Soft Skills in Accounting

October 20, 2015

Why Soft Skills in Accounting Are Important


What do you need (besides accounting skills) to get a good accounting job?

Of course, accounting skills are important to get a job in accounting. Whether it’s learning the concepts – like assets, liabilities and equity, or when should an account debited or credited – or learning software like QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel, all Accounting Specialists need to know their material very well. When it comes to something as important as money, all managers, business leaders, and owners want to be able to trust their accountant to not make mistakes.

That being said, what makes one Accounting Specialist more appealing to an employer than another?

Simple: Their soft skills

Soft skills are those things that can make two people who look the identical on paper as different as night and day. Google’s definition of soft skills is “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”

Essentially, soft skills are your ability to work with people.

Read about some of the most important soft skills below and evaluate how ready you are for a successful career in accounting. What are somethings that you need to work on?

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Are you able to handle disagreements, conflicts, disappointments, and differences in opinion professionally? Can you motivate yourself, or do you need to be micro-managed? Can you get along with everyone and fit in with the social culture of the team? Exceptional accountants have a high EQ. They are easy to get along with, particularly high-stress times – and that is an important quality.
  1. Communication: Can you clearly explain problems and solutions to your coworkers, customers, or vendors? Do you really listen to what is being said, or do you jump to conclusions? Good accountants can communicate their successes, struggles, and concerns clearly so that problems can be solved and solutions can be communicated quickly and as painlessly as possible.
  1. Research and Learning Skills: All accountants will come across situations that they’ve never dealt with before. Can you quickly determine what you don’t know and what you need to learn? Are you able to ask for help when you need it and practice problem-solving skills when there is no help available? Good accountants are good researchers, and they are also very good at learning something new when necessary.
  1. Customer Service Skills: When you’re dealing with unhappy customers, vendors, supervisors, or team members, can you give everyone the same positive, friendly customer service that enables you to figure out the best way to solve their problem? Are you comfortable picking up the phone to resolve a situation rather than going back and forth via email? Everyone is your customer when you’re an accountant. Everyone.

At Community Care College, we place an equal emphasis on hard skills as we do on soft skills. We make sure that you are well-equipped with the accounting skills, knowledge, and conceptual understanding to excel in your new career, and we also work hard at creating opportunities where you can practice your soft skills – including the four skills listed above. Your career requires both elements for success, so you should require both elements from the college you attend!

Interested in a brand new career in the exciting field of Accounting? Click here to find out more!

4 thoughts on “Soft Skills in Accounting”

  1. You are pretty much spot on a lot of points, students or even some experienced accountants just go about the old school way, I think now its the time to innovate, be creative and execute things in an exotic way. Very nice post keep writing such useful stuff, I really recommend this to all the related folks a lot can be learned from this post.

  2. This is a great point that needs to be stressed in accounting education because the 1960s stereotypical accounting is long gone. Today’s accountants need to be personable, able to communicate and work with clients, and above all else have some type of social skills. We live in an ever growing world that is more connected than ever. Accountants don’t simply sit in a room hunched over a calculator by themselves anymore. We are actively engaging with clients. This is a great post because it illustrates the need for these types skills in addition to the standard accounting skills you must know to be a successful professional.