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Accountants as Problem Solvers

August 01, 2020

By: Linda McCann , DBA, CMA, CPA ; David Horn , CPA ; Jennifer Dosch , CMA

problem solving skills in accounting

Managers often complain that accounting graduates aren’t prepared for today’s business environment. The complexity of our global economy and the increasing influence of, and reliance on, technology leads to practitioners and instructors questioning if undergraduate accounting programs focus on the right curriculum to prepare students for careers.

One soft skill that can help prepare accounting students for their careers is problem solving. Management accountants need to be able to work cross-functionally to solve problems and provide meaningful analyses. Many colleges, universities, and accrediting bodies in academia incorporate strategic goals requiring curriculum that facilitates problem-solving skills.

As instructors, we teach technical accounting skills by demonstrating and providing practice with accounting concepts and structured problems, which we assess via homework and exams. Teaching soft skills, such as unstructured problem solving, poses greater challenges that are more difficult to incorporate into the curriculum. How can students learn and approach unstructured problem solving?

A SLOW-THINKING APPROACH

Recent scientific discoveries into the brain reveal that humans employ fast and slow thinking to solve problems. The brain especially prefers making decisions and solving problems quickly based on recognized patterns, visual and verbal cues, prior knowledge, routines, familiar preferences, prejudices, and emotions.

In contrast, decision making and problem solving often require slow thinking to digest new information, hypothesize alternatives, employ quantitative mathematical and statistical analysis, overtly recognize and break free from cognitive biases, challenge preconceived notions, synthesize ideas, and create new knowledge. To support this kind of slow, rational thinking, accountants can learn a methodical process for problem solving (see Table 1).

problem solving skills in accounting

Many common business models—such as Six Sigma, A3 Lean, and Appreciative Inquiry—and the Association of American Colleges and Universities value problem solving, and critical-thinking grading rubrics describe specific steps for rational (i.e., slow thinking) problem solving. Business students, however, learn and apply these models in various courses, typically with no thread that ties them specifically to the accounting profession. Students learn bits and pieces of rational thinking throughout their undergraduate coursework, but instructors often don’t teach a common framework to apply these skills in a relevant and value-added way (see “Survey of Practitioners”).

problem solving skills in accounting

To help address this issue, we developed a problem-solving rubric for accounting students (see Table 2). The three of us are faculty members from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., and represent three different parts of the curriculum (auditing, business taxation, and management accounting), so it was important that it could be used across the entire accounting program.

problem solving skills in accounting

The rubric assesses learning in an organized way, providing a common framework (criteria) for students to consistently approach problem solving. The criteria include problem identification, analysis, and communication of results. It guides students through a series of problem-solving steps using terms and vocabulary specific to the accounting profession. The rubric also reminds us, as instructors, to create a learning environment where problem solving can occur (see “Setting the Tone”).

problem solving skills in accounting

STEP 1: PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

The iterative and looping nature of problem solving confounds inexperienced accountants. Where does one begin? Students tell us using a rubric provides a starting point.

To implement the rubric, we assign students projects with unclear goals, incomplete information, and more than one possible solution. Assignment topics vary. It could have students develop a cost-benefit analysis between adding employees or adopting Lean manufacturing techniques, analyze tax outcomes of business decisions, create a risk assessment and audit response for a fictitious client, or some other accounting-related issue.

Students begin by developing one or several hypotheses as to the nature of the problem. To generate ideas, we assist students in their brainstorming discussions. The rubric leads students to consider the environment, strategy, unexpected observations, overall importance, and risk assessment. At this stage, the identified problem may change, but the original hypothesized problem gives direction for next steps. Upon completing the assignment, we assess students on how they identified the problem.

Metropolitan State University’s business taxation course used the rubric in a case study that involves assessing the implication of the Wayfair v. South Dakota U.S. Supreme Court decision on a company’s sales tax collection. Prior to Wayfair , companies operated under a physical presence nexus established in Quill v. North Dakota . The Quill decision required companies to have a physical presence in a taxing jurisdiction in order to require collection and remittance of sales taxes on transactions.

In Wayfair , the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Quill in favor of an economic nexus standard, where companies only needed to have a certain level of economic activity. For example, in South Dakota, the threshold economic activity is 200 transactions or $100,000 in sales. The change from Quill to Wayfair was a major development in how companies operate and collect sales tax. It required companies to assess all jurisdictions in which they operate and evaluate how the change in the nexus standards impact its operations.

To apply this rubric to the change, students learn about a fictitious company that sells inventory to multiple states and collects and remits sales tax under the Quill physical presence nexus standard. We give students a subledger with all sales data for the given year. The rubric leads students to ask about implications of the Wayfair decision on the company, how the ruling impacts the company’s strategic objectives, and risks to the company because of the change in the law. Using the rubric, students are guided to discover the issue at hand, which is whether the company will have a significant number of new sales tax jurisdictions requiring collections and remittance from its customers.

Students tell us that without the rubric, they often feel like they have no road map at the beginning of a project or case study; identifying the problem seems too big and undefined to tackle. Many students initially resist engaging with unstructured problem-solving assignments because they differ from past assignments. Similar to what one might find in cross-functional teams opposed to change, students show their displeasure with crossed arms and distant body language.

Many college courses still rely on testing facts and use formulas and calculations, an approach that doesn’t put the student in the decision-making role but is familiar to them. With a rubric, students see smaller doable steps, where the assignment is heading, and how they can move forward and loop backward, when necessary. The rubric breaks down the initial intimidation students feel with unstructured problems.

STEP 2: ANALYSIS

Next, the rubric guides students through analyzing the problem using accounting-specific skills they’ve acquired in each course. For example, students consider tax laws, financial reporting and audit principles, or cost accounting techniques.

Continuing the sales and use tax example, at this stage, students apply the rubric to perform a complete analysis, enabling them to form a conclusion to communicate. What are the relevant facts to determine Wayfair ’s impact? What facts are irrelevant? What primary and secondary tax authority is needed to conduct research? Are there alternatives and exceptions to applying Wayfair ? Have all states adopted an economic nexus standard? Have all states adopted South Dakota’s transactional thresholds? What’s the quantitative impact to the company? Are there financial accounting implications to the Wayfair decision? What’s the scope of the necessary research, and are there limitations, constraints, and so on? Through the rubric, students formulate and answer questions and perform analysis to solve the problem at hand.

We assess students on their ability to gather and identify relevant facts, research any applicable rules and laws, assess alternatives, and perform any needed qualitative and quantitative analyses. At this stage, students apply theories and best practices learned in specific course fields, such as management accounting, taxation, and auditing.

