3 things every accountant needs to know

If you’re considering a career in accounting, you might be wondering what you’ll need to know. Here are three areas of knowledge that are essential for any accounting role.

1. Basic concepts

Before you get into the nitty gritty of professional accounting, there are some basic concepts you’ll need to understand.

One of these is matching, which requires companies to report expenses in the period in which they are incurred, not the period in which payment is made. This allows expenses to be matched up with revenue they generate, resulting in more accurate and meaningful reporting.

Another basic concept is prudence. This means that the values of assets and liabilities must be estimated with caution and good judgement. It can be tempting to report with a bias towards the company, but accountants must remain impartial, and focus foremost on accuracy.

2. Tax regulations

The tax world is full over ever-changing obstacles, and it is an accountant’s job to navigate their clients or company safely through these.

Accountants need to have advanced knowledge in a number of areas relating to tax, so that they can provide advice and services tailored to specific contexts. This includes an in-depth understanding of tax income limits, taxable items and tax rates.

3. Customer service

Accounting involves more customer service than most people think. It’s not just about crunching numbers, but also about explaining those numbers in a meaningful way to clients and other professionals. This is true for almost all accountants, whether they work in a firm, in-house, or are self-employed.

To be able to do this, accountants must gain a good understanding of the needs of those they work with, and have the ability to explain complex information in a way that makes sense to those with differing levels of financial expertise.

Each of these areas of knowledge will be developed through qualifications and experience on the journey towards becoming a professional accountant.

To find out more about the knowledge and skills aspiring accountants need to develop, sign up for the webinar, hosted by AAT qualified accountant and accounting tutor Patricia Barlow. If you can’t attend, you can choose to receive a recording afterwards.