Climbing the ladder of career success

Last Updated 23 January 2019, 18:45 IST

In every business, daily journals, ledgers, bank reconciliation statements, Profit & Loss statements and Income & Balance sheets present an unbiased picture of the financial position of an organisation. They tell the true position regarding its liabilities, cash sources, the viability of managerial and investor decisions and compliance with taxation and corporate laws.

Further, accounting helps a business, venture or a national plan, control and execute their budgets and expenditures, forecast revenues or turnovers, purchase new assets or take on new liabilities, monitor financial health, take decisions regarding personnel hiring or recruitment and regulate growth in the economy. Considering the vital importance of accounting work to trade, commerce and governments, It is no wonder that accounting jobs never lose their significance.

Most accountants become record-keepers, especially at the entry level. However, they are supposed to check and maintain calculations, create sales and cash-flow reports, administer payrolls, prepare balance sheets, carry out billing activity, manage budgets and inventory.

At a mid-to-senior level, the accountant may also be expected to file taxes or go through historical reports to create turnover forecasts. Sometimes, internal audits may be needed to identify trouble zones in performance. An accounting staff must also monitor whether office personnel are adhering to company policies and relevant statutes.

It takes skill for the accountant to prepare management reports with the right amount of accuracy, detail and illustration. Commerce graduates with an additional diploma or certification in specialised accounting practices may start working as an accountant. The organisations may require certifications like GST & Tax Compliance, Industrial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Auditing, Business computer application software such as SAP, Tally, etc.

For US-based business, CA, CS or CPA is required. Accountant internships help in cementing working knowledge and are a value add to your resume. Knowledge of application software such as Quickbooks, Tally or Microsoft Excel is indispensable to reconcile new-age imperatives with existing competencies. Accounting work is seldom understood by entrepreneurs and small businesses person and so the accountant must be a self-starter. However, in other organisations, they may be required to work as part of a team and hence, collaboration must also be part of your skill set.

Accountants may require additional competencies in light of the expanding digitisation process in every sphere of business. SAP is one of the most widely used enterprise application programs used in industry and to obtain veracity and genuineness of training, it is crucial to choose an SAP authorised training delivery partner to complete your certification in this software.

Career progression

Over time, an accountant may grow into the roles of finance manager, account manager, financial controller, chartered accountant, chief financial officer or a finance director. The remuneration for accountants is impressive and there is a steady growth over the progression of their career.

You need not be a number cruncher to be an accountant, but by constant practice you can hone on Math skills. Initially, you may even find reporting to be boring
and repetitive. While you earn, you can always enroll in and complete more
advanced courses that lead you to leadership roles. Financial roles are little understood and diligence and open-mindedness can get a long way in this enticing profession.

(The author is Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills)

(Published 23 January 2019, 18:41 IST)

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