To encourage elaboration, the rubric uses words such as curious, skeptical, model, assumption, authoritative, best practices, relevant, and sufficient sources. Like many accountants, students want to get their work done quickly, but problem solving takes time and slow thinking. Thanks to the rubric, more students turned in papers with greater depth, less “cut and paste,” and more relevant supporting details.

As in the real world, students often discover their original hypothesis or identified problem is incorrect, incomplete, or irrelevant. They confront the iterative nature of problem solving as they work through the analysis stage and build evidence to support their hypothesis. When evidence doesn’t support an identified problem, students go back and redefine their problem, gather new evidence, explore new alternative solutions, and build a case for their conclusion.

STEP 3: COMMUNICATION

Finally, students present their results in a memorandum to a hypothetical manager or audit partner. The memorandum mirrors common styles, such as IFRAC (issues, facts, rules, analysis, and conclusion) and BLUF (bottom line up front). Students state the problem and include the conclusion (i.e., solution) up front along with a summary of relevant facts and assumptions. Supporting documentation presents additional in-depth analysis.

This format familiarizes students with a presentation style that allows management to quickly understand conclusions while also providing more depth to support the up-front conclusion. We expect students to write and present findings in a clear and concise manner as if in a professional accounting setting. The rubric grading criteria helps students solve problems using rational thinking and delivering a memorandum that directly supports management decision making.

In the Wayfair case study, students draft a memorandum to management addressing the implications of the sales tax nexus precedence change. The facts section should discuss the company’s current sales and use tax policies. Students identify the issue as the change from physical presence nexus to economic nexus. The up-front conclusion should identify new jurisdictions from which the company needs to register and collect sales tax and quantify the volume of sales tax it expects to collect. Finally, the analysis provides an in-depth discussion of the change from Quill to Wayfair . Students should discuss how they determined new jurisdictions, limitations, and further required resources for the company.

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THEIR CAREERS

We use the rubric format for projects or cases at different stages throughout the accounting curriculum. The problem-solving rubric measures student learning and reinforces rational thinking with each assignment. The projects that use the rubric vary in length, depth, and complexity as students move from management accounting to tax and then finally to audit. We find the rubric flexible enough to adapt to an instructor’s needs, yet it provides consistent core steps—identify the problem, analyze, and communicate—to solve problems.

The rubric helps students organize their communication through the memorandum. Setting up a memorandum so the problem and solution appear “up front” highlights mismatches between the problem, evidence, and conclusion. Further, it encourages students to decide—rather than ramble and include information that isn’t relevant. We find students often get to the communication stage and realize that their analysis doesn’t support their conclusion or identified problem. Fortunately, the rubric allows them to loop back and redefine and reanalyze.

By using the same grading criteria in multiple courses, we provide students with a familiar approach to problem solving that turns fast thinking to slow, rational thinking. The process and steps become routine and less daunting for the student. While each step still requires arduous thinking, the approach itself is a recognized pattern for students.

From our point of view as accounting instructors, the rubric helps provide consistent and fair grading. We provide separate points for milestones in problem identification, analysis, and communication, which further encourages students to go through each step of the process. Metropolitan State University plans to expand the use of this rubric in the accounting curriculum. This common framework provides students with a process to identify problems, research and investigate facts, conduct analyses, and communicate results across all accounting disciplines.

This process reinforces the problem-solving skills that students will need in their professional careers. These capabilities will help them perform their roles in today’s strategic, fast-paced business environment. Solving problems is critical for today’s management accountant. Through implementing the rubric, instructors can help students systematically apply a problem-solving process that they can take with them as they move from student to management accountant.

About the Authors

problem solving skills in accounting

August 2020

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10 Accounting Problem Solving Skills and How To Improve Them

Discover 10 Accounting Problem Solving skills along with some of the best tips to help you improve these abilities.

problem solving skills in accounting

Accounting is an important skill for anyone who wants to be financially successful. Without a basic understanding of accounting, it can be difficult to make sound financial decisions. However, even if you have a strong understanding of accounting principles, you may still encounter occasional accounting problems.

When these problems arise, it is important to have strong problem solving skills in order to find a resolution. In this guide, we will discuss some tips for solving accounting problems. We will also provide an overview of some common accounting problems so that you can be prepared in the event that one arises.

Financial Statements

Regulatory filings, revenue projections, account reconciliation, general ledger, business knowledge, problem solving.

Financial statements are important because they provide a snapshot of a company’s financial health. They can be used to make decisions about whether or not to invest in a company, and they can also be used to track a company’s performance over time. Financial statements include the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

Payroll is an important skill for accountants because it allows them to process and manage employee compensation and benefits. Payroll processing includes calculating gross wages, deductions, and net wages; preparing payroll tax returns; and managing benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Accountants who can effectively manage payroll can help businesses save time and money. They can also help businesses comply with federal and state tax laws and regulations.

Regulatory filings are important because they are required by law. Companies must file certain documents with government agencies in order to operate. These filings include tax returns, annual reports, and shareholder communications. Failure to file these documents can result in penalties or even the closure of a company.

Regulatory filings are important because they provide transparency. By law, companies must file certain documents with government agencies. These filings are public, which means that anyone can access them. This transparency allows investors and other stakeholders to see how a company is operating.

Revenue projections are important for businesses because they help businesses plan for future income. Revenue projections can be used to determine how much money a business will need to operate and grow. Revenue projections can also be used to help businesses raise money from investors.

Revenue projections are important because they help businesses plan for future income. Revenue projections can be used to determine how much money a business will need to operate and grow. Revenue projections can also be used to help businesses raise money from investors.

Account reconciliation is the process of ensuring that all transactions in a company’s books are accurate. This process is important because it helps ensure that the company’s financial statements are accurate and can be relied upon by investors, creditors and other stakeholders.

Account reconciliation involves comparing the company’s books with the records kept by its banks, vendors and other parties with whom it does business. If there are any differences, they need to be investigated and resolved. This process can be time-consuming, but it is important to ensure that the company’s books are accurate.

Compliance is the process of ensuring that you are in compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to your business. It is important for businesses to be compliant because it helps to protect them from penalties and fines. Compliance also helps to build trust with customers and regulators.

To be compliant, businesses need to understand the laws and regulations that apply to them and then take the necessary steps to ensure that they are following the rules. For example, businesses that sell products to consumers need to be aware of the consumer protection laws that apply to them. Businesses that operate in certain industries, such as healthcare, need to be aware of the regulations that apply to them.

General ledger is an important accounting problem solving skill because it is used to track and report financial information for a business. The general ledger is a summary of all of the accounts that make up the financial statements, and it is used to keep track of the money coming in and going out of the business. The general ledger is also used to prepare financial statements, and it is important that the information in the general ledger is accurate and up to date.

