Accountants typically have a wide skill set they apply to a company’s financial information. These include analytical skills, which are those specific skills that help accountants use logic to solve problems. Problem solving is just one issue an accountant must overcome in this industry. Most accountants have some level of analytical skills that help them perform various duties.
Mathematical skills are among the base skill set of an accountant. Individuals need to recognize numbers and how they can use them to get a specific answer. Solving ratios and equations are often the most-common mathematical skills accountants use in their job. The ability to read information and select which information is necessary to compute an answer is akin to many word problems found in mathematics.
Critical thinking is another analytical skill. While all individuals have natural critical thinking skills, accountants must focus their critical thinking on financial information. Accountants improve their critical thinking skills through formal accounting education. This allows them to understand the purpose of accounting principles and how to apply the principles to a company’s financial information and business practices.
Accountants are no longer simple number crunchers. Many companies leverage their accounting department’s analytical skills into a problem-solving capacity. Accountants must be able to quickly review information using mathematical and critical thinking skills. A solution to the problem is then necessary to advance the company’s operations. Accountants must know how to solve problems, be they simple accounting issues or complex business operations.
Businesses typically have extensive plans for various business operations. Accountants must be able to create plans that work in tandem with other departments. Formulating plans is usually a responsibility of upper-level accounting workers, such as senior staff accountants and/or accounting supervisors and managers. Analytical skills allow accountants the ability to review all plans made by other departments and work a financial plan into the company’s operations.
- "Fundamental Financial Accounting Concepts"; Thomas P. Edmonds, et al.; 2011