5 Skills Every Accounting Student Should Know Before Venturing Out Into the ‘Real’ World
Thinking about earning a degree in accounting? Read on to learn what skills it takes to go from an accounting student to a real-world professional.
The tools of business are constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay innovative as an accountant. Recruiters look for candidates with innovative ideas that can make a positive impact on the future of accounting.
Accounting students need to gain a full understanding of the accounting field in order to be innovative. This means gathering new information and data, project management, meeting new clients, and quickly and accurately understanding information.
Having up-to-date technology expertise attracts finance leaders and recruiters. Accounting students will need to learn finance-specific software programs and accounting automation. Other technology skills accounting students include advanced Excel skills, ERP experience, knowledge of business intelligence software, Microsoft Visual Basic skills, and knowledge of QuickBooks.
Any industry that involves working with clients requires strong communication skills. Accountants need to deliver complex financial information in a clear and concise manner to a variety of colleagues and clients. Collaborating across departments means communicating with colleagues that may not be as number savvy, so being able to present information in an easy to understand way is important.
Accountants need to have communication skills that translate across email, phone conversations, in-person meetings, and presentations. Recruiters look for candidates that can supplement technical skills with a collaborative personality, and executive presence, conflict-management skills, and the ability to adapt.
Successful accountants are ambitious self-starters who are capable of generating new insights, managing projects, and contributing to positive team morale. Leadership abilities help balance the responsibility of managing the business side of a company. During busy financial seasons, managers and partners will value colleagues who can competently assist with increased tasks. Managers notice employees who demonstrate leadership skills and often consult from within the team for innovative ideas on how to improve the customer experience, improve compliance procedures, and for inspiration on other issues.
Working in an indispensable industry means appearing the part. Wearing the right clothing gives a sense of confidence and frames the mind for success. White House Black Market, for example, creates refined signature designs and specially-curated collections with expert craftsmanship for professional women. Their elevated, versatile styles include petite dresses specially tailored for smaller frames. Pair any of White House Black Market’s dresses with a cropped jacket, stilettos, and elegant accessories to create the perfect professional look.
Customer Service Mindset
Accounting is a customer-focused industry that requires a customer service mindset. Solid customer service skills are as critical as strong communication skills. Accountants must be able to retain existing clients and attract new ones while meeting the needs of other departments and managers. Accounting students need to learn how to listen to the needs and concerns of clients, understand how to address them, and maintain calm under stressful situations.
Clients expect professional presentation when it comes to their finances. Mines Press online printing company carries a collection tax return folders for accountants that dress up presentations. Accountants can find personalized foil-stamped and printed tax return folders, non-personalized folders with inserts for business cards, and options to customize stock, style, and color. Mines Press also has a collection of tax return folders compatible with current tax preparation software programs.
The accounting industry adheres to several regulatory compliances. Companies assess candidates on risk and compliance. Accounting students will need to have backgrounds with anti-money laundering (AML), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, and the Dodd-Frank Act. Experience in revenue recognition is also desirable.
Accounting students need to supplement classroom learning with commercial awareness. Understand how and where accounting fits in the business market, from how accounting is impacted by economic, social, and political movements to how to get ahead of the evolutionary curve.