An accountant is one of the most important pillars in organizations or companies. It seems to be a common profession that has close connections to the numbers. But in reality, it has such a core function in every business that can make or break it.
So, what are the responsibilities of the accountant in a company? Before going further, it is important to understand the basics first.
Defining the Accountant
An accountant is a term that refers to a trained and professional person who is responsible for managing the financial records of an individual, company, or organization. Accountants can have a wider array of responsibilities including finance-related tasks for larger businesses or individuals.
Accountants are often mistakenly appointed as “bookkeepers”. Many parties have used both terms interchangeably while in fact, those are different roles.
Bookkeepers only focus on financial transactions. Meanwhile, the accountant goes beyond it to the financial information and records interpretation.
In the professional world, a CPA – certified public accountant has passed the particular exam and met the licensing requirements. So, all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.
Accounting is the activities of the accountant which can be relevant to various job titles and roles in the organizations. We mentioned Public Accountants before. These are actually one of the main types of accountants.
There are three types of accountants:
• Public Accountants
• Management Accountants
• Government Accountants
Each of these types has its own distinctive roles but the responsibilities are very common.
When it comes to the duties, the setlist can be different depending on the niche of the business, size of the company, the category of the industry, and many other factors. Here are the common responsibilities of an accountant:
• Inspecting the financial documents
• Check the compliance of the financial records and documents towards laws and regulations
• Managing the accurate financial reports of the company
• Preparing the tax returns documentation
• Ensure the taxation is conducted properly in the company
• Inspecting the financial operations within the organizations
• Provide suggestions on the best practices
• Addressing the financial issues and propose solutions to help the organizations to operate with sensible operational costs
• Proposing the financial strategies for cost-saving, revenues increases, and productivity
• Analyze the risks
Skills of Accountant
For some folks, the accountant responsibilities can weigh tons so overwhelming. Well, an accountant is not everyone’s job. People who are interested in this job should have good enough reasons to proceed. “Salary” alone is not enough drive for choosing this career path.
Since the main job of an accountant is to keep their client’s financial records compliant with the laws, it requires abundant soft skills to make sure the process smooth and well.
There are some crucial skills that the accountant need to have:
Crunching numbers will be a daily task of accounting professionals. Amongst the numbers, there are many slits and risks. Missing a tiny detail can lead to messes and one will need to redo the work from scratch.
Therefore, it is important for the accountant to pay serious attention to the details to ensure that the financial information of their client is precise and accurate.
Depending on the size of the company, the amount of financial data can be the most daunting task to overcome. The huge data is there and it can be easy to make some mistakes.
Detailing is a very important skill for accounting professionals. The fate of the company can rely on this.
Understanding how the business works
With such increasing competition in every industry, it has become more crucial for accountants to be savvy in the business premises. An accountant must be able to comprehend the functions of the business they particularly work on.
Each industry might have different data so that it is important to focus on the particular business acumen in order to successfully interpret the financial data. In the soft skills list, you will see that one of the most frequent requirements in recruitment is “business acumen ”. If some businesses are strange to the particular accountants, it is their responsibility to do their own research and equip themselves with a strong foundation of business knowledge.
Accounting software skills
The uses of accounting software and computer tools are obligatory for modern professional accountants. There is no way to avoid using these in the professional world. That’s why it is very important for accounting professional candidates to have good marks in computer literacy.
If you are interested in being an accountant, it is important to improve your computer literacy skills to stay relevant in the competition. More and more companies are moving towards digital transformation. So, there is no reason to stick to paper bookkeeping.
The financial data collected in the company is raw. It won’t be meaningful without the analysis from the accounting professionals. In fact, a huge part of the duties for the accounting department is the financial data collection and analysis. Data analytic has been more relevant for modern industries now than ever.
Communication skills are the foundation of everything. An accountant should be able to articulate the meaning of the data to their clients, managers, and stakeholders. And more often, the languages that they are using must be different when their recipients come from different departments or divisions.
Besides sending the messages, the professional accountant should also be good at receiving the message. You need to be a good listener who can absorb the information to gather accurate facts and figures to be shared with your clients.
Clarity in the communication will be the key to all business premises.
One doesn’t have to be a master of mathematics to be an accountant. But there are levels of math skills that are necessary for this job.
The moderate level of math skills can be relevant to the daily tasks of the accountant including comparing, analyzing, as well as interpreting the data.