Complete 3 pages APA formatted article: Skills Important for an Accounting Career. Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions that a person will ever make in a lifetime. It is not uncommon for students to start college without any thought or knowledge of what it is that they would like to do as a career. This is so despite the number of career fairs that are held in high school and the resources available on the web and in school libraries.
The most important aspects of the accounting profession are the skills required, duties performed and the salary it offers. These represent major considerations when making a decision on career choices.
Accounting is a very demanding career. Therefore, in addition to knowledge and qualifications, the accountant is required to have a variety of skills. They include but are not limited to communication, presentation, information technology, analytical, computation, and critical thinking skills.
Good communication skills are very important especially when a job function requires dealing with people at all levels inside and outside the organization. The accountant has to deal with the staff below the position held as well as those in authority. It is a reporting position so at all times reports of one kind or another have to be prepared. These have to be properly communicated both orally and in writing. According to Career Infonet (2011), active listening and speaking skills are required. Active listening involves giving total attention to what others are saying and taking time out to understand what is being said and asking the appropriate questions and interrupting only when appropriate (Career Infonet 2011).
The information has to presented properly present so that others can understand. Information technology will also be required to aid in presentations to management as well as to input, processing and summarizing information. In terms of presenting information accountants can use PowerPoint presentations. In terms of summarizing the ability to use one or more accounting software packages as well as a spreadsheet is important.  .
Accountants are required to analyze and evaluate accounting and other information. They need to be able to indicate reasons why figures change from one year to the other so that they can make proper recommendations on how to reduce expenses and so increase profitability. .
The ability to carry out basic computations is very important. All accountant jobs involve figures and their accuracy is key to becoming a good accountant.
Critical thinking skills are very important. The accountant is required to use logic and reasoning in identifying the strengths and weaknesses that may arise from various alternatives relating to the solution of a problem.
Accountants perform a wide range of tasks some of which are specific to the profession and some of which are generalized work activities. Completing these tasks play a major role in getting a job done properly.
According to Career Infonet (2011), the accounting specific tasks include advising clients in various areas such as compensation, health benefits, design of data processing systems as well as tax planning. They prepare tax computations as well as ensure that organizations that use their services or to which they are employed comply with the requirements of the tax authorities. Additionally, accountants develop, maintain and analyze budgets for clients with the use of information technology. They also prepare financial statements that indicate the financial position and financial performance of organizations including their as well as cash flow statements.  . .
Some general duties include the processing of information using computers. Accountants also ensure that organizations comply with the relevant standards where appropriate. They also develop specific goals and plans in order to ensure that they accomplish their job functions.
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