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Accountancy requires good analytical skills, strong ethical values, and a keen sense of precision. If you imagine an accountant needs to be someone who works all the time with bill counter machines, then you are mistaken.
Every stable business bases itself on good accountancy. This is because accounting helps companies to stay in control of their finances while ensuring business profitability. Therefore, an accountant is an essential part of any business team. They can help your business in many ways, such as saving, risk reduction, growth management, regulation compliance, and future planning.
What Attributes Does an Account Need to Get into the Big Four?
The Big Four of accountancy, namely PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG, require accountants to harbor a broad skill set to succeed in securing a job with them. For example, here are some of the essential attributes these companies look for in their candidates:
1. Accountants Need Written and Verbal Proficiency
Excellent written and verbal language proficiency always makes a candidate stand out from the rest. Language proficiency is helpful for getting hired. However, it is also important for technical grounds and effective communication.
2. They Must Have Technical Knowledge
Aside from basic knowledge, a good accountant also needs good technical knowledge. For example, this should include accounting standards, corporate taxes and laws, act amendments, newly issued pronouncements, and more.
3. They Must Have Computer Skills
A skilled accountant needs to know their way around a computer.
4. An Accountant Needs a Presentable Persona
A good candidate always has a presentable persona. For example, this includes proper attire, good professional etiquette, and a polite and humble approach to conversation.
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What Are the Top 10 Skills an Accountant Needs to Have?
The following is a list of the top 10 soft and hard skills and characteristics the Big Four accounting firms look for when hiring employees:
1. An Accountant Needs to Be Good at Innovation
No business project can operate without accountancy. Moreover, with the evolution of businesses worldwide, it is vital for accountancy to keep up the pace. For this reason, an innovative approach is quintessential for every accountant to increase their chances of getting hired. Recruiters often prefer candidates with new ideas that have the potential to affect the future of accountancy.
2. Accountants Must Have Knowledge of Their Field
An accountant must harbor a sound understanding of their field. Accountancy is a mix of things, including data and information assimilation, project management, client meetings, daily tasks, and more. A skilled accountant must understand their area of accountancy. Then they must work on perfecting it with practice.
3. They Must Be Good at Communication
An essential prerequisite in every field is good communication. Accountants especially must have the ability to convey complex information simply and straightforwardly. Moreover, good communication skills are necessary to thrive in an office setting with colleagues.
4. An Accountant Needs Commercial Awareness
Commercial awareness refers to the knowledge about how and where your business sits in the market. It also includes the effects economic, political, and social movements can have on the company.
5. Every Accountant Needs Enthusiasm
Every recruiter looks for an enthusiastic candidate with the spark and motivation to undertake roles and responsibilities. This is because positivity and energy boost morale and productivity in a workplace. They also reflect a person’s willingness to learn and practice new things.
6. An Accountant Must Be Comfortable Taking the Initiative
A person who is comfortable with initiative-taking is also likely to be able to work independently. Independent thinking and taking initiative help decide whether they can be trusted with additional responsibility. Further, initiative-taking is particularly helpful for those who wish to pursue accountancy in the future as independent professionals.
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7. Accountants Need Credibility
Credibility comes from trust and partnership. Much like a currency to trade on, increased credibility leads to better opportunities that will, in turn, contribute to the brighter future every accountant wants and needs.
8. They Must Be Resilient
Resilience is critical, especially for those who are just starting their careers. Everyone starts at the entry-level and works their way up; the process is not necessarily easy. Therefore, an accountant must work towards deadlines, juggle multiple tasks at once, and overcome challenges with confidence and composure. Resilience is a skill that earns praise over time.
9. Accountants Need to Be Stable and Reliable
Accountancy is a line of work that offers flexibility. However, it is vital to acquire stability in your career from early on. For this reason, it is not wise to change jobs frequently. This is because doing so can be damaging to your resume and credibility. Therefore, you need to make it a point to find the right balance and acquire stability in your accounting career.
10. International Work Experience Will Boost Your Accounting Career
International work experience always shines on a resume. Many people are not so fortunate as to acquire international work experience early on. However, when the opportunity presents itself, be sure to take advantage of it to progress in your career.
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Accounting is an ever-evolving field of work. Therefore, accountants need to seek opportunities to learn new skills to advance in their careers. The best way to learn new things is with first-hand work experience. If you wish to gain relevant experience, we suggest exploring temporary accounting and finance positions. These will add value to your CV and prepare you for a full-time role as an accountant.
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