The world of knowledge is infinite, which means that there is no end to learning, unlearning and relearning new skills that are in sync with the changing times. The same is in the case of accounting, where managerial accountants need to have varied basic accounting skills and need to keep themselves abreast of the new developments in the domain.
However, there are certain jargon, buzzwords and basic accounting skills that are considered as a prerequisite to becoming a successful management accountant.
Following is the list of few skills or technical expertise that every management accountant should be well-versed with:
1) Interpersonal skills:
There is a misconception that an accountant’s work involves purely number crunching. But along with strong quantitative skills, an accountant should also possess great interpersonal skills such as empathy, client management, negotiation skills, etc. Being an accountant, they have regular meetings with several clients, colleagues and professionals. Hence, good interpersonal skills are vital to the success of an accountant.
Taxation is a very volatile and dynamic subject. It requires advanced knowledge, which is only possible through rigorous reading and strong experience. It is an accountant’s responsibility to help and navigate their customers through taxation procedures in the most ethical and hassle-free way. An accountant should have an in-depth understanding of various taxes, tax income limits, taxable items, tax rates, etc.
To become an ace accountant, he/she also needs to conduct variance analysis, price and volume analysis, product profitability, cost analysis, life-cycle cost analysis, capital budgeting, strategic planning, forecasting, allocation, etc. to ensure the best allocation of resources and achieve management goals.
4) Accounting basics
An accountant should know how to prepare financial statements and accounting reports for planning, controlling, budgeting and decision-making.
The three key financial statements are balance sheet, profit & loss and cash flows account. These above three financial statements are interlinked with each other. An accountant needs to understand the correlation and interlinkage between these statements.
5) National certification
An accountant needs to earn certification from authorizing body to enjoy lucrative monetary rewards and to sustain in the market. A CPA i.e. Certified Public Accountant course curriculum includes 30 hours of accounting study. Similarly, in the market, there are many certifications available in the realm of accounting space. One must search the course most appropriate as per his requirement.
6) Accounting Software
Today, there is automation in all types of businesses. Accounting is mainly concentrated around computations, data mining, developing and interpreting complex models, etc. A software-based application enables more accurate and efficient financial record keeping. Accounting softwares such as Tally ERP, Zoho Books, MARG ERP and more are getting used on a daily basis. So there is an increase in demand for an accountant with an accounting software skill set.
Many accounting students have a dilemma about what and where to focus. Should I focus on learning accounting software or basic accounting skills and practices?
It is essential to manage the balance of software skills along with basic accounting skills, communication and customer service skills. An impeccable combination of all these skill sets is important to become successful.