For young accountants entering the financial world, the future is bright. While some organizations have trouble finding qualified staff, others find candidates with just the right qualifications. If you're an accountant getting ready to hit the job market, make sure you tout these eight technical and analytical skills potential employers desire.
1. Financial Analysis Skills
As an accountant, you must be comfortable analyzing a wide range of financial data. Know how to review common accounting reports to identify trends or point out anomalies. Focus on your ability to perform budgeting work or make future projections.
2. A Problem-Solving Mindset
An accountant must be able to analyze data and find problems, but hiring firms also desire candidates who can fix the problems they find. Accountants with strong problem-solving skills are able to provide decision-making support, which makes them an asset to the company.
3. Knowledge of General Accounting
Firms rely on staff accountants to take on general accounting duties, such as preparing year-end financial statements or performing account reconciliation. Bulk up on your knowledge of tax preparation, account analysis, budgeting and risk assessments. If you're up-to-date on Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements, consider this skill a bonus.
4. Adept at Communicating
Accountants are not just paper pushers; they must also possess keen communication skills to be successful in today's job market. An accountant with top-notch communication skills can easily present financial projections to large groups or persuade management on a budget decision.
5. International Accounting Experience
Having work or educational experience in international accounting may make you a highly sought-after candidate. If you speak a second language, be sure to list it on your resume, and make it known if you have experience with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
6. Collaborative Abilities
In many modern organizations, accountants may work on teams with colleagues from other departments, such as marketing, sales or human resources. The ability to manage these relationships and contribute to a cross-functional team is highly regarded by employers.
7. A Forensic Accounting Background
An accountant with forensic skills serves as an asset to any corporation. If you are adept in uncovering fraud, identifying tax scams, pinpointing money laundering schemes or discovering embezzlement, list the skill on your resume to stand out among other candidates.
8. Internal Auditing Know-How
Many firms seek out accountants to fill the role of internal auditor for the organization. Make note if you have experience in performing risk assessments, establishing or evaluating internal controls, evaluating corporate governance processes or performing internal audits.
When it comes to a career as an accountant, focus on obtaining the right skills and experience to create a well-rounded resume. By highlighting these eight technical and analytical skills, you can become the candidate every firm desires.
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