Skills and competencies

As well as the necessary qualifications, there are skills and competencies which you must learn in order to succeed in the accounting industry. Practical experience is just as important as theoretical knowledge, so the more work experience you can acquire, the better. Anyone hiring an accountant will be on the lookout for the following:

Industry awareness

With the industry constantly undergoing changes, it's important that you'are able to keep on the top of these. Following the latest news and trends is vital, and you may be expected to make predictions relating to where the industry is headed.

Time management

Time management skills teamed with an organised mind will help you successfully manage you workload. It is vital that accountants use their time efficiently in order to maximise productivity. You will need the ability to juggle tasks and prioritise effectively to ensure you are able to meet deadlines.



As an accountant you will most likely communicate with a variety of colleagues and clients on a daily basis. This may be via telephone, email, face-to-face meetings or presentations. Accounting knowledge is specialist, so it's the role of the accountant to present information in an appropriate and understandable manner.


Honesty and integrity are highly valued in the accounting world. Accountants pride themselves on their ability to adhere to strict ethical standards - one of the reasons so many people place their trust in them. As an accountant, you must be transparent in your decision making, and able to explain anything when requested to do so by your employers or clients.

Read more: How to become an accountant part 1