Quickbooks is an important skill for anyone in the accounting field. Quickbooks is a software program that helps accountants and business owners keep track of their finances. Quickbooks can help you track invoices, manage payroll, and create financial reports. Quickbooks is a valuable skill because it can save you time and make your job easier.

Business knowledge is important for accounting problem solving because it helps accountants understand the context of the problem they are trying to solve. It also helps them identify the root cause of the problem and develop a solution that will be effective in the real world.

Accounting problem solving often involves looking at a company’s financial statements and trying to identify where the company is spending too much money or where it is making mistakes in its accounting practices. To do this, accountants need to understand the company’s business and the industry in which it operates. They also need to be familiar with the latest accounting standards and best practices.

Problem solving is an important skill for accountants because they often have to solve complex problems. Problem solving requires the ability to identify the problem, gather information, develop a plan and implement the plan. Accountants must be able to think critically and creatively to solve problems.

Problem solving often requires good communication skills. Accountants must be able to explain the problem, gather information and develop a plan with the client. They also need to be able to follow up to make sure the plan is working and to troubleshoot if there are any issues.

How to Improve Your Accounting Problem Solving Skills

1. Understand the basics of accounting If you want to improve your accounting problem solving skills, it is important to have a strong foundation in accounting principles. You should be able to read and understand financial statements, as well as have a working knowledge of payroll, regulatory filings, revenue projections and account reconciliation.

2. Be well-versed in accounting software In order to be an effective problem solver, you need to be well-versed in accounting software. This will allow you to quickly and efficiently find solutions to accounting problems.

3. Stay up-to-date on accounting news and changes It is also important to stay up-to-date on accounting news and changes. This will help you anticipate problems and find solutions more quickly.

4. Be proactive in solving problems When you encounter an accounting problem, it is important to be proactive in solving it. This means taking the time to understand the problem and researching potential solutions.

5. Communicate effectively with your team When you are working on a team, it is important to communicate effectively. This means being clear about what you need from your team members and keeping them updated on your progress.

6. Be organized and efficient When solving accounting problems, it is important to be organized and efficient. This means having a system in place for tracking your progress and keeping your work area tidy.

7. Practice problem solving One of the best ways to improve your accounting problem solving skills is to practice. This can be done by working on practice problems or by taking on small projects in your personal life.

8. Seek out feedback When you are working on solving accounting problems, it is important to seek out feedback. This can be done by asking for feedback from your team members or by seeking out feedback from a mentor.

10 Linguistic Skills and How To Improve Them

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Problem Solving Skills For Accountants

Problem solving skills for accountants are so valuable because businesses are full of problems that need solving – and almost all business problems have some kind of financial impact.

Therefore accountants with problem solving skills are highly valuable.

As a technically proficient accountant you understand many technical solutions to finance problems and issues.

You know what complies with the rules, what is possible and what is not.

However there comes a time when you are faced with problems that are difficult, eiether because they aren’t well-formed, are ambiguous or complex.

Complex problems

These are problems where there is no right answer and the issues span multiple disciplines and departments.

Developing problem-solving skills will set you apart from your colleagues, as you will be able to help solve these complex problems.

For instance, you will be a vital resource for developing the finance function.

You’ll also become a valued partner to other non-financial managers.

You will be able to propose solutions that work for you and them.

You can also ensure that they work within the financial constraints that you understand well.

Understanding business problems

The first step is to understand the problem thoroughly. To examine it from every relevant angle and understand it in context.

This means understanding the business, what is important and what would be right for the business – not just finance.

Lateral thinking for problem solving

Solving a business problem often requires lateral thinking – coming at things from a new perspective.

With your financial and analytical mind you can bring a valuable perspective that your colleagues may lack.

If you are able to develop lateral thinking skills you can make a significant contribution to the debate. Particularly when you use these alongside and combined with your technical and analytical approach.

Creative ideas

Accountants aren’t always noted for their creative thinking. Therefore being able to suspend judgement and think creatively and imaginatively can give you an edge over others. Because this enables you to bring something unique and different to the discussion.

Learning to think creatively can be liberating and fun. But it can also produce some new insights and innovations.

These can make everyone’s lives more productive and set you apart from your colleagues.

Proposing solutions

Having great ideas is one thing, but arguing the case for them and presenting your proposed solutions to your colleagues and decision-makers is another.

Being able to see – and sell – the benefits of a solution requires an insight into the business, your colleagues and the office politics that inevitably exist.

Why are problem solving skills for accountants so important?

Most business problems have a financial dimension and as accountant you have unrivalled expertise.

An accountant who can proactively solve business problems will be a highly valuable asset for any business..

Being a creative problem-solver may not be your natural strength, but these skills can be learnt and developed.

You have a huge opportunity to become a highly valued member of the team if you can develop your problem solving skills.

How are you developing your problem solving skills?

Do you have sufficient understanding of the business to propose solutions that will be accepted, how adept are you at persuading others of the merits of your solution, which of the  other key soft skills for accountants  do you need to develop, discover the seven essential soft skills for accountants download the report now.

problem solving skills in accounting

There are some key soft skills to focus on as your finance career progresses.

Find out which they are by downloading the free report.

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  • The joys of problem solving
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Many accountants enjoy problem solving more than number crunching. So what typical problems can you look forward to cracking at work? Iwona Tokc-Wilde reports

job-satisfaction

Problem solving is something that accountants and finance professionals deal with virtually every working day. In fact, a recent survey by Robert Half shows it is this part of working in the profession that they like best: 41% of accountants say solving problems gives them the most job satisfaction, compared to just 22% who prefer working with numbers.

‘Accountants are usually excellent at dealing with detail and spotting patterns, which makes them good at – and enjoy – problem solving,’ comments Andi Lonnen, founder and director of Finance Training Academy.

If you are at the beginning of your journey into the profession and enjoy tackling problems, you have a head start. Problem solving is also a skill that is one of the 10 most sought-after trainee skills globally (see 'Related links').

Why problem-solving skills are so important

‘The role of accountancy and finance has shifted from a pure focus on fiscal control to one where it has an impact on the business,’ says Phil Sheridan, managing director at Robert Half.

‘The requirement for problem-solving skills is part of this transition as, by mining data and analysing trends, accountants are now translating numbers into actionable insights for the business and are increasingly being seen as strategic partners.’ By putting their data skills and their problem-solving skills to work together, they also help uncover potential areas for concern.

It is vital for accountants in practice to correctly identify, analyse and solve problems too.

