If you are considering a job in business accounting, you’ll need to know what skills are beneficial to a corporate accountant. Corporate accounting is a specific branch of the accounting field that works with companies to handle duties such as the preparation of cash flow statements, analysis of accounts and consolidation of balance sheets, among various other tasks. Dealing with the financial aspects of a company, whether large or small, requires a great deal of responsibility and knowledge in several areas. Here’s a look at the kinds of competencies expected of corporate accountants.
An Understanding of Business
Because corporate accountants work for a business, it’s important that they have a general understanding of how businesses function. As a corporate accountant, you’ll likely fill various roles associated with your position and will need to interact with many departments within the organization. Therefore, a firm grasp on decision-making, negotiation and critical thinking capabilities is required. It’s also imperative that you understand how your position functions within the organization and how your work affects other departments within the company.
Communication is an important skill for accountants in the corporate sector. Not only do you need to communicate with other departments within your company, you’ll also be tasked with explaining the numbers involved in your daily work to your supervisor, clients and other key stakeholders. The ability to communicate in jargon-free language, that gets your message across to people of all backgrounds and familiarity with corporate accounting, is critical. This can be trickier than it seems.
Required communication skills also includes presentation and writing skills. You should expect that you will need to speak and participate in meetings, as well as possibly have opportunities to present materials to large audiences. You should also be prepared to write frequently, as you will be composing emails, preparing executive summaries, and documenting processes and procedures. There is no substitute for the ability to make yourself understood across platforms and audiences.
Information Technology Proficiency
As a corporate accountant, you will be working a great deal with different types of technology. Modern accountants must be proficient in the use of specific financial software like QuickBooks and Hyperion, as well as general spreadsheet and office software. With the rapidly changing technology of today’s world, you will also be expected to quickly learn new technologies, as needed.
Customer Service Aptitude
Though corporate accountants may not serve customers directly, a customer service framework is beneficial when accommodating the needs of the various departments of your company. Taking the time to listen to managers and colleagues with a positive attitude will serve you well in understanding and meeting their needs, ensuring a positive and productive work experience overall. This is especially important during times of high stress, such as during a company audit, financial reporting period, or other peak business times.
Corporate accountants fill many roles and interact with different people in an organization. Therefore, it is important that they not only understand the numbers and calculations required, but also possess excellent communication and business acumen skills.