Is Accounting Hard?

Maybe you’re thinking of doing an Accounting and Finance degree or are fancying a career change. One question that often comes up is accounting hard?

It’s a very valid question and is not an easy answer.

Usually it’s not the easiest job, and that’s why it pays well. You have a lot of responsibility for helping the business financially healthy. From making sure the management reporting is accurate, the bank account is in the black and that we are not breaking any rules.

If you work for an accountancy firm you may end up having to deal with some very complicated tax and regulatory reporting issues.

Vital Skills

In my experience and those I have worked with, there are a few things that you need to be a successful accountant.

Time Management

The first one is time management. As an accountant you will have to juggle lots of different tasks during the month. As an example my month might look like this.

  • Weekly 13 week cash flow forecast for owners.
  • Produce monthly management accounts. Meet with directors to discuss successes and problems.
  • Pay the government income tax for all employees.
  • Chase clients for payment.
  • Weekly sales report for Sales team.
  • Produce a profitability model for a client tender.
  • Ad-hoc work. (HR query, Sales team query, operations query).
  • Budgets and forecasts.

If you can’t manage your time well, you’ll of missed several of these deadlines, and could cause a lot of trouble for the business.

Study

This might seem obvious, but doing your accountancy exams will help you have a better understanding of finance. Your work will not only be higher quality, but you’ll probably produce the work quicker as well!

Good With Numbers

Now you certainly don’t need to Einstein to be an accountant. But you should have a good understanding of math. Ratios and percentages make up important metrics that an accountant needs to understand.

You will sometimes need to do a deep dive in big piles of data and find out important metrics. Understand the numbers you produce is vital so you can help the company make better decisions.

Communication

This skill is vital.

An accountant in 2021 must be good at communicating complex financial data to people that do not work in finance.

They must also be good at communicating with all departments, as Finance is such a vital department in a company. You need to stay in contact with Sales team to make sure they know how they’re performing. You need to work with operations to make sure they’re not spending too much money.

An accountant is no longer hired to only tick some regulatory boxes and manage the bank account. They are hired to bring real improvements to the business with their unique skill set.

Is Accounting Hard? The Summary

So while accountancy can be a challenging job, if you are fairly intelligent and are willing to work hard there is not reason you can’t become one.

It’s a great chance to earn a solid wage and help a business do well. With a driven individual having a good change of enjoying the lucrative job of being a Finance Director.

Even if you don’t want to do it forever, it gives you a great skill set to move onto different roles (Project Manager, Operations Director etc).

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