Accountants are found in every organisation. Whether it is a profit making company or a not-for-profit organisation or an academic institution, one thing they all need to do is to balance their books of accounts and show how much money they have and how much they do not. The accountants therefore need to know the inner workings of all the different types of companies they are a part of and their line of business. But there are some qualities that all good accountants possess.
Working magic with numbers
All accountants have the ability to play with numbers and bring out accurate results. They are good at maths and they are good with formulas. A lot of accounting is done on spreadsheets like Excel and applications like SAP. The days when the calculations were being done with a pen and paper are long gone. But having command over Excel means having command over formulas and being a master of SAP means being good with applications. Even when the output is thrown up by the computers, the accountant still needs to evaluate and analyse them, so a good accountant is also a good numbers man. Many of them take jobs as statisticians who help graduate and post graduate students do proper data analysis for their research projects.
Attention to detail
Accountants always have to pay a lot of attention to detail. They cannot ignore even the smallest number. Those who have worked in finance or any kind of reporting role will tell you how crucial even the smallest number is and how ignoring it can have major repercussions.
Who is the data for?
Good accountants are not only aware of the importance of the data, but they are also aware of who it is for. Over their lifetimes accountants will be required to prepare a number of reports. Some will be meant for their immediate managers, some will be meant for the board of directors and others will be meant for the shareholders. Different kinds of reports will have to focus on different information, and this is what good accountants are aware of.
Building good relationships with colleagues
Unlike what many people think an accountant’s job is not always a boring one which involves sitting in a small cubicle for many hours with a pen and paper in hand. A lot of his time is also spent in interacting with other people, acquiring information from them so that he can do his calculations, and justifying some of the calculations that he has made. If his colleagues like him then arguably his life will be a lot easier. So being good with people is an important quality that accountants need to possess.
Having a way with Information Technology
Yes, as with any other profession accountants needs to have strong IT skills. There are many applications in the market that have accounting packages in them. There will also be times when the accountant will have to do a lot of research on the Internet. All this involves having strong IT skills, so it goes without saying that the modern day accountant also needs to be tech savvy.