‘As trusted advisers, it’s our role to look at everything in detail to pick-up anomalies, patterns and correlations in order to advise our clients on how to take things forward,’ says Shahzad Nawaz of AA Accountants. If they fail to pick up and analyse problems correctly, the accounts could be wrong.

‘This means the business owner would be relying on incorrect data, which could have a detrimental effect on the future of the business. And, of course, if external stakeholders are relying on the data, then we could potentially be misleading them too.’

Incorrect accounts could also have other serious knock-on effects.

‘If the accounting figures are incorrect, then the tax payments relating to the company will be incorrect too. Later on, the client could find themselves with additional tax to pay – with interest,’ says Tanya Addy of BHP Chartered Accountants. 

‘Inaccurate accounting can also land businesses in serious commercial difficulties especially if, as a result, directors/owners have been taking more salary or dividends from the business than they were entitled to. In the worst case scenario, it could even lead to closure of the business.’

Problem solving at work

There are many areas where trainee and new accountants can practise solving problems, depending on the job you are doing.

‘If it’s accountancy, you’ll be looking at helping a business with cash flow, debtors and improving their record-keeping,’ says Nawaz.

At the nitty-gritty level, you will be reconciling control accounts, trying to understand why an account might not be balancing and investigating and clearing old items on reconciliations.

‘The work to balance an account involves finding out what the problem is and then resolving it, for example identifying and correcting transposition errors,’ says Lodden.

If you work in tax, you’ll be involved in advising a client on how much tax they will need to pay (and how much tax they can save) in a particular year.

‘This will require a review of the information provided by the client, such as bank statements and expenses, analysing which expenses incurred are allowable and disallowable for taxation, quantifying the results and communicating them to the client and to tax authorities,’ explains Carolyn Napier, senior ACCA tutor at London School of Business and Finance. 

You will also be dealing with tax implications, and tax cost for both employer and employee, of providing benefits.

‘You will need to ascertain which benefits are taxable and which are tax-free, and then you’ll need to "solve the problem" of which tax or taxes are due and payable, and by what date,’ says Napier.

In industry, you may be given the opportunity to help analyse projects, and communicate your findings to various parts of the business.

‘This is where new and trainee accountants will need to be prepared to utilise their problem-solving skills – noting anomalies and seeking clarification on areas of uncertainly will ensure that a clearer picture can be obtained,’ says Sheridan.

Deborah Adigun-Hameed is an accountant and junior financial analyst at BlueBay Asset Management. By utilising her problem-solving aptitude and skills, she has been involved in major decisions that shape the company she works for.

‘I’ve contributed to key strategic discussions about which market and products are profitable, what we should be selling and how we compare with our competitors,’ says Adigun-Hameed.

‘I may be newly qualified, but my informed opinions and advice are really valued by the management.’

Both in practice and in industry, accountants are also increasingly called upon to help solve technology problems – for example, when a business intends to implement new business software solutions. They help with the evaluation and selection of a solution, and with planning and execution of the implementation process. They also assist in testing the new system and facilitate going live when the system is ready.

Hone your problem-solving skills

Problem solving is about using logic and your technical expertise to assess a situation and to come up with a workable solution. It is connected to other skills such as level-headedness and resilience, analytical skills and good teamworking skills.

It also requires creativity, which is best learnt through collaboration – brainstorming with others to clarify the problem, generate ideas and create as many potential solutions as possible. When putting forward ideas, be confident in your contributions.

‘Everyone, including those newly-qualified, has something to offer,’ says Adigun-Hameed.  ‘Always think outside of the box, as cliché as that may sound. No new idea is insignificant. Innovation can be incremental; change can be small or radical.’

Improving your listening and communication skills will also make you a better problem solver.

‘Learning to communicate well is vital as you need to build rapport with clients. If you have a good rapport with someone, you are confident to ask questions, which is how you can pin down problems and find answers to those problems,’ says Nawaz.

Above all else, getting practical on-the-job experience is how you can get really good at problem solving.

‘The first control account a trainee tends to tackle and perfect is the bank control account; every trainee accountant has had to look for that 1p difference – as painful as that sounds, it certainly helps you learn,’ says Lauren Burt, client manager at EST Accountants and Tax Advisers.

"Everyone, including those newly-qualified, has something to offer. Always think outside of the box, as cliché as that may sound. No new idea is insignificant. Innovation can be incremental; change can be small or radical" Deborah Adigun-Hameed - BlueBay Asset Management

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Problem Solving in Accounting

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accounting department focusing on problem solving

Problem-solving in accounting is a critical skill that can always be improved upon. Master problem-solver and CFO at Musselman & Hall Contractors LLC, Adam Porter, shares his insight and experience with us in the latest episode of CFO Weekly.

What Makes a Great Problem-solver?

adam porter quote

If you know, you know, right? Adam instinctively knew he was a problem-solver when he was younger. Something as simple as going from point A to point B became an opportunity to experiment with which route got him to his destination quicker. And his quest for discovery hasn't stopped.

“If we don’t understand the ‘why’ behind the actions we take, how do we know if we’re really doing the right thing,” Porter said.

To solve is to correct or optimize, and none of us can do that if we don’t first recognize an opportunity to get involved. Problem-solving goes hand in hand with the willingness to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, take an active role in, and see through the potential outcome. Adam empowers each of his team members to become (and grow as) problem-solvers, by recognizing them and their contributions to identifying and solving issues.

Involving people in the problem-solving process and connecting the dots for them, showing them how they make the business a better organism, is how you create more great problem-solvers and amplify your ability to tackle problems as they appear.

Accounting Problem-solving in Action

Accounting problem-solving quote

Problem-solving is a term that gets thrown around in interviews and on resumes quite a bit. When the time comes, real problem-solvers like Adam approach things in a specific way.

System Upgrades

If you’ve navigated a system change and survived to tell the tale, some would say you have superpowers. Upgrading something like an ERP system is a mammoth task, even for a seasoned team of executives. During a project like this, you’re reviewing and possibly amending every single organizational process.

You’re also required to identify how everything you do during this project starts to affect other areas of the business: finance, accounting, HR, IT and so on.

Adam’s own experience with one such project led him through a GL restructure. At the end of a six-month series of efforts, with the support of a Controller whom he had brought it to, Adam succeeded and was able to present information back to the business, which could be used to inform business decisions.

The domino effect: once more information became available, and it was clear how it related to each portion of the business, the people in charge of those respective portions became more engaged and more curious and more willing to work with that information.

Problem-solving is just one of those skills where nobody needs to formally identify the need for it. It’s the problem-solvers who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to apply themselves.

The result is that everybody benefits.

