Although number crunching is a big part of accountancy, it takes much more to be a successful accountant. Whilst it’s important to have excellent technical skills, you’ll also need to develop your soft skills too such as communication, organisation and teamwork. We spoke to some of LSBF’s tutors to find out what they think makes a great accountant.
Regwana Uddin, Tutor: In the emerging world of artificial intelligence, accountants are dealing with large amounts of computerised data. Accountants should be aware of new technologies that are introduced to the industry.
Cloud accounting is new and present. Many clients can use the software easily with little help. However, where there are gaps in the knowledge, a good accountant will step up and use their skills in problem-solving and their expertise to watch out for inconsistencies.
Support and Perception
David Laws, Senior Tutor: An individual can be a great accountant, but a great finance function needs a great team.
A good accountant will remember how they felt as a junior member of the team and will support the current crop as well as providing opportunities for them to develop. They will also encourage ideas from all staff, give praise as often as possible and make sure the contributions of every member of the team are recognised.
A modern accountant shapes the future of the business as opposed to simply reporting upon the past. Therefore, a good commercial accountant should be able to immerse themselves within the sector in which they are employed.
The ability to identify trends and emerging opportunities are vital to their decision making, ensuring that they add value and guide the firm towards a prosperous future.
Forward-thinking and quick to adapt
Brigita Petrova, Tutor: The current accounting environment is very fast-paced and to keep up, any organisation would benefit from an accountant with a pro-active, forward-thinking mindset. Someone who is able to link their knowledge and experience to reality; someone who can offer a fresh perspective and ways to avoid problems before they arise. This is the type of accountant who can support any level of management and help drive their organisation forwards, come rain or sunshine.
Martin Jones, Senior Tutor: Accounting is a numbers game, of course, but a feature of particularly successful accountants is the ability to make friends and influence people. This can win arguments, swerve controversy and most importantly, improve customer relationships.
Paul Merison, ACCA London Director: The business environment is very pressured, with everyone demanding things be done to unrealistic deadlines and expecting things to look a success even when they are not. Accountants will often find themselves being asked to report things in a manner which is aimed at hiding the truth or even an outright lie.
It is very easy to say that this is just the nature of business and that everyone reads news and assumes it has an element of over-optimism built into it, and therefore you can let your principles slip.
The best accountants stand firm. They also tend to avoid jail time as a result.
Do you have ambitions to become an accountant? London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) offers ACCA tuition, delivered by highly experienced tutors. LSBF also has an innovative online platform with a wide variety of study resources, HD recorded video lectures and much more, allowing you to study from the comfort of your home. Discover more about our ACCA programmes here.
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