3 Things All Accountants Should Know

Published on: 19 Jan 2016

If you’re thinking about a career in accounting, you’re probably wondering what skills and knowledge are essential to the kinds of roles you hope to enter. Here are three topics all accountants must be comfortable with, whatever role they’re in.

1. Basic accounting concepts

All final accounts preparation must follow some basic accounting concepts. This is to ensure that, regardless of who prepares the accounts, the figures will be the same.

One of these basic concepts is prudence. This requires that accounting professionals exercise caution and good judgement when estimating the value of assets and liabilities. This prevents profitability from being misreported for the benefit of the company.

Another basic concept is matching, which obliges companies to report expenses in the period they are incurred, and in the same period as related revenues. This means that expenses can be accurately matched up to the revenue they generate.

2. Changing tax rules

Tax rules are constantly changing and, when completing tax returns each year, it is important that you are using the most up-to-date tax information. This spans a great deal of knowledge, from tax income limits and the items that are taxable, to the rate of tax due.

3. Internal and external customer service

You might not have related accounting and customer service before, but they are closely inter-linked. Accountants provide a service, either to the clients whose accounts they are producing, or the company they work for. This means that, whether they work for a firm or in-house, or even if they’re self-employed, accountants almost always work in customer-facing roles.

The service accountants provide isn’t purely technical, but involves being able to give clients and other professionals the right information in a way that’s useful and timely.

Knowledge in each of these areas will be developed through the qualifications and experience you undertake before taking on your first professional role.

To find out more about essential knowledge for aspiring accountants, sign up for the webinar on the 17th February at 2pm. If you can’t attend, we’ll send you a recording afterwards.