Basic skills for a role in accounting
November 10, 2021

What Basic Skills Do I Need for a Role in Accounting?

For a job seemingly all about numbers, there’s a surprising amount of depth and variation in the types of skills you need to be an accountant.

Naturally, you need to be good with numbers and calculations, but there are just as many intangibles crucial to your success and growth up the career ladder.

So if you want to know the secrets of what will help you grow, read on. We’ll cover many of the skills that will surely help you succeed, and the best part is that once you know what is needed, you can build up a solid foundation from which everything else will branch off, until one day you’re a senior and powerful accounting machine.

And if you want to speed up that process, you can come to AHK Accounting Recruiters, the firm that gets you in front of the right audience at the right time.

Analytical Skills

Perhaps at the core of any good accountant is their eye for analysis and detailed insight into patterns and how to break those patterns down into usable figures and information for the company.

You need an eye that is detail-oriented and exacting, able to do meticulous analysis at an efficient and accurate rate.

The job will naturally involve sifting through piles of financial documents to ensure that everything is accurate and current, allowing for deeper analysis that yields consistent and useful results.

The best accountants out there can take a glance at a financial report and determine rapidly if it works and whether the facts and figures bear the fruit of truth.

Interpersonal Communication

On the complete other side of the equation, you have interpersonal communication skills, which seem at a glance to be completely unrelated to doing the job of accountant well.

But that initial take is not the right one. In fact, like almost any job, you will have to work with people and teams and larger organizational structures.

Your job is particularly difficult because you must explain your findings both to colleagues and to clients, who might not have the same financial background and understanding as you.

In a sense, you’re an interpreter, naturally begetting the fact that you will need strong communication skills to do this well. People want to understand, and you are the one pouring knowledge into the empty bowl of their minds.

The better you can get along with people, empathize, and turn your information into stories that stick, resonate, and are actionable, the better you will do as an accountant and, in fact, in life as well.


Another important asset is your ability to adapt to rapidly changing financial markets and systems.

The frameworks for taxes and financial reporting are underpinned by a current of change and innovation that requires you to be on your toes constantly. The industry, too, is evolving with the growth of new sectors and new ways of operating.

You have to be able to understand these changing standards and adjust your approach accordingly. Similarly, as client needs and team interactions change, you have to manage the tides. Plus, new technologies are a de-facto rule of this world, meaning you have to be willing and able to learn.

Clients can pile on, all with different needs and demands, so you have to refine your approach and do the absolute best job you can with each client if you want to grow and become the best you can be.

Be Organized

Just like being analytical, you have to organize and keep on top of tons of research, analysis and documentation. You have to be organized enough to juggle the clients you are working with while also meeting deadlines and ensuring you pass compliance checks and reporting guidelines of all kinds.

You need to document everything carefully, lest you lose track of important paperwork that could make or break a project.

Critical Problem Solving

In many ways, you are essentially the person that solves the problems you see in the companies you work with.

And the thing is, no company is the same as the other. What works for one project might not work for the next. Rather than preparing for infinite contingencies, it pays off to have the critical thinking and solution-finding skills that can guide you out of whatever crisis or emergency happens to fall on your plate.

Learn to balance the variables and potential risks, lest they overwhelm you and cause you more stress than you need at the moment.

Closing Thoughts

The core skills for accounting span quite a broad number of areas. Of course, you need the skills to handle the day-to-day tasks, like an eye for analysis and a strong sense of organization. Still, you also need to interact with people and change situations, necessitating communicating and adapting.

While it can be challenging to juggle all these priorities and needs, if you’re able to do so, you’ve already proven you have the critical thinking and organizational sense to handle this job on a deep level before you even begin getting into the work itself!

So it should be clear by now that there are some core skills that you need to succeed in accounting. A bonus of these skills is that some are useful in all aspects of your life, so it pays to brush up and train the abilities you need to do a good job in whatever accounting role you land.

However, sometimes even with all the guidance and skills you have, it can still be a struggle to land the job of your dreams. If you want to fix that issue, consider an account staffing firm in Ontario, like AHK Accounting Recruiters. We can do all the heavy lifting and ensure that your applications are refined and in front of the right people.

To learn more about the basic skills you need in an accounting role, call AHK Accounting at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.

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