If you’ve graduated with a degree in Accounting, there is no doubt that you know accounting principles like the back of your hand. You surely know your way around MS Excel and how to balance a sheet in a snap. However, those skills are not the only ones you need to become a successful accountant.
Let’s talk about additional ways to improve accounting skills so you can go above and beyond for your company or clients.
Relevant Accounting Skills
Accounting is not just about numbers. To do your job well as an accountant in today’s fast-paced digital world, you need a plethora of skills that are not directly related to accounting. Both hard and soft skills, some from other fields, will help you better understand what your clients need and present your analyses better. Consider learning and growing the following skillsets:
- Knowledge of Accounting Software
- Data and Analytics
- Business Knowledge
- Customer Service Orientation
- Industry Regulatory Knowledge
- Communication and Presentation Skills
- Problem-Solving and Adaptability
How to Improve Accounting Skills?
Accounting is at the core of business operations. As a highly technical field, it is competitive. It evolves, too, as the world does, especially concerning technology. Thus, accountants need to keep up with the changing tools and best practices.
Here’s how busy accountants can improve their skills and knowledge:
Set Your Goals or Determine What Skills to Focus On
Accounting is quite diverse—your knowledge and skillset differ based on the industry you work in. So, experts from different fields may tell you to prioritize different skillsets. Decide for yourself, based on your specialization or targeted specialization, which skills to work on.
Once you have decided, focus on that skill first. Consider creating a timeline or plan with milestones to keep your progress organized. A goal will help you stay motivated, too.
Watch Video Tutorials
YouTube is perhaps the top free learning platform today. Many accounting experts share tips and tutorials on how to use software like QuickBooks there for free. YouTube is not alone, though.
Video tutorials are a great place to start when learning new skills, particularly technical skills like using new accounting software or applying data analytics in accounting. Use these free tutorials to test a skill’s compatibility with your goals and, eventually, as jumping off point for formal postgraduate education.
Take Online Short Courses
If you want a deeper dive into specific topics or skills, consider enrolling in short courses. Short courses in finance and accounting tackle foundational knowledge and skills that you can build on to accelerate your career.
There are also short courses for specific skills, such as data analysis and industry regulations. Find an accredited provider like OEd Post Grad so you receive a certificate that you can add to your CV.
Online short courses are the go-to method for professionals who want to expand their skills efficiently.
Continue Your Education
We cannot talk about how to improve accounting knowledge without discussing pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree.
Compared with an online short program which is likely targeted to hone specific skills, postgraduate degrees are more comprehensive. They are geared toward deepening your knowledge of accounting and your analytical abilities.
Postgraduate programs, however, require a higher degree of dedication. On average, a postgraduate program takes two years of full-time study, and it can take longer for part-time students. Do note, though, that you’ll gain a significant return on your investment once you complete your program.
Find a Mentor
A mentor—whether at work, an association, or your school—can guide you through your professional life. Find a trusted senior in the field and build a relationship with them.
Reach out to them to ask for informal feedback about your work. You could also ask for tips on how you can grow as a professional or achieve your goals.
After all, experience is among the best teachers, and the wisest of them all combines decades of personal experience in the industry, accounting, or otherwise, with new knowledge and skills.
Keep Up-to-Date on Industry Regulations and Other Developments
Part of your job as an accountant is ensuring compliance with various regulations, which vary from industry to industry. As a rule of thumb, assume that these regulations change every few years. Likewise, new technologies emerge.
As an accountant, you need to keep up with these developments. Staying updated on industry regulations is a basic requirement for you to do your job. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with new technologies will help you perform your role better.
Updated knowledge is, furthermore, sure to give you a boost in your workplace. Being able to engage in discussions about developments in your field illustrates your commitment to learning and your job.
You can improve your accounting knowledge by simply reading the news related to accountancy and your field of practice.
Branch Out to Related Skills
Over the years, you may have noticed that accounting also requires skills from other fields, such as presentation skills, business acumen, and customer service.
Skills like these are not directly related to accounting, but they will supplement your knowledge—present your data efficiently with better presentation skills, inform your analyses with proficient knowledge of business intelligence, and communicate better with clients through customer service orientation.
With these abilities, you can position yourself as a well-rounded accountant.
Join a Professional Association
Affiliation with a professional association is another great way to improve your accounting skills and knowledge. Networking with fellow professionals opens opportunities to enrich your experience.
You can engage in discussions, join lectures and short courses, and possibly find a mentor in an association. Through these events, you’ll be updated on the latest developments in your field, as well as learn of various opportunities to help you advance your career.
Networking is a crucial element in any professional’s growth, including accountants.
Become a Better Accountant with OEd Post Grad
The fact that you’re curious about how to improve your accounting skills is proof that you’re on the right path. Accounting is a meticulous and competitive field that requires continuous learning.
Learning new skills and acquiring certifications or degrees is crucial for advancing your career. But, more importantly, they prepare you to face unique challenges throughout your career.
With these tips, you can expand your abilities and knowledge without additional burden on your professional life. Online Post Grad provides online short courses to help accountants refine their skills while fulfilling their job responsibilities.
Contact us today to discuss your potential learning path.