology have also brought changes to the skill set of a good accountant.
Communicattion, management, and the public has become the key to an accountant's success.
The accountants are no longer the number crunchers sitting in the back room. Their role and importance has expanded to the point that being able to communicate with other employees, management, and the public has become key to an accountant's success.
Accountants who are self employed must be particularly adept with their communication skills. They must be able to explain the intricacies of accounting decisions in laymen's terms to their clients, not to mention they must have the personality to gain new clientele.
One of the most important roles an accountant plays in the business arena is translating GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – to everyday situations and incorporating them into business practices. Tax accountants in particular must have excellent reading comprehension skills in order to wade through the thousands of pages of tax codes. Not only must they be able to read and interpret it, they must possess a full understanding of these codes and apply them to their departments and customer's situations.
It helps to be a computer whiz in the field of accountancy. Not only is this a growing industry within the field of accounting, but it makes the job so much easier. Accountants need to possess a full range of computer skills not only in accounting software, but in basic email and spreadsheet software as well.
Accountants have access to money, not just the funds of a business, but their client's funds. They must have the strongest ethics and personal responsibility for the level of trust they must maintain.
If you love puzzles and problem solving situations, accounting may just be the ultimate puzzle! Analytical skills are some of the most important within the accounting field. By looking at numerical comparisons and key indicators, an accountant should be able to make observations and thus decisions based on those observations. Those pages and pages of numbers actually tell a story, and that story can be hidden within those numbers or obvious from the outset. It's going to be an accountant's job to tell the story of those numbers.
Details, Details, Details
They say the devil is in the details, and the good accountant must be detail oriented. Every number counts and every number must be correct to produce sound financial information, and being detail oriented is one characteristic a good accountant must possess.
Would you trust an accountant who couldn't find a file because of the stacks and stacks of paper on their desk? Accountants have a huge responsibility and deal with a large amount of incoming data. Their organizational skills are important not only in keeping the data and reports organized, but in keeping the confidence of clients, management, and coworkers.
And, yes, an aptitude for numbers is a characteristic of good accountant, but in this day and age, communication and technology skills are just as important to a successful career in the field of accounting.