Quality accounting skills are essential to the smooth operation of any and every business.
From bookkeeping to data entry to budgeting and understanding financial statements, these skills are central and valued at every organization in order to make sure expenditures are not exceeding revenue, making sure the company is profitable and ensuring efficiency.
Managers value the knowledge and acquisition of these skills both in themselves and their employees.
10 Accounting Skills Managers Value
When interviewing for any position, it is vital to highlight any experience in or knowledge about accounting skills that may help the organization.
It could make or break a hiring decision to know whether a candidate is capable of some basic accounting skills that could facilitate the management’s work.
Here are ten accounting skills that managers do value and are worth developing:
1. Data Entry
Data entry is an important skill for a variety of positions including accounting. Being fluent in Microsoft Office and an efficient typer are integral to any role in the modern job market, but especially crucial any role requiring data entry. In accounting, this skill might be used to entry reports for expenses and revenue intake in order to manage budgets.
The skill requires attention to detail as well as technological competency across software, scanners, printers, and copiers. Without detailed and accurate data entry, budgets would be impossible to keep track of and reflect inaccurate financial statuses for the company, leading to major ripple effects in the work of other members of the team as well as the impression of the company to the public.
Bookkeeping is another essential aspect of accounting. Bookkeeping includes recording all the transactions a company participates in, whether outgoing or incoming, in order to maintain an accurate reflection of the financial state of the company.
This skill is comparable to the personal equivalent of balancing a checkbook but on a much larger scale. This task needs to be performed daily in order to maintain the most accurate and up to date records.
There are multiple methods of bookkeeping, including single entry and double entry bookkeeping. Being fluent in these processes is an important skill to highlight for potential employers in order to demonstrate an ability to carry out this responsibility as well as understand the processes of those who do carry out this responsibility and understanding how it affects different aspects of the business.
3. Creating Budgets
Understanding the importance of a budget and how to develop it for any given organization is a key to any role in any organization. Budgets determine the allocation of resources for an organization. Every person at an organization needs to understand how to most effectively and efficiently accomplish their work while working in the budget they have.
It is also important to be able to work as a team to prioritize projects that need more funding and will benefit the organization as a whole, and which projects can be completed for a lesser budget in order to develop an effective yearly budget plan.
It is valuable to potential employers to see past experience in budgeting and understand that the value of efficiency is present in a potential employee while still producing successful results working within their given budgets.
4. Working with Auditors
This is an important skill for an accountant and anyone with responsibilities in the accounting department of an organization.
Any sort of organization, for profit or nonprofit, can be subject to an audit by the government. This means having a deep understanding of the rules and regulations of the industry as well as keeping detailed and organized financial and accounting records in order to comply with requests.
This skill is incredibly valuable for any manager to ensure the long term stability and security of the company.
5. Keeping Financial Records
Being detail-oriented and keeping records of all financial transactions, inflow and out of money, and investments is important for the transparency of every organization.
Being able to understand exactly where money is, how it is being invested, and how it is being spent is important in the efficient running of a business.
By being transparent and clear about the financial dealings of the company, it can easily be determined whether the money being spent is showing a considerable return on investment or whether budgets need to be rearranged in order to maximize profits.
6. Chartered Accountant Certification
This is a certification highly regarded in the accounting field. By working to earn this certification a potential employee can reassure an interviewer of their skill in accounting and the skills that accompany the field.
It is a universally recognized certification and can be completed with preparation through education like a college degree as well as a specific exam for which preparation is needed. By pursuing this certification that comes with a high level of prestige, an in-depth knowledge of effective practices in accounting and an ability to keep accurate records is expected.
7. Certified Management Accountant Certification
A Certified Management Accountant certification is another certification that demonstrates expertise in the field of accounting.
This additionally can be used to reassure an employer of a keen knowledge and understanding of the minutiae of accounting in order to most effectively carry out professional duties. This certification specifically focuses on expertise in financial accounting and strategic management.
This means that on top of an understanding of the details of finances and tracking budgets and numbers, there is an expertise in management and making decisions that balance both the budgets of the organization with the long-term goals of the organization in order to best use the budget in an efficient way to meet these goals.
The certification requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and it is issued by the Institute of Management Accountants.
8. Chartered Financial Analyst Certification
This third certification in the field of accounting serves another specific purpose. This is a very prestigious certification in the realm of finance. The certification requires a rigorous process of vetting.
It requires at least a bachelor’s degree before you can enroll in the program. You’ll need to pass 3 levels of exams during the program to receive the certification.
But besides examinations and your educational background, potential candidates must also have work experience in order to be considered.
This certification specifically focuses on investments and investing skills in order to demonstrate to employers a deep understanding of the process of investing, knowledge of how to judge valuable investments over those that are not and what investments will prove most beneficial for an organization in the long run. This is another accounting skill managers will find extremely valuable in the hiring process.
9. Understanding Financial Statements
Financial statements can be difficult to understand, filled with industry-specific jargon that is hard to penetrate for outsiders.
That is why managers find this accounting skill invaluable. Especially for a larger organization, financial statements can be complex and in depth, making it hard to understand what money is being used where.
And in order to prevent fraud, it is important to have an employee pouring over the documents and reassuring the company that the money is being used as it should be.
Someone that can actually understand the way the statements are written as well as follow and ensure that the math is correct is very valuable to the company.
This person can report back on the financial state of the company in order to ensure the long-term success, health, and lack of vulnerability to market trends and cycles.
10. Accrual Accounting
There are two different forms of accounting: accrual accounting and cash accounting.
The method used at any specific organization varies from organization to organization. Accrual accounting is the practice of documenting costs as they happen, even if that means that actual money is not exchanged until a later date.
Conversely, cash accounting is when transactions are entered into the budget only after money is actually exchanged.
It is important to understand the difference and not mix them up, but it’s best to stick to the method practiced by any specific company. If these methods are confused, there is a chance of double counting or missing certain transactions.
Someone with experience dealing with this detail-oriented set of accounting skills is valuable to a manager in creating accurate and an up-to-date portrait of the account balances of a company and pending transactions.
Have the Skills Companies Can’t Resist
Managers at any company value employees and potential employees with accounting skills such as the ones above.
Especially for a smaller company that is not equipped with a large accounting department, an employee with these extra set of skills can be icing on the cake when considering potential hires.
It is important to gauge the needs of any specific company’s accounting, management, and investment needs in order to cultivate the skills necessary to be successful and indispensable to the organization.
For any employee hoping to be competitive in the workforce, basic accounting skills are a must-have.