The accounting and finance industries continue to evolve from the days when the main focus for candidates was on good math skills. Even though traditional accounting knowledge is still a prerequisite, people who excel in these careers typically share a variety of additional hard and soft skills. Receiving a college degree in this field might be a good start, but recruiters are looking for candidates who are prepared to professionally interact with other people as well. Here are some of the top skills needed to succeed in accounting and finance.

Organizational Skills

Having exceptional organizational skills is just one of the common denominators that accounting and finance professionals share. Since most accountants have an abundance of responsibilities, they need to have efficient systems in place for keeping track of all of their duties. They also face strict deadlines on a regular basis, so time management is paramount. Accountants rely on everything from calendars and day planners to apps and programs to stay organized.


Modern accounting and finance also requires its workers to stay proficient in the use of technology. A growing number of financial institutions are using accounting automation and finance-specific software for employees to operate. Some other accounting tech skills that are in demand include: Advanced Excel ability, ERP experience, expertise in big data analysis, advanced modeling techniques and SQL, knowledge of business intelligence software, Microsoft Visual Basic capability, aptitude with Hyperion, Microsoft Visual Basic skills, and knowledge of QuickBooks.


Rising to the top of this industry also requires confidence, patience, strategic thinking, and long-term planning. Many of the top leaders have found a way to balance being the person in charge while still being part of the team by making themselves approachable and available to the people that they are responsible for. Finance is one of the most competitive industries around. The most successful people have reputations for bringing in new clients and retaining those that they already have. It takes exceptional communication and customer service skills to accomplish these things. It all starts with a positive attitude and then truly listening to the needs and concerns of clients.


Some final reasons why many people succeed in finance and accounting are their specialized experience and ability to adapt to change. Since the rules and regulations, technology, etc. surrounding the industry are frequently changing, those who assume a more proactive approach will thrive. Adaptable people are willing to learn and grow their skills along the way, and they view overcoming new obstacles as opportunities for potential growth.


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