Guest post by Lauren Wise – content writer for The Accountancy Partnership.
For those wishing to pursue a career in accounting, now is an exciting time to start. The tax system is steadily becoming more digital, which means the role of the accountant is changing. Future employers will no longer be searching for just a dedicated number cruncher: instead, you’ll be required to bring a number of relevant skills to the table.
In many ways you will be a mentor to clients, helping to lead them through the new system. This kind of role requires a more varied skillset than previously, as you will encounter different challenges.
Here are some of the skills future accountants should possess if they hope to be successful in job hunting.
Despite what you may have heard, accountancy is a fast-paced business; especially when deadlines are looming. Being able to shift your workload is an important skill if you wish to succeed as an accountant, as you may need to drop all your work to get a set of accounts completed for a close deadline. With ever-changing legislation, it will be necessary for you to adapt to new accounting techniques in order to help your clients become as tax efficient as possible.
Communication is one of the key skills that can’t be ignored if you’re an accountant. You’ll be required to effectively explain to clients what the most tax efficient process is, and why that is. You will also need to communicate with the administration and sales departments to get information on payments and new clients. The more open the communication is, the easier it will make your job in the long run.
Now this is one you would expect to see on the list of skills accountants need. Organisation is a requirement of any accountant, without it you wouldn’t be able to complete a day’s work. Depending on the size of the company you work for, you could have anywhere between 5 and 20 clients to deal with, so it’s important to be able to keep track of each and every set of accounts.
Accountants are invested in by their clients to help them become as tax efficient as possible. That’s why it is vital for you, as the accountant, to stay up to date on industry news. You can then keep on top of your accounts and ensure that they are currently tax efficient, because if a piece of legislation changes, what is efficient today may not be tomorrow.
This may seem like an obvious skill for accountants to have, as they complete all their work on a computer. However, as Making Tax Digital comes into effect accountants will be expected to understand how it works and use it extensively themselves from the very beginning, which means certain IT skills will make you a more desirable candidate to employers. Make sure you add any relevant IT skills to your CV in order to showcase your talents and clinch that interview!