The accountants who are the best assets to an organization have skills that expand beyond their technical abilities. Soft skills, or competencies based on personal traits or characteristics, are also crucial for accountants to be top performers. Here are six soft skills to look for in your next accountant:
Accountants often have to have direct interactions with clients, customers, and colleagues from other departments. The ability to get along with others, a positive, helpful attitude, and effective conflict resolution skills are essential tools for successful and productive collaboration in the workplace.
Communication skills are important for accountants because they must be able to adequately explain technical and financial topics and detailed report findings to others who may not necessarily have a background in that area. They have to be able to convey relevant information in a matter that is easy to understand so others can feel confident in making decisions based on it.
Accounting software is constantly evolving to make bookkeeping, invoicing, and other reporting processes more accurate and efficient. Having the ability and drive to adapt to new technology is a crucial skill for accountants to develop professionally and make the most of their expertise.
4. Critical Thinking
Who you choose to be your company’s accountant can significantly influence its overall financial health. Accountants who make the most positive impact are those who possess critical thinking skills. They not only compile and review financial information but can analyze it to make predictions and recommendations to improve the processes and decisions of the organization.
5. Time Management
The deadlines related to the responsibilities of an accountant can have devastating results for your company if they are missed, such as steep fines, making time management an essential soft skill. Accountants must effectively prioritize, schedule, and complete the numerous steps required to finish their major projects within the designated timeframes and with accurate results.
6. Composure Under Pressure
Accounting and finance can be stressful, especially during hectic times like tax season when the workload is mounting and the pressure is on to avoid making any mistakes or oversights. Even the most technically skilled professionals can fall short when working in fast-paced, high-stakes environments. Hence, accountants need to have proactive methods for maintaining their composure under pressure so they can focus on their work without becoming overwhelmed.
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