The life and blood of business is finance- finance what comes in and finance what goes out. The maintenance of incoming and outgoing finance is dealt with accounts department of a business. An accountant is a person who closely records the transactions and monitors the pattern of transaction. With the help of these transactions and its proper settings, one can determine the health and efficiency of a business and its profitability by just studying the statements relating to this information. An accountant takes a practical approach of financing part and accounts for its management. Along with managing the movement of finance, he also deals with payroll and taxes and statutory matters related to the daily affairs of the business. The daily report of an accountant is essential to quantify the success rate of a business. To manage the critical part of the business, an employer selects an accountant who possesses outstanding skills:
What Skills are Employers looking for in Accountants?
There are few accounting responsibilities and accounting skills employers look for in an accountant. The following mentioned are few tips on what do employers look for when being an accountant and the different duties and responsibilities of an accountant.
1. General Business Knowledge:
An accountant should also have general business knowledge apart from facts and figures. The basic business knowledge will assist him in planning and forecasting and administering the budget. The daily transactions guide him in streamlining the workflow by coordinating with all the departments.
2. Knowledge about change in the industry and work flow:
He should also keep up to date with the current issues and changes in any regulation or act in any statutory terms and also in the industry. He should evaluate each change which takes place in the acts and see in what way it is suitable for their business life cycle and structure. He should implement and adapt to new business accounting system and accounting practices as well.
3. Expertise in IT skills:
An accountant needs to work with various departments and sectors of an industry and with the government as a whole for tax payments. Now, every payment has been made online and every transaction can be developed and viewed online. Because of an extensive use of technology and advancement in each part of the work related to accounts, an accountant should have extensive accounting knowledge in Information technology.
4. Logical Reasoning:
Logical reasoning is a process where one uses reasoning power to come to a conclusion. It requires sequential thoughts. In accountancy, this type of view point is very essential in assigning a value or analytical view point to item of money. Logical reasoning shows the hold you have in the subject and how well can you manipulate.
5. Teamwork Skills:
Accountants need to communicate clearly on their requirement and its reasons. They have their own idea of restoring or demanding certain supporting along with the request for payment. Thus, they need to be polite enough to ask for the reasons. The other departments in an organization should collide with the accounts department and maintain their harmony for smooth functioning. Accounts department has the duty to maintain papers and documentations so it is the duty of the accountant to extract as much information in a written form from the departments.
6. Computer Skills:
An accountant shall be extensively proficient in computer skills. His typing speed should be 60wpm. His computer skills and excel skills shall be very quick and accessible. He should be hands on experienced in all the shortcuts relating to regular functioning to make the work short swift and accurate.
7. Communication Skills:
An accountant needs to communicate well in writing as well in oral. Strong communication skills and abilities are valuable and will help you to get a job and sustain in it. Well developed communication system is very important whether it is to attend a corporate meeting or welcome a co staff in your office. Interaction with clients and professionals also required enhanced professional skills.
8. Innovative Skills:
Dynamic is the word to define the changes in the accounting industry. To provide better services as an individual, an accountant with an innovative nature is more likely to learn and grow. He should learn to make the most of what comes towards him. It takes extra effort to keep you updated about the changes but the effort definitely pays off.
9. Proficient in Microsoft Office:
The main job of an accountant is to keep proper records of daily transactions. Become a proactive user of Microsoft excel, word, PowerPoint and access. All the four types of files are helpful and user friendly in their own ways.
10. Familiar with accounting softwares:
Professional accounting softwares like tally, QuickBooks etc are nowadays so meaningfully designed that once you learn to operate it in a right manner, it will give you each and every information on your fingertips. An accountant should learn to make the most of the best use of these softwares as they provide good accounting services to produce a perfect and accurate financial statement.
11. Maximum accuracy:
Accuracy is the most important criteria an accountant should possess because it is hard money he is dealing with. Management will not spare him even for a one rupee mistake. He should be very accurate in transferring information among the departments as all the crucial decisions are based on the profitability and the flow of cash.
12. Interpretation of Financial statements:
The job of an accountant is to pass daily entries and prepare financial statements. Unless and until he knows the meaning and necessity of each item in the financial statement, he will not understand the value of the entries. Sometimes the entries also related to only two heads of accounts and not affecting any cash or bank transaction. For these entries, the accountant needs to be most careful to present a correct view of the accounts.
13. Analysis of Financial data:
Financial data analysis is necessary when the company is in the mood of expansion or plans for a new project or a new investment. Financial data analysis will help the management to decide whether they are in a position to apply for loans or not. The response of accounts will help the banks to predict the future financial statements. At the time of sanctioning of loan, the bank requires certain key ratios and turnover which only an accountant needs to understand and provide within the time frame and in a correct manner.
14. Up gradation of existing system:
The accountant should adapt to the new atmosphere and the changing times. Each and every time when a new change is introduced, the accountant should be willing and energetically try to adapt to those changes. He should be active enough to adhere to the strictest standards and ethics. He should maintain such status that even his officers and managers trust them as to look out for their best interest.
15. Resolving accounting issues:
Added benefit of an accountant is to be transparent at the time of making decisions and give correct and fair advice to improve the relations at work. Right decisions at the right time make team work easier. It creates a respectful environment as it is vital for an accountant to develop trust with the management. The only solution is to think about the consequences every time you need to take a decision regarding a matter.
16. Leadership qualities:
Leadership qualities are necessary not only to impart training and mentoring to subordinates, but it also makes you approachable and available among people of high responsibilities. Accountants are the role model and the person in charge as well. Organizations demand growth and drive for new activities and revenue generations. Employers want their accountants to stay one step ahead of his competitors.
17. Strategic Thinking:
Accountants shall be strategically strong and should indulge in long term planning. Accountants also provide consulting services to improve their operation and the move ahead ability. Execution of new changes requires professionals with a strong track record of accounting technical skills. Accountants should emphasize on providing meaning full management information at the time of corporate decision making.
After gaining experience, the accountants become visionary and make logical decisions. They develop an eagle eye’s view which immediately catches anything wrong in the system. They develop a sixth sense and can judge which item is suspicious and which is not relevant.
19. Financial doctors:
Accountants are considered as financial doctors because they look after the health of the business. If any mismatch is happening, they are the ones to correct and rectify the mistake in the form of medicines. They read the financial statement as the doctors read the x-rays of the clients.
20. Capability to improve present and future:
A successful accountant will make his clients believe that he is working to secure the future and the present of the client. When they build trust in the accountant, then only they will be able to reveal their personal information to him. To make proper account statement, it is very necessary to get all the accounting information related to finance of an organization, or an individual.
Every job has its own job related skills and requirements. Requirement of skills vary along with the job type, the industry type and level of company and its management. Some work related skills are common for all accountants which are basic and a must have for variety of personnel in any type of organization ranging from clerk accountants to manager-accounts and also for independent chartered accountants. Accountants should realize that finance job market is reviving from the global crisis and the management wants his business to grow strategically so they will hire accountants with the best talent and quality.