What Skills Do I Need to be an Accountant?

Posted Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 by Allen B. Ury

Everest Offers Professional Accountant TrainingAre you interested in an accounting career? If so, you may wonder what skills you need to be a success in this field.

To be a professional accountant, you need two types of abilities: innate and learned. In other words, there are certain talents you are born with, and there are those skills you need to acquire in class.

Here’s how these skill sets break down:


A way with numbers. Are you good at math? Do you like working with facts and figures? Well, numbers are what accountancy is all about. So if you prefer Soduku to crossword puzzles, you may be on the right track.

A passion for detail. People who are naturally precise—who can’t sleep unless their socks are neatly arranged and their checkbooks are perfectly balanced—have the temperaments to be good accountants.

A love of solitude. Many accountants tend to work in physical isolation. The nature of the work does not promote a lot of social interaction. So if you don’t mind a lot of quiet “alone time,” you probably have the stuff for this job.

Good communications skills. Although accountancy is mostly a numbers job, there will usually come a time when you have to explain those numbers to clients or employers. It helps if you can write and speak clearly, and have an outwardly friendly nature. (Even if you have to fake it.)

A thirst for knowledge. Accountants must constantly learn new information. This is particularly true of tax attorneys, since tax laws change constantly. Are you the kind of person who is always seeking out new and better ways to do things? If so, keep reading.


Computer skills. Today, virtually all accountancy work involves working with a number of general and specialized computer programs. If you’re good with computers (starting with a calculator), and can quickly learn new programs, you should be able to handle this job nicely.

Higher mathematics. Basic accountancy, such as simple bookkeeping, involves the kind of math you learn in elementary school: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. But to advance in this field, you’ll also need to master higher mathematical concepts such as fractions, algebra, statistics, mathematical modeling and, to some extent, calculus.

Laws, rules and regulations. Much of business and tax accounting involves working with various rules imposed by the city, state or federal government. It’s crucial to not only know these regulations, but to stay current on any changes.

Everest Offers Professional Accounting Education

Are you interested in pursuing a career in accounting? If so, a quality education is a must. Everest can provide you with the background and credentials you need for many entry-level positions that can be your first step to long-term career advancement in this ever-growing field. Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs are available (depending on location). Programs and schedules vary by campus. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

For information on professional career training education, campus locations, job placement services for graduates and financial aid information, contact Everest today!

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