The Problem-solving Process in Accounting

Adam’s very first step in his problem-solving process is to absorb as much information from as many sources as he can. Whether it’s listening to the news every day or speaking with different people inside the business, there’s this ongoing effort to find out more, learn about topical challenges that others might be facing, and use that to drive questions internally about further opportunities to solve problems.

It doesn’t necessarily need to reach the state of being a ‘problem’ to receive attention for optimization. You just need to listen and pay attention to where things might be slower, costing more than usual or requiring manual input from too many people.

Once you have this information, you can gather the right people into the room to start looking at that information, gathering more of it from different sources.

One of the key components of fully resolving any issue is to understand the full scope and depth of its current and future impact: What happens if you leave it alone, or if it gets worse, or if it’s completely resolved? Who gets more time in a day when you resolve something? Whose budget gets some breathing room? Can you reduce the amount of manual input that everybody’s required to give?

Finding the Right People to Solve the Problem in Your Accounting Department

So, once you know what the problem is, you need to get the right people in to solve it.

How do you know who that is? The team behind your solution is critical. As a CFO, you have the responsibility of setting your team up for success when they’re working on solving problems. All execs have this responsibility.

In any organization, cross-functional training is the quickest way to widen perspectives when approaching any problems. If your execs are regularly making time to get down to the operational level, and understand how and why things work a certain way, it becomes so much easier to strategically recommend a resolution when one is needed.

Problem-solving isn’t a one-way road.

Solve the Problem, Not the Symptom

How do you know when you’re solving the right thing? So many times, we see something blatantly creating a bottleneck in an operation and we’ll head right toward that point to clear the blockage. Is that really solving the problem, though?

Most times, it isn’t. Once you clear the blockage, if you don’t look a little deeper or follow it upstream, it’s probably going to reappear not long after you put in all that effort.

Adam explains that sometimes, you already know what the real root cause is, of one or more bottlenecks in the business. Sometimes it’s trial and error. Always, though, it requires you to dig deeper, uncover more detail, more links and connections to other parts of the business operation or the stakeholder network.

Adam goes on to say that getting to the root of the issue can also be achieved by just getting the right people in the room with you. Musselman & Hall Contractors does a great job of this, getting executives together at least once weekly, to just help others on the team evaluate elements, ask more questions, different questions, and gain a different perspective on things that can be missed during the daily routine.

Dealing with Resistance

Resistance is natural. Inertia affects every company in the world to some degree. When problem-solving, it’s likely that this will occur too.

You need to follow the process and listen as much as you convey messages. Cultivate the mindset within your business that someone else learning about your job is a positive thing. Take the time to explain that it’s because a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh mind might ask a different question that can enable you to work faster, reduce manual input, take on more responsibility, and actually achieve a promotion.

The right mindset about problem-solving enables it to benefit everyone on the team. No matter who is working on which problem or when, another major benefit to your business is to thoroughly document your procedures and changes thereto. It enriches the context of every issue that gets identified and resolved now and in the future, creating even greater efficiency for you as time passes.

Overcoming resistance is made possible by including and involving the right people, and enabling regular two-way communication with them through the problem-solving process.

For more interviews from the CFO Weekly podcast, check us out on Apple or Spotify or your favorite podcast player.

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The accounting industry is expanding rapidly, with massive growth projected over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that 142,400 new accounting and auditing jobs will be available by 2024, a growth rate of 11%.

If you're an aspiring accountant, or someone currently working as an accountant, this article will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to be a part of this rapidly evolving profession.

In recent times, the job of an accountant has evolved from just crunching numbers and hard skills to a career requiring soft skills such as strategic thinking and business acumen.

This article outlines the most valuable skills you should seek to develop to succeed as an accountant.

These ten skills are just a few foundational ones that all accountants should master. Make a note of these points and see which ones resonate with you the most.

1. Effective Communication

In the pathway of learning accounting hard skills, most accountants don’t focus much on soft skills such as effective communication. But having good communication skills can help you achieve far more in your accounting career.

Can you effectively communicate with your co-workers and clients? Are there any areas that need work to improve on this skill set? Effective communication is a vital accounting skill required for success. It can be as simple as the ability to use email tools to improve virtual collaboration.

Especially if you’re a startup , you might have to handle a lot of different aspects of your work along with accounting, and good communication skills will help you in more ways than you think.

The ability to communicate well both in person and in writing will help you get new clients, be better at your job, work well with your colleagues, and ultimately advance professionally.

Additionally, well-developed interpersonal skills are helpful for networking . The first impression is often the one that counts. If you can express yourself freely when meeting new people and establish valuable relationships, you have a great advantage.

Your body language and visual communication play an important role as well. As you grow in your career as an accountant, you will regularly face situations where efficient communication can help you leave a lasting impression and help you professionally.

2. Knowledge of Math and Important Software

How well do you perform in math? This is an accounting skill that not many people would think of, but it can be vital to the job. You need to combine mathematical thinking with good IT management skills to effectively make use of the evolving needs in accounting.

For those who are aiming to become senior-level accountants, it is necessary to be proficient in calculus, probability, statistics, and statistical analysis.

Accountants need to be skilled in dealing with numbers to examine and interpret figures. Even if they use a computer to do the more complex calculation, the skill of understanding the basic principles based on which these tools are operating will take you a long way.

Each business process today functions smoothly with the integration of the right tools. You need to be proficient with the software and tools your organization and industry are using.

Strong accounting skills are crucial to succeed in service charge accounting , ensuring accurate financial management and compliance.

For example, integrating inventory management software with the accounting system ensures that every order, purchase, and business activity is captured in the accounting system. It removes the risks of human errors, resulting in more accurate financial reports.

Some of the essential software and programs an accountant needs to be proficient with are:

Microsoft Excel - for the good old traditional accounting

QuickBooks or similar - for advanced and automated

QuickBooks is one of the top accounting software for small businesses. It is used to track expenses, payroll management, and other vital accounting processes.

It is pretty common to find a company using Quickbooks, and an accountant will probably end up working with it. You can compare QuickBooks Pro and premier to see the differences and how to use each version.

But, since many other alternatives to Quickbooks are surfacing very fast, it is necessary to adjust quickly or learn using more than one program. Your job might also require you to use invoice generator tools, so make sure you have a strong grasp of these as well.

3. Use Emotional Intelligence in Your Line of Work

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own and others’ emotions and impact them positively. This particular ability can help an accountant to collaborate, influence, and build trust with colleagues and clients.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is becoming an essential skill. In fact, one study found that emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of job performance, and that 90% of top performers have a high EQ.

An accountant with emotional intelligence can stand out from the crowd and attract new opportunities in his/her career.

Emotional intelligence includes the following abilities:

Self-awareness : The ability to understand oneself, including behavior and emotions.

