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The role of accountant is essential for businesses of all sizes. When it comes to the skills of an accountant, there are several hard and soft skills that are required to do the job well.
Business Services Accountant Job Description
Thanks to technological innovations, accountants can use automation solutions to improve their work, increase their productivity and further improve their skills.
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Let’s take a look at what to expect from accountants and how automation solutions are changing the industry, as well as accounting skills and qualities.
To perform well in the workplace, an accountant must possess certain soft skills.
Whether an accountant works for a private accounting firm, a business, a government agency, or another employer, some of the soft skills needed include:
When it comes to the technical accounting skills needed for the job, the list is as long as the soft skills that come in handy.
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However, it is important to note that automation solutions help maximize the accountant’s technical flexibility and skills by allowing the software to perform many technical processes. This means accountants can focus their time on higher-level, value-added work such as analysis and strategic decision-making.
As we briefly discussed above, accountants need a number of skills to do the job successfully.
As accounting departments embrace automation solutions, the traditional role of accountants is taking on a new shape as businesses undergo digital transformation. This means accounts aren’t bogged down with data-intensive, manual tasks. On the contrary, they expand the scope of serving as strategic business partners in organizations with the help of automation solutions.
In general, accountants coordinate and collaborate with specialists from all departments of the company. Therefore, it is important that they have general business knowledge and understand how their financial functions affect different departments.
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Over time, more and more technology is used in organizations, including the finance department. Thus, it is very important for accountants to master new technologies.
This is also useful when companies choose software solutions that do not require the highest IT skills to properly operate, such as low-code, low-level automation solutions.
It’s hard to find a job that doesn’t require strong communication skills. But when it comes to accountants, they have to work directly with various departments, stakeholders, government agencies and/or business leaders.
They are responsible for translating data into a visual and understandable format (or using and sharing automation solutions). This skill manifests itself in many ways, from verbal communication to written communication and presentation skills.
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Regulations are constantly changing, and so is the technological environment in which accountants work. As such, the best accountants are open to change and remain adaptable and flexible as they approach their day-to-day activities.
For example, think about how much has changed in the blink of an eye due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. Many accountants have been forced to move to remote work, even if they can meet the needs of all departments and run business as usual.
As automated reports and processes become the standard in the industry, creativity is still required for strategic thinking and problem-solving activities. Accountants can demonstrate creativity by reviewing reports, presenting data, and linking analysis to sound decision-making.
No matter where an accountant works, customer service is important. Accountants for private businesses must be able to delight clients in order to attract and retain them. Inside the company, accountants work with colleagues and often have to communicate with stakeholders. Active listening, organizational skills, and communication are essential for good customer service.
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The accounting industry is full of rules, regulations and standards. In some cases, there are recommended best practices, but no standardized approaches. Over time, accountants can better understand the rules and develop effective processes to increase efficiency.
Previously, accountants had to do all the manual tasks of entering and converting data into spreadsheets and then analyzing the work. Today, automation solutions can handle all repetitive and data-intensive tasks and provide analytical results for accountants.
Accountants must have strong analytical skills to interpret what data means in terms of practical business decisions and actions.
Accountants must be organized in their processes and work. In many cases, their work is time sensitive and must meet deadlines beyond their control. They help reduce risks for the business by staying organized and organized.
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With risk assessment matrices and automation tools, accountants can assess risks and predict the future before anything happens. But at that point, they need to think critically about the best course of action in the various scenarios that might occur.
Time management is very important for accountants because again, deadlines wait for no one. In addition, accountants work on multiple projects simultaneously, which requires the ability to balance tasks, expectations, and processes.
That said, an automation solution can greatly ease the burden on the accountant by automating many timely processes and reducing manual errors in the process.
Whether an automation solution is implemented or not, accountants must have a working knowledge of how to use spreadsheets. Spreadsheets still appear in the industry with varying frequency, so it pays to know how to work with them.
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Although accountants spend most of their work behind a computer and sometimes alone, they collaborate and communicate with a variety of people. From the accounting team to auditors and colleagues in different departments and the like, accountants need to know how to work well in a team environment.
Along with the numbers and information-rich accountant’s day-to-day work, the page takes a lot of time to write in terms of sending emails and pitching ideas. Accountants may be responsible for drafting memos for tax returns or financial statements, so writing is a key skill.
Depending on where the accountant works, there may be codes of professional conduct that the accountant must adopt and adhere to in order to fulfill their role. Accountants must be objective, ethical and honest in their work because the financial health and condition of a business affects people inside and outside the business.
The accounting field retains some of the same functions indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean things don’t change all the time. Additionally, with new technologies entering the space, the role of accountants is gradually changing, as are the expectations of accounting teams.
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To keep up with the latest and greatest skills as an accountant, you can earn accounting certifications available to professionals. Along with educational assets, one of the best ways to continue to improve basic accounting skills and technical accounting skills is through on-the-job experience.
In addition, it is very useful to become familiar with the software and automation tools that are continuously introduced in accounting departments.
Implementing an automation solution in your accounting team optimizes productivity quickly and naturally. Automation solutions allow you to collect data from multiple sources, centralize and clean data, store data securely, transform data to execute processes, provide end-to-end automation, and create reports and dashboards.
For example, an automation solution is ideal for performing account reconciliation, an otherwise difficult and time-consuming manual task prone to human error. Additional use cases include: income statement preparation, forecasting, regulatory reporting, expense analysis, and transaction reconciliation.
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Reports and dashboards are always available in real time for those who need access. And with an automation solution, you can rest assured knowing that processes are no longer dependent on one key person to get work done.
This means that even if your senior accountant is sick or out of the office, business will continue as usual. In addition, automation solutions facilitate audit reporting by tracking and logging all data and activity in the system to provide internal or external auditors with a history of what happened.
With automation, your accounting team can showcase their accounting skills and qualities where they can really shine in high-level tasks that require human thinking and analytical skills.
Most accountants are employed by earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accredited university. This degree provides them with the basic knowledge, including the necessary skills of an accountant.
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A master’s degree in accounting is preferred for those who wish to work in middle or higher positions. These degrees teach highly specialized and technical accounting skills such as taxation, business analysis, data transformation and international accounting.
To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), an accountant must meet the necessary qualifications and pass the CPA exam.
Accountants are responsible for managing many different tasks and responsibilities. This is one reason why the qualifications of accountants vary.
Accountants in all job responsibilities can benefit from using financial automation software
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