When we go to check worth or quality of any business the first thing that comes to our mind is to look into its books. An Accountant is immensely responsible to keep these books maintained and up to date.
An accountant is responsible for the smooth cash flow of an individual or a company. He/she uses his financial expertise to give advice that will benefit his/her client.
An Accountant’s job description include being able to work with large amount numerical data, provide financial reports to the management, analysing the data to give best possible financial advice, multitask with other financial requirements, check for any financial discrepancies.
The accountant will also be responsible for carrying out yearly audits and filing tax returns for the clients. He/she must be willing to work in the areas of taxation, management consultancy and corporate finance.
Duties of an Accountant
The typical duties of an accountant include:
- Preparing accounts and filing tax returns.
- Auditing financial information.
- Checking for any financial obstacle blocking any business plan.
- Computing taxes and providing tax planning services with reference to current legislature.
- Analysing the risks and financial forecasting.
- Negotiating the terms of a contract or a business deal to avoid his/her client any financial disturbance.
- Submitting financial reports within deadlines.
- Creating periodic reports like balance sheets, profit-loss statements, etc.
- Assisting the management team in preparing the budget.
- Maintaining customer confidence and protecting all the operations by keeping the financial information confidential.
Skills of an Accountant
An accountant should be a financial wizard to provide the best possible service for his client. The job requires working under extreme pressure and meeting the deadlines to avoid any losses. This means that he/she will also be responsible to keep the team’s moral up. So the skill requirement of the job is not only academical but also inter-personal. These skills include:
- Team working abilities.
- Good communication skills.
- Good computer skills.
- Good Analytical skills.
- Good Problem-solving skills.
- High level of numerical handling abilities.
- Reporting skills.
- Management skills.
- Data entry skills.
- Corporate financing
It’s a misconception that only CA (chartered accountant) can apply for an accounting job. You can apply for an accounting job even if you are not a certified CA but you won’t have the authority to perform audits on your own you will have to get an approval of a certified CA for it. There will also be some other limitations. So many companies prefer to hire a certified accountant to avoid going the long way.
The path to become a certified Chartered accountant is:
- Appear and pass the 10+2 examination with all the commerce subjects like accounting, economics, etc.
- Appear and pass the CPT (Common Proficiency Test).
- Enroll for IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course). This is a curriculum carried out by ICAI (Institute of chartered accountant of india). It is a second level course of the CA.
- Join CA final course.
- Appear and pass the CA final exam while serving last 6 months of articled training.
The other path to becoming an accountant:
- Graduate in accounting with Accounting majors(B.Com).
- Work as a junior accountant/intern or a book keeping assistant.
- Get skilled in accounting softwares like MS Tally and others.
- Join an institute that teaches you GST, TDS, Computerised accounting, Auditing, etc. Try to grab as many skills as you can to be able to work as a professional even after not being a CA.
- Get a Masters’ degree in accounts. This will help you grab some higher position as an accountant in some big companies.
Salary of an Accountant
There are many parameters that hamper the salary of an accountant. These parameters include certification, experiences, skills, location etc.
If you are a certified chartered accountant you will probably have a better salary than the ones who are not. Your experiences play an important role in deciding your salary. Your experiences may include 4-5 years as an accountant, working with multiple legal entities, financial reporting, etc. These experiences will surely act positively by your side while deciding your salary.
Your location of job can also play a major role in deciding your salary. For e.g. according to payscale the average basic salary of an accountant in India is Rs. 2.5 lac per year while the average salary of a accountant in US is $54000 per year.
This article aims to clear your doubts regarding the responsibilities and skill requirements of an accountant. It also helps from being completely blindsided due to not knowing the salary expectations for an accountant. As mentioned there are two ways to work as an accountant. One with some limitations attached. A certified CA is the most glorified position in the field of commerce.
If you have the abilities and work hard you will be able to acquire that glory on your own. A business survives only on good financials and there is an exponential increase in demand due to the chaos in handling. Try to gain as many skills as you can from the above lists and make yourself worth it for a better career as an accountant.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
All the team management, content creation, and monetization tasks are handled by me. Together with the team at PrepMyCareer, the aim is to provide useful and engaging content to our readers.