Find out the top 10 core skills you need to master as an accountant and what hard skills you need to know to succeed in this job.

An accountant is overall known to provide financial advice to all businesses ranging from government bodies, multinational organizations to small independent firms specializing in particular areas that are highly critical to any business which includes: auditing, management consultancy, recovery, taxation, assurance, forensic accountancy and corporate finance.

Though the primary task is well-known as examining and preparing accurate financial records for both individuals and businesses; their is more work that includes, organizing and maintaining financial records, preparing statements and documents that comply with the laws and regulations, preparing tax returns while ensuring prompt payments are made and updating accounting systems to keep them up to date.

Core Skills Required to be an Accountant

Core skills describe a set of non-technical abilities, knowledge, and understanding that form the basis for successful participation in the workplace. Core skills enable employees to efficiently and professionally navigate the world of work and interact with others, as well as adapt and think critically to solve problems.

Core skills are often tagged onto job descriptions to find or attract employees with specific essential core values that enable the company to remain competitive, build relationships, and improve productivity.

An accountant should master the following 10 core skills to fulfill her job properly.

Presentation Skills:

Presentation Skills are useful in getting your message or opinion out there in many aspects of life and work, though they are mostly used in businesses, sales, teaching, lecturing, and training.

An Accountant must develop the confidence and capability to offer excellent presentations and captivate the audience when the need arises; it requires a lot of preparation to stand out from the crowd, and a manager should be willing to invest in it.

Critical Thinking:

Critical Thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally while understanding the logical connection between ideas in a reflective and independent thinking.

An Accountant will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings do represent the entire picture while identifying, analyzing and solving problems by deducing consequences from what he knows and making use of the information gathered.

Administrative Skills:

Administrative Skills are all the services related to the running of a business or keeping an office organized while supporting the efforts of the management team.

An Accountant must develop these skills and emphasize the administrative skills to ensure high-level responsibilities that range from planning large scale events to creating presentations and analyzing financial data are handled carefully and efficiently.

Judgment Skills:

Judgment is the ability to make a decision or form an opinion wisely especially in matters affecting action, good sense and discretion.

An Accountant must be a person of good judgment with the ability to make the right decision at the right time and for right reasons especially in prioritizing the work correctly to focus on a few important things and ensure excellent results are delivered.

Knowledge of Job:

Knowledge of Job is essential to every employee who needs to have a clear understanding of how their jobs fit into the overall organization to eliminate carelessness and laxity.

An Accountant must be able to evaluate this criterion when selecting an employee and know the common descriptions of a person with either right or inadequate knowledge of the job early enough to either keep them or let them go.

Management Control:

Management Control is a system that collects and uses the information to evaluate the performance of different organizational resources like the financial, physical and the organization performance as a whole.

An Accountant should use this system to document the organization's objectives, document their strategies and policies, assess the performance of the internal corporate processes and show performance improvement about the declared goals and plans.

Managing Expenses:

Managing Expenses refers to the systems deployed by a business to process, pay and audit the employee-initiated expenses that may include travel, entertainment, telephone, etc.

An Accountant ought to be clear about the policies and procedures that govern spending as well as review the organization's finances to determine if the company is incurring losses or just barely making a profit as well as make the reasonable effort to improve the business productivity.

Conceptual Thinking:

Conceptual Thinking is the ability to recognize a situation or problem by identifying patterns or connections while addressing the underlying issues.

An Accountant must be a conceptual thinker who has a keen understanding of why things have to be done the way they are; he has to think at an abstract level and apply his insights to the situation across all facets to compete in the diverse and growing economy.

Problem/Situation Analysis:

Problem/Situation Analysis is the ability to solve problems and assess situations to know what kind of solution is required to calm it down.

An Accountant should learn how to identify and analyze problems and situations as well as use available resources to resolve them constructively by reaching a consensus through looking at an issue in a professional, not personal way.

Financial Management:

Financial Management is the skill of learning how to handle accounting, finance, and organizational management through providing daily data on the operations that take place every day.

An Accountant ought to be highly effective in planning and organization, controlling and management of the financial resources to achieve the company's organizational objectives that are laid down to see the growth of the enterprise.

Hard Skills Required to be an Accountant

Hard skills are job-specific skill sets, or expertise, that are teachable and whose presence can be tested through exams. While core skills are more difficult to quantify and less tangible, hard skills are quantifiable and more defined.

Hard skills are usually listed on an applicant's resume to help recruiters know the applicant's qualifications for the applied position. A recruiter, therefore, needs to review the applicant's resume and education to find out if he/she has the knowledge necessary to get the job done.

An accountant should have a good command of the following hard skills to succeed in her job.

Accountant: Hard skills list

Account Analysis
Account Reconciliation
Accounting Information Systems
Accounting Software
Accounts Payable
Accounting Processes
Accounting Principles
Accounts Receivable
Accuracy
ADP
Aging Reports
Analytical
Analysis
Annual Reports
Asset Management
Attention to Detail
Audits
Audit Schedules
Balance Sheets
Banking
Bank Deposits
Bank Reconciliations
Bill Payment
Bookkeeping
Budgets
Business Awareness
Cash Receipts
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Chart of Accounts
Check Runs
Collections
Commitment
Communication
Compliance
Computer
Corporate Reports
Corporate Tax
Cost Accounting
Credit Management
Credits
Crystal Reports
Debt Management
Depreciation
Detail Orientation
Federal Tax Law
Finance
Financial Analysis
Financial Reporting
Financial Software
Financial Statements
Financial Statement Analysis
Fixed Assets
Forecasts
Forecasting
Full Charge Bookkeeping
Full Cycle Month-End Close
Full Cycle Year-end Close
GAAP
General Ledger
Great Plains Accounting
Great Plains Dynamics
Income Tax
Interest Calculations
Interpersonal Skills
Invoices
IT Knowledge
Job Cost Reports
Journal Entry Preparation/Posting
Mathematical
Microsoft Office
Monthly Closes
Motivation
Multitasking
MS Access
MS Excel
MS Word
Numerical Competence
Oracle
Organization
Paychex
Payroll
Payroll Liabilities
Payroll Taxes
Peachtree
Personal Tax
Petty Cash
Platinum
Prepaid Income/Expenses
Problem Solving
Profit and Loss
Professionalism
QuickBooks
Reconciliation
Regulatory Filings
Reporting
Revenue Projections
Revenue Recognition
Sales Receipts
SAP
Special Projects
State Tax Law
Tax Analysis
Tax Compliance
Tax Filing
Tax Law
Tax Liabilities
Tax Reporting
Tax Returns
Tax Software
Technology
Teamwork
Time Management
Training
Trial Balance
Vouchers
Writing
Written Communication
Year End Reporting

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