Today, becoming an accountant is one of the most promising professional career options for many professionals. And if you have the right set of skills, you will find a plethora of options waiting for you. There are opportunities for both entry-level as well as experienced professionals in the field.
To shine as an accountant, you need confidence, discipline, and the motivation to work hard to achieve the required skills. These all-important skills show how likely you are to fulfill your responsibilities and help your clients maintain their accounts.
Working on these skills will not only help you land your first job as an accountant, but they will also make it easier to achieve your career goals.
Do Skills Guarantee an Excellent Job in Accounting?
As the competition and level of doing business are increasing, the demand for good accountants is also rising. Hence, the competition for a job in accounting is high.
Everyone interested in this domain is developing and mastering skills that employers are looking for. They are also getting various certifications to prove their worth. To stand out in the crowd, you need to make sure that you have every qualification and skill that the employer seeks.
A good start would be to get an accounting degree and apply for the CPA examination. Although the exam is challenging, it has its benefits.
What is a CPA?
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to individuals who pass the Uniform CPA Examination. A CPA holds various positions in public and corporate accounting.
Although there is a wide range of career options, clearing the CPA examination takes a lot of dedication. With the right set of skills and good knowledge of the domain, landing your job becomes a piece of cake.
Is the CPA Exam Difficult?
Becoming a CPA means that you have to clear the examination. It is one of the toughest exams and also one of the most rewarding certifications for accountants. However, you must be aware of the syllabus. It includes regulation laws, financial accounting, business environment, auditing, and attestation.
The Exam pattern consists of multiple-choice questions, written communications, and task-based situations.
With the right kind of guidance, you can clear the CPA exam and get a good job. However, unless you have the right skills to back up your certification, you will not progress as an accountant. Follow a proven methodology to train yourself. It will help you prepare for the CPA exam and acquire the skills you need to succeed as an accountant.
Here are the top 5 achievable skills that you need to land your first job as an accountant:
1. General Business Knowledge
Employers are looking for accountants who can maintain balance sheets and have a basic idea about the business. It is crucial to have a general awareness of business if you do not want to disappoint your employers.
As their accountant, your employer and clients will want your opinion when making major financial and economic decisions. To be able to guide them with the right knowledge, you need to have a basic grasp of global economic trends and be aware of how these events can impact their business.
2. Software Knowledge
An accounting professional needs to process lots of data throughout the day. And naturally, it becomes more than necessary for an accountant to be familiar with computers and accounting software.
Consider learning specialized accounting software for Charts of Accounts (COA), managing general ledgers, reconciling accounts, and generating financial statements. You should also be familiar with a wide array of software programs that focus on payroll, invoicing, resource management, and more.
By staying up-to-date on the ones that are the most popular in the accounting domain, the odds of beating the competition will certainly be in your favor.
3. Numerical Know-How
If you want to be an accountant, you need good math skills! As an accountant, your sole purpose will be to crunch the numbers and prepare financial reports.
Now, of course, you can never be the best in mathematics. And not all of us are born with the ability to understand mathematical concepts, so it’s natural to expect some failures along the way. But in the real world, there is no place for mistakes.
As a result, you need to lay the groundwork for complex mathematical skills such as algebra, statistics, and calculus pretty early on. Once you start developing your mathematics skills, landing a job as an account becomes easy.
4. Data Analysis
Believe it or not, but accountants with data analysis skills are dominating the field. Being an accountant is one thing, but an accountant with data analysis skills takes your profile to a whole new level.
It isn’t so much because data analysis is the hot new trend across professions – but because this skill allows you to derive meaningful information from raw data. It will help you make better business decisions based on real leads and information. Essentially, if you are good at data analysis, you have already made a lasting impression on your employers.
5. Communication Skills
Accountants that rely way too heavily on their technical skills seldom make it far in the domain. As an accountant, you will come across many people throughout the day. Your meeting will take place with other accountants, financial managers, stakeholders, and other higher post personnel of your company. As such, being able to put your thoughts across clearly is just as important as working with numbers.
Communication skills do not only mean being able to talk one-on-one with people. You should be able to present yourself in front of large crowds of people. Since you may sometimes need to provide estimates, budget proposals, and other accounting information, this skill comes in very handy.
Along with verbal communication, you should also be able to express your words through other mediums as well, such as emails, letters, phone calls, etc. It might take some time to achieve communication skills, but it will be worth it.
Becoming a successful accountant is incredibly difficult – unless you have the right preparation and the proper qualifications, certifications, and skills to back them up. Since there is a huge pool of accountants, you need to stand out with a CPA certification.