Self-management and self-regulation : The ability to control emotions and responses.

Self-motivation : The ability to keep oneself motivated, and continuously perform, act, and move toward goals.

Empathy : The ability to feel others’ feelings and relate with them effectively.

4. Learn Persuasion skills

Persuasion is often thought of as the ability to convince others to do what we want. For an accountant, this particular skill can be the ability to gain trust and build a relationship.

Accounting is a highly trust-intensive job and you need to persuade your clients/employer to trust your skills and expertise. It is about self-confidence and the ability to analyze a situation and come up with a plan that people have trust in.

Persuasion can help an accountant in the follows ways:

Control your reputation

Enlist support for controversial decisions

Ensure that accountability is located appropriately

Build alliances that can help you

Help others appreciate your levels of performance

5. Have Great Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills are vital for accountants. Most people may carry the wrong perception that accountants have to deal only with papers and numbers. While in reality, good negotiation skills help you at each step of the career.

Especially if you’re just starting out, good negotiation skills will help you capture the opportunities you deserve. Whether it is an external negotiation with potential clients or internally with co-workers, negotiation skills determine how successful your interactions with others are.

If you think of it, an accountant is negotiating all the time, for example discussing budgets or dealing with banks and clients’ payments. Good use of negotiation skills can secure some of the best long-term relationships.

Here are some of the things that you can do with good negotiation skills:

  • Increase the bottom line
  • Build better relationships
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Enhance communication

6. Knowledge of Data Analysis and Interpretation Skills

Data analysis is the ability to read raw data and present it so that others can easily understand it. Using this, one can draw conclusions and make relevant business decisions.

Each business needs to make data-driven decisions, and it is where data analysis and interpretation skills come into play. Accountants need to work with data to make strategic business decisions and meet client’s demands.

Here are some essential things an accountant can do with data analysis:

Improve business performance : Accountants work in various industries, but each business needs to evaluate its performance and constantly improve it. Accountants can use data analysis to ensure a company is running well, meeting its targets, and constantly improving performance.

Manage risks : Accountants can read data to identify various risk points, and they can use predictive analysis to provide a company with a more clear future.

7. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

You might face new challenges and unexpected errors in your accounting career. Playing with numbers is not so easy, after all. Additionally, an accounting practice may focus more on advisory services for clients. This is why a problem-solving attitude is necessary to perform such a job.

Today’s businesses are looking for problem solvers and not only number-crunchers. They want to have people who can analyze different situations and interpret solutions for them.

Critical thinking is the ability to solve problems, add value to data, interpret trends within a business, and overall take a broader commercial outlook that benefits a company. An accountant with this skill can evaluate complicated situations, consider different options, and reach logical conclusions.

Critical thinking can come naturally to people, or it can be developed over time. Here some tips for developing critical thinking:

Take inputs : Try to question how and why you do things the way you used to do.

Look for opportunities : How can you grow and improve? Consider alternative solutions to solve the problem you encounter in your line of work.

Communication : Talk through your reasoning and conclusions with colleagues each time you can.

Independent mindset : Think outside the box and challenge the current state of affairs. Make well-thought-out decisions. A critical thinker should be logical as well as creative.

Knowledge : Improve your knowledge by keeping an open mind for new things. There is always something new to learn that can help to solve problems.

8. Leadership, Management, and Supervisory Abilities

As much as these qualities are self-explanatory, there’s a need to have them ingrained in your work right from the start. Even if you’re just starting your career in accounting, good leadership skills will put you in a position to grow.

Leadership involves a series of skills and qualities, such as:

Organization skills : An accountant needs to manage many tasks and responsibilities and have excellent team management skills . One has to set deadlines, follow them, and, if necessary, use software to manage different tasks like handling transactions, creating reports, and more.

Time-management skill : You need to know the most important things to do for every task in hand, prioritize tasks, and work accordingly.

Adaptability: Industries and technologies are changing and evolving. You have to be able to adapt quickly. An accountant handles different types of clients and accounts, and adaptability helps you make specific decisions for each of them.

Initiative: Part of leadership is to take the initiative and be able to work without supervision while at the same time show you can supervise other people. An accountant has to be able to work with a team and guide them on the way forward.

You might handle the complete finance and accounting department of your organization going forward. Strong leadership skills will prepare you for the journey.

9. Teamwork or Interpersonal Communication Skills (Especially with Clients)

Being an accountant is not anymore just about reporting and working independently on sheets. With businesses becoming more complex, the need to communicate with other accounting departments or even interact with clients to explain accounting insights is rising.

Today, businesses want a strong involvement of the accountant in business processes and decision-making. In fact, they are required to analyze raw data and advise a business decision. As an accountant, you must develop a set of skills that help you in better team management and collaboration like clear communication skills, empathy, and problem-solving.

But, above all, it is vital to work and collaborate with other people within and outside your organization. You have to understand business situations, understand the other party’s needs, and deliver on them. It may involve working with other departments and collaborating with new people on each task.

What are the common challenges of working with other departments? It involves a set of skills to deal with departments with different priorities, people with different personalities, and maybe deal with conflicts between people.

Part of developing a successful skill teamwork to establish and maintain a credible and trusting partnership with colleagues in other departments so that everyone can work on common goals.

10. Attention to Detail

As an accountant, you have a huge financial responsibility on your shoulder. Strong attention to detail will help you avoid mistakes and errors.

It minimizes errors in accounting which could lead to audits and investigations by government agencies. Even a tiny mistake can multiply and lead to significant consequences.

When there are many tasks at hand that you need to work on and even delegate, consider using task management software to effectively track work for your team and for yourself.

Attention to detail is not a natural skill for everyone; yet it is one of the most crucial skills to your success in accounting. The key is to stay as organized as possible.

You could use a note-taking app to help you remember tasks, remove distractions, and do one task at a time. Improving focus can help becoming more detail-oriented and avoid mistakes.

An accountant needs many skills to be successful. It is not just about numbers and correct report formats anymore.

It is necessary to have interpersonal skills such as communication and working with other people, leadership, and attention to detail.

The above points are the most important to focus on for a successful accounting career. Use these and climb the ladder of success in your accounting journey. Good luck!

About the Author

Monica a self-driven person and loves to spend her leisure time reading interesting books that come her way. She is passionate about writing and collecting new books. She believes in hard work and it is her persistence that keeps her doing better. She is a perfectionist and doesn’t let go off things that don’t appear perfect to her. She loves traveling whenever she needs time off of her busy schedule. Her favorite holiday destination is Hawaii.

