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What are the soft skills for accounting assistants?

When picturing an accounting assistant, you likely have the mental image of someone who is good at math, has knowledge of many types of accounting software, and can enter data at record speeds. These are only some of the qualities known as hard skills that accountants may possess, but what are the soft skills necessary in a list of accounting assistant qualifications?

Often, what sets new applicants apart other than the hard skills and previous accounting assistant work experience listed on their resume is a demonstration of their soft skills. The ability to problem solve, think critically, and communicate may not jump out at employers through a resume, but as interviews roll in, soft skills allow employers to choose between equally qualified applicants in experience and education. Honing and accentuating your soft skills while being aware of your personal strengths and weaknesses is crucial in creating a winning resume.

What are the duties and responsibilities of accounting staff?

Accounting staff work daily to gather the fiscal data of an individual or organization, process it, and create reports that provide financial advice. At the entry level position, accounting staff will oversee entering data into spreadsheets and utilizing enterprise resource planning software (ERP) to ensure every financial record is being registered in the system. Accounting assistants and clerks may also oversee generating reports about the current financial state of the organization.

Further up the hierarchy, staff and senior accountants have similar functions as the entry-level positions; however, they possess greater responsibilities such as reviewing reports, discerning the financial needs of the organization, creating journal entries, assisting with cost analysis, and monthly, quarterly and year end close. Each accounting position demonstrates the necessary hard and soft skills of an accountant. Hard skills include familiarity with software, strong math skills, financial management, and education. Soft skills of accountants include attention to detail, critical thinking, financial management, and communication (which is especially important in larger departments).

Is financial management a soft skill?

Notice that financial management was listed in both the hard and soft skills of an accountant in the section prior. Financial management is really a group of skills that work together to provide a strong base for accountants to rely on. Financial management is a combination of knowledge gained from education and experience and consists of decision-making ability, attention to detail, and expertise in the field of finance. While individually, these skills may seem obvious, together they make up one of the most important new skills for accountants. Understanding financial management as a skill is important for any accountant as it is a very valuable resume tool when used properly.

Is finance a good career for the future?

Finance is a great career for the future! As the economy grows, and businesses look for advice and record keeping, having the knowledge and skills to help them will prove to be very valuable.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, most careers in finance that require a 4-year degree are growing at a 6-9% rate which is stable or faster than average. Additionally, the average accounting assistant salary is between $45,000 and $62,000 which is higher than average.

How do you list skills on a finance resume

When listing the hard and soft skills of an accountant on a finance resume, it is important to list them clearly and concisely while providing examples to ensure you are seen as credible. For example, if critical thinking was listed as a soft skill, providing an example such as “reviewing financial reports and providing advice led to a 5% increase in profits at Finance Incorporated” can be very effective. Resume verbiage is a little different than regular speech, so practicing the abbreviated sentence structure and consulting people familiar with hiring can be a great way to ensure your resume is polished!

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