Five key skills needed to be a successful accountant

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Nadim Choudhury, Head of Careers and Employability at ifs University College

Communication skills:
You don’t have to be TV presenter, but you must be able to articulate how you think and feel so that others understand you. Focus on making sure that your language isn’t cluttered – most of your clients won’t have a technical background, and most people do not like technical speak . Really spend time listening to your client’s needs and communicate your understanding. Being able to actively listen and summarise what you have heard, is a very strong form of communication and , it will also allow the person you’re communicating with feel listened to and understood.

Team work:
You will hear time again that accountants need to be able to work within teams, but what does this really mean? There are three core areas of being an effective team player. You need to be able to lead, be able to collaborate with others and support your colleagues. If you can adapt your style to enhance these three skills, you will be able to demonstrate strong team working skills.

Leadership & Influencing:
Don’t shy away from expressing your opinions but make sure they are aligned with your organisation. A good way of demonstrating your leadership skills would be the ability to motivate and inspire your colleagues, have a think about how you can convince them to accomplish goals and how you are able to influence them to accept your proposals, plans or decisions.

Building Key Relationships
Good accountants will have the ability to build strong working alliances with colleagues and clients, having the ability to develop rapport is important in building and maintaining long lasting relationship. Be keen, ask questions, and smile when speaking with colleagues and clients!

Personal Impact
This skill focuses on your ability to be in control of how other’s perceive you. Ask yourself the questions: How do I come across? Is this in the positive light? Do I come across the way I truly see myself, or am I misunderstood? Take some time to seek out this information and understand your personal impact. Knowing the impact you make on other people is a truly powerful toll in enhancing your soft skills.


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