As an accountant, you are always looking for ways to improve your skills. The more knowledgeable and skilled you are as a professional, the better off your clients will be. This blog post discusses 15 things that can improve accounting skill sets today!
1. Watch your language
Accountants are notorious for having their own lingo, which may be foreign to someone outside the field. Not only does knowing accounting speak help you understand what is being discussed, but it also gives you a leg up on other would-be accountants who don’t have this knowledge. For example, an accountant might call a client a “third party,” which is just their way of saying that said client is not an employee or other related entity.
2. Clear up all the confusion
Before you watch your language, however, make sure you understand what others are saying! If you don’t understand something someone has told you at work, don’t be shy about asking them to clarify. While you are at it, also make sure that when you are asked for clarification or assistance by someone else, you provide it in a respectful manner.
3. Practice your Excel skills
Every accountant needs to be familiar with Excel, but some may have gotten away without knowing all of its ins and outs during their accounting education. If you feel like your Excel skills could use some sharpening, consider looking up YouTube videos or browsing through an online tutorial to brush up on your abilities.
4. Read accounting blogs or websites
The Internet is full of useful information, and accounting is no exception! There are a multitude of financial news sites available, as well as general accounting site.
5. Keep your workplace organized
Whether you are an accountant for a big company or a small business, organization is key to success. If you work at a large company, ensure that client data is handled properly and that all transactions are logged accordingly; and on the other end of the spectrum, if you are in charge of your own small business (or work in one), make sure all transactions are logged and expenses are managed well.
6. Get to know your coworkers or company
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 8 years working for accounting-related companies, it’s that everyone loves talking about accounting. Don’t be afraid to get friendly with coworkers or company representatives and ask them questions about their specialized knowledge!
7. Ask for help when you need it
Knowing when you need help is half the battle, but knowing how to ask for it can be even harder; especially if your company does not foster a culture of camaraderie and collaboration. Remember that asking for help does not make you a burden or a nuisance, and that the people around you are there to work together toward a common goal!
8. Get involved with (or start) an intramural league or club
I once heard someone say that they joined their company’s basketball team out of boredom because “there was nothing else to do.” Don’t be that person! Get out of your office or cubicle and take advantage of activities throughout your community. Your company may offer you the opportunity to join an intramural league, but if it does not, look into starting one yourself!
9. Utilize your resources
Although I love Dave Ramsey’s “envelope system” for keeping track of monthly expenses, I can’t help but think that his strategy is actually just a way to manage cash flow. There are plenty of other tools available to utilize in your accounting routine that will help you keep track of money coming in and going out, so pick the one that works best for you and your business!
10. Get yourself in the know
Accounting is an ever-changing profession, and in order to stay up-to-date, you will need to keep up with changes in tax rates or laws related to accounting (such as when it comes to filing taxes). While some information is provided by news outlets like TV stations or the Internet, you can also subscribe to one or more of your company’s newsletters or magazines!
11. Practice makes perfect
Although every accountant should be well-versed in financial terms and concepts, there is no substitute for actual practice. Whether it means taking an online course or signing up for a professional certification program, make sure you are always adding to your knowledge of accounting procedures.
12. Network with other accountants
Networking doesn’t just help you get noticed within the company where you currently work; it also helps you get noticed by companies who are looking for employees! If your company does not provide any networking opportunities, look into joining an online group or forum where fellow accountants can converse; or even go to an accounting-related conference and get to know the people in your industry.
13. Take a break (and breathe!)
As important as accounting is, that does not mean that you should devote every waking hour of every day to studying for professional certifications or reading up on tax law; but it also doesn’t mean you should take toilet breaks whenever you feel like it, either. Honor your body’s basic needs by taking frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch or eat a quick snack. This will help you mentally as well as physically.
14. Hone your client service skills
As an accountant, every action you take conveys a certain image of you and your company. When dealing with clients, make sure your words and actions convey a professional image by following up on every request in a timely manner, offering to answer any questions they may have, or finding solutions to their problems.
15. Keep practicing
Accounting is a job that never stops evolving; there’s always something new to learn about a tax code, a new software program to master, or a new skill to develop. The more you practice and work on sharpening your skills as an accountant, the better prepared you will be for whatever comes next!
What is basic accounting skills?
An accountant knows how to prepare financial statements. A balance sheet is like the list of your assets and liabilities, while a profit & loss is like what you made or lost in a certain time period. A cash flows account is about money coming in and going out. These three types of financial statements work together with each other.
What is your strength as an accountant?
Accountants need to know about their clients’ business, mission, industry and culture. They need to work with senior executives so that they can achieve the company’s financial goals.
What is the most basic tool of accounting?
Accounting is a process for measuring business activities. It is how you make sure that the money is right. You can use accounting to find out if anything went wrong with the money. The most basic thing in accounting is that assets are equal to liabilities plus owner’s equity.
To bring things together
We hope you found these tips helpful. If there are more accounting-related topics that you would like to learn about, please comment below and share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!