Continue to: Self-Motivation Writing a Business Case

See also: Managing Money: Budgeting The Skills You Need to Build a Career in Finance

12 Professional Accountant Skills: Definition and Examples

An accountant is a professional who performs financial record-keeping, reporting, and analysis. The skills required to be a successful accountant include financial literacy, attention to detail, analytical skills, and communication skills.

Professional Accountant Resume Example

Professional Accountant Skills

Financial analysis, forecasting, financial reporting, cash management, risk management, estate planning, retirement planning.

The ability to correctly prepare and file tax returns is an important skill for any professional accountant. This skill is needed in order to ensure that an organization or individual pays the correct amount of tax, and to avoid any penalties for incorrect filings.

Accounting is the process of recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions to provide information that is useful in making business decisions. It is a critical function in any organization, and professional accountants are in high demand.

Most organizations require at least one professional accountant on staff, and many larger organizations have multiple accountants. As businesses become more complex and globalized, the need for qualified accountants is only expected to grow.

To be a successful professional accountant, you need to have strong math skills and be able to use accounting software. You also need to be detail-oriented and able to work independently.

Auditing is the process of examining an organization's financial records to ensure they are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations. Professional accountants need auditing skills to be able to perform this important task.

Financial analysis is the process of evaluating a company's financial statements in order to make better economic decisions. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare a company's financials to other companies in its industry, or to the overall market. Financial ratios can be used to identify trends, assess risk, and compare a company's financials to its competitors.

Budgeting is a critical skill for professional accountants because it allows them to effectively manage an organization's finances. A well-crafted budget can help an organization to control its spending, track its progress towards financial goals, and make informed decisions about where to allocate its resources.

Forecasting is a skill that professional accountants need in order to be able to predict future financial outcomes. This skill is important because it can help businesses make decisions about where to allocate their resources. Forecasting can also help businesses avoid financial difficulties in the future.

Financial reporting is the process of communicating financial information to stakeholders, such as shareholders, investors, and creditors. Financial reports typically include balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. Financial reporting is important because it helps stakeholders make informed decisions about investing in, or lending to, a company.

Cash management is the process of managing a company's cash flow. It includes activities such as cash receipts, disbursements, and financing. A company needs to have enough cash on hand to meet its obligations, but it also needs to invest its excess cash in order to earn a return. Cash management is a balancing act between these two objectives.

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing risks. It is important for professional accountants to be able to identify and manage risks because they can impact the financial statements and cause errors in the accounting records.

The ability to understand and interpret insurance policies is an important skill for professional accountants. This is because insurance can have a significant impact on a company's financial statements. For example, if a company has a large amount of insurance coverage, it may need to set aside money in reserves in case of a claim. If a company does not have enough insurance, it may be at risk of financial ruin if it faces a major liability claim. Therefore, professional accountants need to be able to understand insurance policies in order to advise their clients on how much coverage they need and how it will affect their financial statements.

Estate planning is the process of organizing and managing your assets in preparation for your death. This includes creating a will, trusts, and other financial planning tools to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you die.

Retirement planning is the process of figuring out how much money you will need to have saved up in order to live comfortably after you retire. This includes factors such as how long you expect to live, what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain, and how much income you will need to cover your basic expenses.

You need retirement planning because it can be difficult to save enough money on your own to cover all of your costs in retirement. A retirement planner can help you figure out how much you need to save and give you guidance on how to best invest your money so that it grows over time.

How to improve professional accountant skills

The role of the professional accountant is constantly evolving. As businesses become more complex and the regulatory environment more challenging, the skills required of accountants are also changing. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your skills up-to-date and improve as a professional accountant:

1. Stay current with changes in accounting standards. New accounting standards are issued regularly, so it is important to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. You can do this by reading accounting journals and attending conferences and seminars.

2. Develop your technical skills. As businesses become more complex, so do the accounting and financial reporting requirements. To keep up, you need to develop your technical skills in areas such as financial statement analysis, taxation and auditing.

3. Enhance your soft skills. In addition to technical skills, employers are also looking for accountants with strong soft skills such as communication, problem solving and project management. These skills are essential in today’s business environment where accountants often have to work in cross-functional teams.

4. Keep up with technology. Technology is changing the way we do business and the way we communicate. As an accountant, you need to be comfortable using technology and be able to use it to your advantage. For example, you may want to learn how to use data analytics tools to improve your decision making or use social media to build relationships with clients and colleagues.

5. Be a lifelong learner. The best way to improve as an accountant is to continuously learn throughout your career. This means keeping up-to-date with changes in the profession but also expanding your knowledge by taking on new challenges and learning new things.

How to highlight professional accountant skills

When you are looking for a job as a professional accountant, you will want to make sure that your resume highlights your skills in the field. Here are some tips on how to do this: -Make sure to list your accounting experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent position. -Be sure to include details about your responsibilities in each role, and highlight any accomplishments or successes. -If you have any specialized training or education in accounting, be sure to mention it. -If you are a certified public accountant (CPA), be sure to list that information as well. By following these tips, you can be sure that your resume will showcase your skills and experience as a professional accountant, and help you land the job you want.

On a resume

When listing your professional accountant skills on a resume, be sure to include both your technical and soft skills. Your technical skills should highlight your ability to use accounting software, while your soft skills should demonstrate your customer service and communication abilities. Be sure to list any relevant certifications or licenses you hold as well.

In a cover letter

When writing a cover letter as a Professional Accountant, be sure to highlight your skills in accounting and finance. In addition, emphasize your ability to manage projects and teams, as well as your experience in the industry. Be sure to detail how your skills can benefit the company you are applying to and why they should consider you for the position.

During an interview

When you are interviewing for a position as a professional accountant, be sure to highlight your skills in accounting and finance. Be sure to discuss your experience in preparing financial statements, managing budgets, and working with clients. Also, be sure to discuss your education and training in accounting and finance. Finally, be sure to discuss your personal qualities that make you a good fit for the position, such as your attention to detail, your ability to work independently, and your strong communication skills.

Related Career Skills

  • Professional Services Consultant
  • Professional Driver
  • Professional Nurse
  • Professional Tutor
  • Professional Engineer
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  3. Advance Your Accounting Career with these 3 Problem-Solving Skills

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  4. Accounting Skills

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  5. Problem Solving for Accountants

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  1. Chapter # 7 problem # 1 principles of accounting part 2

  2. Accounting Skills

  3. ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES & ASSUMPTIONS

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  6. Skills for a Successful Accountant

COMMENTS

  1. Accountants as Problem Solvers

    One soft skill that can help prepare accounting students for their careers is problem solving. Management accountants need to be able to work cross-functionally to solve problems and provide meaningful analyses.

