11 skills you need for bookkeeping and accounting jobs

AccountingConsidering a career in finance? Not sure about the required skills for this field? Today I’m pointing out 11 skills you need for bookkeeping or accounting jobs and I trust that many of you considering moving into the finance field will find this information useful.

1. Attention to detail and accuracy: It doesn’t matter if you’re keeping the books for a small business or finalizing the statements for a big corporate giant, you have to pay attention to detail and you have to be accurate. Keying in one zero too many, allocating an amount to the wrong account on your books or not balancing your final statement will not please your employer / client.

2. Good planning and organizational skills: You have to be aware of deadlines that your employer / clients set for you and of deadlines for VAT and Tax Return submissions. You need to be able to plan your week / month / year ahead and be organized in the way that you work.

3. Strong communication skills: Accountants and bookkeepers need to present information in a professional and understandable manner, so being able to communicate is essential. Depending on the size of the organization, you will also be required to work in a team and communicate with them. You need to be able to express yourself concisely, but you also need to be a good listener and good at asking questions.

4. Information and task monitoring: You have to be aware of the information that you need to present to your employer / clients and also regularly monitor the tasks you are busy with, so you don’t lose track of what you’re doing and look like a complete idiot.

5. Administrative skills to monitor financial data and interpret financial policies and procedures: This particular skill applies to bookkeepers. They need to be good with admin, be able to monitor financial transactions going in and out and make sure that financial policies are being adhered to.

6. Computer skills: In the old days bookkeeping and accounting used to be done by hand writing down amounts and figures, but like almost every other profession on earth this has mostly been modernized and computerized. You need computer skills to be a bookkeeper or an accountant. Knowledge of accounting packages like Pastel, Quicken and TurboCash will count in your favor.

7. Coordinating skills to organize and maintain financial records: This mostly applies to bookkeepers. You need to be on top of your game when it comes to filing and storing records, slips and other forms of proof of transactions for your client / employer.

8. Problem analysis: This skill mostly applies to wannabe accountants. You need to be able to identify a problem if you find an irregularity in the system.

9. Judgment and problem solving: This is another skill required to be an accountant. After you’ve identified and analyzed a problem, you need to make a judgement call and solve it.

10. Supervisory skills: This mostly applies to accountants, but could also apply if you’re in charge of a whole bookkeeping team. You need to able to make sure that everyone in your team does their part, so that the accounting / bookkeeping process is not counter-productive and that it runs like a well-oiled machine.

11. Stress tolerance: Dealing with financial data in the bookkeeping and accounting professions could prove to be very stressful, so you need to be able to work under pressure and know how to handle stress to survive.

Well, there you have it, 11 skills you need for bookkeeping and accounting jobs. Any other skills that you feel need to be added to this list? Leave a comment and let us know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Yesterday we pointed out the differences between accounting jobs and bookkeeping jobs, so familiarize yourself with this topic if you haven’t done so already.

Are you already qualified as a bookkeeper or accountant? Check out Job Mail for the latest accounting jobs.

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3 Responses

  1. Achmat says:


  2. Achmat says:

    I would love become a bookkeeper but at grade 8 I had to go and work for my parents,I WANT ADVISE

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