6 Qualities Employers Look For When Hiring An Accountant

Accountant

Adequate money management is always essential for an organization’s success. It is why accounting is considered a stable profession that will always be in demand. According to BSL, accounting careers are estimated to grow at a rate of 10% by 2026

Since accountants are the professionals who overlook the flow of money, it’s no wonder that employers are looking for certain qualities in candidates when they’re hiring for this role.

Here Are Six Prime Qualities Employers Look For When Hiring An Accountant

While technical skills are essential for anyone in the accounting field, specific soft skills can make or break a candidate’s chances of getting hired. If you’re a prospective accountant looking for your next role, pay attention to the following qualities that employers will be assessing you on during the hiring process.

1. General Business Aptitude

accountant's job

An accountant’s job is to understand and manage an organization’s financial health. The day-to-day tasks will include reviewing financial statements, reconciling accounts, and preparing tax documents. To lead in this role, you need to understand how businesses operate.

This quality can be challenging to quantify, but it essentially boils down to having a good head for business. You should be able to understand the organization’s goals and how the accounting department fits into those goals. In addition, you should have a basic understanding of marketing, human resources, and other business functions.

These business skills are easy to acquire with the help of a degree or certification in accounting. However, since most professionals are only part-time available, online MBA in accounting programs are popular with those who want to gain business skills while continuing to work.

2. Knowledge of Changing Dynamics

The accounting field is constantly evolving, and employers want to see that you’re keeping up with the latest changes. In addition, regulations and tax laws are constantly in flux, so it’s essential to be able to adapt to the new landscape.

Pursuing continuing education credits is one way to show that you’re keeping up with the changing dynamics. Many accounting organizations offer courses and seminars that professionals can take to stay updated on the latest changes. Employers will be impressed if you show that you’re actively trying to keep current in the field.

Another way to demonstrate your knowledge of changing dynamics is to highlight your experience with new accounting software or technologies. As the profession grows more technologically advanced, it’s crucial to be able to use new tools to streamline workflows.

3. Splendid IT Skills:

IT Skills

Online transactions and automation have become the norm in the accounting profession. As a result, employers are hunting for candidates with superb IT skills. These skills combine complex technical skills, like using Excel and QuickBooks, and soft skills, like troubleshooting issues and adapting to new software.

If you’re not confident in your IT skills, plenty of resources are available to help you improve. For instance, many community colleges offer non-credit courses in popular accounting software programs. There are also online tutorials and videos that can help you polish your skills.

When it comes to demonstrating your IT skills on your resume, include any relevant certifications or training courses you’ve completed. You must also highlight any experience you have using different accounting software programs.

4. Ability to Perform Well Under Pressure:

When it’s billions of dollars on the line, businesses need to know that their accountant can perform well under pressure. Moreover, this quality is vital for those aspiring to work in management positions like CFOs or controllers.

Since this is a quality, you can’t quantify with experience or education, the best way to demonstrate it is through your cover letter. Use the cover letter to tell a story about when you had to perform under pressure.

For example, maybe you had to manage a last-minute audit or reconcile complex accounts. Whatever the story is, make sure it illustrates your ability to stay focused in the face of adversity.

There are also ways to enhance your pressure-handling skills through education and training. For instance, many accounting programs offer courses in auditing and tax preparation. These courses can help you learn how to handle the pressure of working in the accounting field.

5. Outstanding Interpersonal Skills:

While it’s important to be able to work independently, employers also want to see that you have strong interpersonal skills. After all, accounting is a team sport, and you’ll need to be able to collaborate with others to get the job done.

For instance, your team will need to be able to rely on you to meet deadlines and communicate effectively. At the same time, you’ll need to be able to take direction from your superiors and provide feedback to your colleagues.

Interpersonal skills include both verbal and written communication. To hone your interpersonal skills, you can take courses in business communication or public speaking. You can also join professional organizations, like Toastmasters, which offer programs to help you improve your communication skills.

When it comes to bringing attention to your interpersonal skills on your resume, be sure to include any relevant experience you have working in team environments. You can also highlight any awards or accolades you’ve received for your communication skills.

6. Strong Analytical Skills:

Do you feel confident in your ability to analyze data and identify trends? Can you quickly spot errors in financial statements? Do you have a knack for finding creative solutions to complex problems?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have strong analytical skills. These skills make an employer confident that you can provide insights and recommendations to help them make sound business decisions.

There are many ways to hone your analytical skills, but one of the best is to get experience working with data. If you’re just starting, you can volunteer to work on special projects that involve data analysis.

For instance, you might help your team prepare for an audit by analyzing financial statements. Or you could assist with budgeting by reviewing past expenses and identifying trends. You can also look for internships or entry-level jobs that will give you a chance to put your analytical skills to use.

Final Thoughts:

When landing a job in accounting, the qualities mentioned above will give you a leg up on the competition. However, having a solid foundation in the basics is also important.

So be sure to brush up on your math skills and familiarize yourself with the most common accounting software programs. With a solid understanding of the basics and the qualities, employers are looking for; you’ll be well on your way to landing the accounting job of your dreams.

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