  2. Top Skills Needed To Become An Accountant

    Preparing and Reporting on Financial Statements Financial statements are the bread and butter of accounting firms and business operations. Knowledge of how to prepare and report on financial...

  3. How to Solve Accounting Problems Efficiently: 6 Steps and Tips

    Learn how to improve your accounting problem solving skills and efficiency by following these 6 steps and tips. Find out how to identify, choose, apply, review, learn, and practice.

  4. Problem-Solving Skills for Accounting Auditors

    Problem-solving skills are essential for accounting auditors, who need to examine financial records, identify errors or fraud, and recommend solutions. Auditing is a complex and dynamic...

  5. 10 Accounting Problem Solving Skills and How To Improve Them

    10 Accounting Problem Solving Skills and How To Improve Them - CLIMB Career Development 10 Accounting Problem Solving Skills and How To Improve Them Discover 10 Accounting Problem Solving skills along with some of the best tips to help you improve these abilities. Career Insights Published Aug 12, 2022

  6. Problem Solving Skills For Accountants

    Solving a business problem often requires lateral thinking - coming at things from a new perspective. With your financial and analytical mind you can bring a valuable perspective that your colleagues may lack. If you are able to develop lateral thinking skills you can make a significant contribution to the debate.

  7. How Problem Solving Skills Prevent Accounting Mistakes

    Problem solving skills are essential for Accounting professionals who deal with complex and dynamic financial data on a daily basis. Mistakes in Accounting can have serious consequences...

  8. The joys of problem solving

    Problem solving is also a skill that is one of the 10 most sought-after trainee skills globally (see 'Related links'). Why problem-solving skills are so important 'The role of accountancy and finance has shifted from a pure focus on fiscal control to one where it has an impact on the business,' says Phil Sheridan, managing director at Robert Half.

  9. 5 soft skills that every accountant needs

    As businesses adopt new technologies, working practices will inevitably change and so accounting and finance professionals with problem-solving skills will increase in demand. For contract and interim accountants this is a great opportunity to work in different businesses who need problem-solving skills in order to help them effectively work on ...

  10. Problem Solving in Accounting

    February 4, 2022 Mimi Torrignton Problem-solving in accounting is a critical skill that can always be improved upon. Master problem-solver and CFO at Musselman & Hall Contractors LLC, Adam Porter, shares his insight and experience with us in the latest episode of CFO Weekly. What Makes a Great Problem-solver? If you know, you know, right?

  11. Skills You Need to Succeed in Accounting

    7. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills. You might face new challenges and unexpected errors in your accounting career. Playing with numbers is not so easy, after all. Additionally, an accounting practice may focus more on advisory services for clients. This is why a problem-solving attitude is necessary to perform such a job.

  12. 7 Essential Accounting Skills and How To Improve Them

    Technical skills also involve critical thinking, attention to detail and problem-solving as you record and evaluate financial reports, apply accounting practices and identify solutions. For example, you can use technical skills to prepare and file taxes and compute and analyze financial data using spreadsheets and other tools.

  13. 12 Skills Accountants Need for Workplace Success

    1. Organization Accountants must be organized to meet deadlines and follow strict reporting guidelines. Every assignment involves various documentations, and staying organized helps you track important paperwork. Organizational skills also help accountants attend to multiple clients and manage the finances of many departments within a company. 2.

  14. 11 Accounting Skills To List on Your Resume (With Samples)

    They include hard skills such as understanding generally accepted accounting principles, mathematical comprehension and data analysis. It also includes soft skills such as attention to detail, critical thinking and problem-solving.

  15. Critical thinking in accounting education: Status and call to action

    Definition: CPAs draw on strong problem-solving and decision-making skills, including the ability to utilize technology and data analytics. CPAs capacity for analytical and integrative thought enables them to identify important issues, use evidence and analytics to thoroughly and objectively evaluate alternatives, apply appropriate decision criteria, and develop implementation and change ...

  16. 12 Professional Accountant Skills: Definition and Examples

    The skills required to be a successful accountant include financial literacy, attention to detail, analytical skills, and communication skills. Use this template Professional Accountant Skills Tax Accounting Auditing Financial analysis Budgeting Forecasting Financial reporting Cash management Risk management Insurance Estate planning

  17. Accounting Resume Skills List: 9+ Examples

    Reconcile our accounting resume skills list against your own accounting skills, read our certified professional resume writing tips, and get a great accountant job. ... Analytical and problem solving skills; Build My Resume. Our free-to-use resume builder can make you a resume in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our ...

  18. Do, reflect, think, apply: Experiential education in accounting

    As accounting educators respond to the profession's demand for students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, 2 experiential education can facilitate this learning. The challenge, however, is understanding the transformative features of experiential education and knowing how to incorporate those teaching methods in the classroom.

  19. 7 Problem-Solving Skills That Can Help You Be a More ...

    1. Analysis As a manager, you'll solve each problem by assessing the situation first. Then, you'll use analytical skills to distinguish between ineffective and effective solutions. 2. Communication Effective communication plays a significant role in problem-solving, particularly when others are involved.

  20. How to Solve Problems as an Accounting Manager

    Problem-solving skills are essential for accounting managers, who need to deal with complex financial data, multiple stakeholders, and changing regulations. In this article, we will explore some ...

  21. Enhancing accounting students' problem-solving skills: the use of a

    Enhancing accounting students' problem-solving skills: the use of a hands-on conceptual model in an active learning environment. Beth B. Kern. Pages 235 ... from an assessment instrument indicate that students who use the model in an active learning environment show enhanced problem-solving skills over that which can be attained in a lecture ...

  22. Accountancy Skills: Definition, Examples and How to Improve

    Problem-solving. An accountant can analyse a situation, identify potential issues and evaluate solutions. For example, they can use problem-solving skills to address transactional errors in accounting records. They may also use these skills to handle bank reconciliation challenges. Related: Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop ...

  23. 5 Accounting Problem Solving Skills

    Positive Attitude Skill You should have the positive attitude for solving the accounting problem. Every accounting problem can be easily solved if you define it, collect the information relating to it and analyze it. But doing all these, you have the attitude of "Yes, I can solve the problem of accounting."

  24. What Does an Accounts Receivable Clerk Do? (With Salary and Skills

    Proficiency in accounting software. Technology plays an instrumental role in today's accounting sphere. As such, being proficient in using financial or accounting software greatly complements your role as an accounts receivable clerk. Problem-solving abilities

  25. BOSS Recruitment sxm on Instagram: "We are seeking a dedicated and

    0 likes, 0 comments - boss_recruitment_sxm on February 9, 2024: "We are seeking a dedicated and detail-oriented Accounting Clerk to join our client, a large resor ...