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What it takes to be an accountant

Accountancy and finance are one of the top-earning professional degrees to attain. Accountancy requires a special skill set of being able to handle numerical data well, and at the same time be able to use intuitive thinking and problem-solving skills to weed out possible errors and rectify them. Therefore, for a student or recent graduate looking to become an accountant, in this segment, we discuss a few of the skills and traits that good accountants have.

Mathematics should come naturally to you. Being good with numbers is not enough, you should be able to apply financial concepts to mathematical know-how and be able to manipulate large data sets of numbers regarding, for example, earnings or revenues. Another very unique aspect of studying accountancy is learning the specific conventions that are used by accountants. There are a lot of best practices and conventions that you should know about, apart from the standard financial and accounting knowledge that you will gain from your degree.

An analytical approach to solving problems by carefully analysing data and creating intuitive but rule-bound solutions is what you can expect from your role as an accountant. Your job description may include a range of tasks such as auditing, examining and analysing financial reports.

It is also essential to understand the business you are working for. This may include getting to terms with the wider industry, understanding basic processes, and being informed about the business’ operations. There might be industry-specific laws and regulations that you might need to be aware of as well. Furthermore, the most important habit to develop is to be constantly updated regarding new developments within the industry, and in the economy as a whole, by reading industry journals, business journals, and economic articles.

A skill that directly stems from what is discussed above, is to be organised and have a knack for picking out the details. It is crucial that while analysing hordes or data or numbers, you do not miss out tiny details, that can make or break your reputation as a reliable accountant. Being vigilant and thinking on your feet will allow you to ward off imminent disaster. Being organised is important when you are handling sensitive data such as company financials. Documents and information are the sole providers of knowledge that you need to carry out your job, so to be able to efficiently organise them is very important.

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