Top three skills to perfect in 2023

content 2023 skills

The role of the accountant continues to expand significantly, meaning that the desired skills sets required are constantly evolving.

The skills required in 2023 will vary, depending on specific job titles, sector and company size, but there are a number of core skills that will be crucial this year.

Knowledge

One such skill is a firm grasp on general business knowledge.

The accountancy department is increasingly required to communicate with other departments, so it is important to get a firm handle on what other teams do, in order to make your relationship more conducive.

Trainees with a strong sense of business acumen can help develop company strategy, communicate important decisions and act as business partners across a range of departments.

Technology

Likewise, an up-to-date expertise in technology is crucial as accountants constantly face new ways of working.

Look to become efficient – or at least grasp a firm working understanding – of the leading accountancy software packages. Depending on the size of your employer, a number of packages will be most commonly used, possibly including Sage Business Cloud, Quickbooks, Excel, SAP, Oracle and Hyperion.

Consider asking your line manager what kind of technology development the company would support to sharpen your accounting technology skills, or consider enrolling on an evening or weekend class. Being tech proficient will boost your career prospects and impress your manager or potential employer.


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Communication

Trainees and fully qualified accountants increasingly need to be able to communicate the back story attached to the numbers, particularly to colleagues in other departments less familiar with financial expertise.

Spoken and written communication skills are critical for when you will have to present information about the business in ways that can be understood by others less financially minded. The insight you can share will be of no use to colleagues if you cannot communicate to them in a clearly understood way.

Try not to use too much jargon, avoid using too much detail and listen to the concerns and questions they may ask you.

‘A lot of larger companies ideally look for qualified professionals or those looking to complete their qualifications,’ says Luci Parkins, recruitment consultant at Morgan McKinley. ‘Previously, it was common that many larger employers only considered those with first time passes and no exam fails. This is no longer being seen as such an important factor and many are now looking at those with failures, especially in high-demand positions.

‘As a trainee it is important to get as much exposure as you can and ensure you are learning and developing your career. You will need to develop technical and soft skills, so it is essential to keep up to date with changes in the industry and continue to learn new aspects.’

Author: Alex Miller, writer


More information

This article was first published in Student Accountant in December 2022 | Get the SA app now

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