There is a common misconception that all accounting managers do is deal with numbers and money. While it’s true that as an accounting manager, you’ll mostly deal with financial matters, you may also find yourself leading a team of junior accountants, offering financial and business tips to clients, and providing executives and other business stakeholders with key financial reports.
If you’re to perform all these accounting management duties effectively, you’ll need several skills. And if you’re wondering what these skills are then, you’re in luck.
- Short and long-term planning – Accounting managers play a crucial role when it comes to forecasting for businesses. They look at future financial events that may affect the business and develop both short and long-term financial strategies that factor in these events.
- Team leader – The accounting manager has line authority over junior accounting staff in his department. He guides his team to ensure the smooth flow of operations in the finance or accounting department. Some of the operations the manager oversees include preparation of monthly and yearly reports, preparation of general ledges, cash forecasting, preparing of payroll and utility records
- Cash management – Part of your duty as an accounting manager will be the management of liquidity. This entails coming up with cash handling practices that minimize errors and theft. For instance, you may decide to automate the cash counting process with the help of a money counter and fake money checker to reduce manual counting errors. You may also set up a strict schedule for handling cash or use smart safes to discourage employees from stealing cash.
- Control – The accounting manager performs reports analyzes, budgets analysis, analysis of funds, performance evaluation, and liquidity management, which are all tasks done for control.
- Decision-making – Accounting managers have a critical role to play to help their firms make decisions that will lead to increased revenue and profitability. Accounting managers also create realistic budgets based on reliable accounting data while also giving executives financial advice to ensure the firm stays profitable.
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Skills That Every Good Accounting Manager Should Have
It goes without saying that a good accounting manager must be a person of high integrity. In the past years, there has been a rise in accounting scandals in high-profile firms such as Enron, which only shows the importance of having honest accounting professionals.
As an accounting manager, you shouldn’t abuse your position of trust or collaborate with others to defraud the company. Besides, you shouldn’t be afraid to reveal any financial discrepancies that can lead to the firm’s integrity being compromised.
2. Communication Skills
Part of your responsibility as an accounting manager is leading a high-performance team. This position compels you to be a good communicator. You need to give clear instructions to your team if you want them to follow your lead. Another important aspect of being a good communicator is being a good listener. You’ll need to listen to your team’s concerns and opinions without being judgmental.
Communication skills also come in handy when you need to communicate financial reports to the executives and other interested parties who may not be as financially literate as you. For instance, if you have a financial warning you need to share with the management, a good presentation may not be enough to communicate the problem. To successfully persuade the executives to consider your advice, you’ll need to interpret the accounting data in a way that they understand.
Accuracy is an important skill in the accounting profession. You’ll be expected to manage the organization’s expenses and incomes, which calls for accuracy.
The inability to maintain accurate financial records can lead to losses for the organization and also result in penalties due to failure to adhere to the set accounting standards and regulations.
4. Time Management
Meeting monthly and yearly deadlines is part of an accounting manager’s job. You’ll need to prepare end month financial reports for the firm and annual financial reports to present to shareholders and other government agencies.
5. Technical Skills
It’s no secret that if you’re in finance, your accounting skills must be top-notch. Technical accounting skills allow you to keep reliable and accurate financial records. Such skills also enable you to make accurate financial predictions and projections for the business.
Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to automate many accounting tasks. This means in addition to having technical skills, you’ll also be expected to be proficient in several accounting software such as Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks, business intelligence software, and tax preparation software, among others.