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5 Essential Business Skills Needed in Accounting

By Doreen Remmen, CMA, CAE
August 2, 2016
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It’s true that management accountants need the know-how to balance a budget, to complete a month-end report, and many other financial skills of managing a business. But other skills are equally important for success in our careers.

 

Mastering these 5 business skills will help you grow professionally and advance your career as a management accountant.

 

  1. VERBAL AND NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

 

Open communication and collaborating with your team are keys to success. Writing skills are necessary for clear and coherent reports. A very wise business leader once told me that he knew he didn’t really understand something until he could explain it succinctly, in writing, to someone else. Working on presentations and collaborating on special projects with employees outside of your department will help you cultivate this skill set.

 

  1. ORGANIZATION

 

Managing your workload isn’t easy when piles of papers have accumulated on your desk for the past three months. Organized employees have the most streamlined processes because they know where to find what they’re looking for, whether it be paper or digital. Organize your digital filing system in a clear and consistent manner; make sure your files are properly backed up, and important schedules and documents are available to your colleagues in your absence.

 

  1. LEADERSHIP

 

Leadership skills are important for management accountants at every level of an organization. Taking charge of your work and your team will demonstrate your promotability. A leader emerges when the group is presented with a challenge, and one person demonstrates the commitment and competence to make sure the team delivers.

 

  1. TIME MANAGEMENT

 

Deadlines are an important part of our jobs as management accountants. We have regulatory filing deadlines and ever-increasing pressure for a rapid monthly close. Managing your time well reduces the stress of the deadline and allows you to prioritize your work. Streamlining the recurring work and completing it earlier in the month gives you more time to focus on new projects and innovations.

 

  1. USE OF TECHNOLOGY

 

In the age of digital offices and video conferencing, we need to be one step ahead of the cyberfraudsters. This means you’re continuously scanning the landscape for improved processes and accounting software and leading (or coleading with the IT department) its implementation.

 

ACCOUNTANTS AS BUSINESS PARTNERS

 

Professionals holding the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) credential are in the perfect position to be leaders in their organization. They have the balance of accounting and business skills needed to become trusted business partners. You can find learning resources, including webinars, online courses, and educational articles, at IMA’s website: www.imanet.org/learning-center/learning-center-overview.

 

In the spirit of collaboration, the Moments that Matter blog will be migrating to the Strategic Finance website in August under a new name: “IMA Moments.” We are very excited for this collaboration. I would like to thank all of our loyal readers for following our blog for the past three years, and I’m looking forward to your continued readership.

 

 

Doreen Remmen is IMA’s senior vice president of operations and CFO. She oversees IMA’s strategic planning process; manages the information technology, finance, facilities, and human resources departments; and coordinates other operational aspects of IMA. She has a strong background in accounting and English literature. You can contact her at dremmen@imanet.org
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