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An accountant is quite often thought to be someone sat crunching numbers, but accounting really is so much more than the numbers. So, what is really required of an accountant?
In times gone by, accountants performed all the manual data-entry and transformation tasks within spreadsheets, and then interpret the figures. Automation now manages all the data-related and repetitive tasks and produces analytical data for accountants to review.
It is necessary for accountants to have strong analytical skills to interpret what the data means in terms of business decisions and actions to take.
As automated reporting and processes become standard in the field, strategic thinking and problem-solving is required to review reports, present data, and connect analytics to real-world decision-making.
It is essential to develop a good understanding of the industry and the regulatory bodies involved within any industry that an accountant is either working in or dealing with.
Accounting professionals who possess strong business acumen can help develop strategy and inform key decisions to a business.
Organisational skills deadline management
Time management is essential for accountants to possess. Accountants invariably work on multiple projects at once which requires the ability to balance tasks and processes. Automated systems have alleviated many of the processes but by remaining on top of their work and organised, they prevent missed deadlines and help to reduce risks to the business.
While accountants often work on their own, they need to collaborate and communicate with an assortment of people. This could be from their accounting team to work colleagues within the business, so accountants need to be able to work in a team environment.
Effective communication and interpersonal skills
Both verbal and written communication skills are essential for anyone in an accounting role. Whether you are writing or speaking, information needs to be presented to the business in ways that can be understood and acted upon.
Accountants may also be responsible for completing written details on tax returns or financial statements, so writing is a key skill.
If an accountant works in a public accounting firm or run their own business, they need to be able to not only keep current customers but attract new clients. Likewise, if the work is in an accounting department of a business, then the needs of the other departments and directors need to be met.
Proficiency in IT
With software, cloud computing, and automation technologies advancing all the time, accountants require confidence and the ability to understand and use up-to-date accounting systems.
Not all suggestions made by an accountant are popular. It is essential that he or she can take the lead to make informed decisions and help the business move forward.
Adaptability and flexibility
Not only is technology changing rapidly, but regulations are also constantly changing. An accountant must remain open to change and be flexible in their approach to day-to-day activities.
Ethics & Integrity
Accountants are required to comply with the five fundamental principles of ethics set by the IESBA:
- Professional Competence and Due Care
- Professional Behaviour
The IESBA is an independent standard-setting board that develops high-quality ethical standards and other pronouncements for professional accountants worldwide.
Disclaimer: Information provided by Kidwells Accountancy on our website is for informational purposes only. It is provided in good faith but we make no guarantee of any kind regarding the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of any information on our site. We always recommend businesses seek independent legal and financial advice before working with us or acting on any information on our website.