As a new accounting associate, there are a number of things you need to know that will help you be successful in your profession. Here are 10 things you should know as an accounting associate to boost your career development and growth.
1. Understand Basic Accounting Principles
If you’re new to accounting, the best way to get a handle on the basics is by taking an introductory course. This will help you understand how double-entry bookkeeping works and how it’s used in business. You’ll also learn about generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are guidelines set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for reporting financial statements; these include standards for revenue recognition, inventory valuation and other areas of business activities such as capital expenditures and leases.
2. Develop Critical Thinking Skills
- Be able to evaluate and interpret data.
- Identify and solve problems.
- Think strategically
3. Improve Communication Skills
Communication is a key skill for accountants. It’s important to understand how to effectively communicate with colleagues and clients, both verbally and in writing.
- Be clear about what you want to say: Before you begin speaking or writing, make sure that you have a clear idea of what it is that you want to say. It may help if you write down some notes beforehand so that the main points are clear in your mind when presenting them verbally or on paper later on.* Listen carefully: When someone else is talking (whether it’s a colleague or client), listen carefully so that there are no misunderstandings about what was said.* Use appropriate language: Accountants should always use professional language when dealing with clients; this includes avoiding slang words/phrases such as “cool” or “awesome.”
4. Develop a Strong Work Ethic
- Be punctual.
- Work efficiently.
- Stay organized.
These are just some of the qualities that accountants should have. Being punctual means arriving at work on time (or early) and leaving when your shift is over. It also means being ready to work and taking care of any tasks assigned by your manager or supervisor right away. Working efficiently involves doing things right the first time so that you don’t waste time repeating things or having to do them over again later on. Staying organized means keeping track of all of your documents, receipts, etc.; this will help prevent errors later down the road when preparing financial statements or tax returns for clients.
5. Learn How to Use Accounting Software
Learn how to use accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Sage.
There are many different types of accounting software programs that you can use, but the two most popular ones are QuickBooks and Sage. If you’re a new accountant, it’s important that you learn how these programs work so that when clients ask questions about them or want something done in them, you’re able to help immediately without having to spend time researching how their system works or what features it has. The good thing about learning how to use accounting software is that it’s not hard at all. You just need to take a few hours out of your day and go through some online tutorials or sit in front of someone who already knows how to use it.
6. Become Familiar with Tax Law
Accounting associates need to be familiar with the basics of federal and state tax laws, as well as the filing requirements for their clients. This is important because it helps them determine whether or not a client has been paying all of their taxes correctly, and whether or not they have been overpaying or underpaying their taxes. If an accountant does not understand how these processes work, then it can lead to costly mistakes that may put your business at risk.
7. Learn How to Use Excel
Now that you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to get more advanced. You need to know how to use Excel in order to analyze and present data. This can be done through pivot tables, which allow you to quickly summarize large amounts of information in an easy-to-read format.
You should also learn how to create graphs using Excel and other programs like PowerPoint or Google Sheets. Graphs are another great way for accountants and financial professionals alike who want their clients’ businesses succeed at all costs because they help them see where improvements can be made based on historical data
8. Develop Time Management Skills
You’re busy. We get it. But if you don’t have time management skills, then your work will suffer and so will your career.
Here are some tips for improving your ability to prioritize tasks:
- Identify the most important tasks at hand and do them first. This can be hard when there are several deadlines looming over your head at once, but if you take care of the big stuff first (like filing taxes), then the rest will fall into place more easily.
- Be realistic about how much time each task takes–and stick with it! If something takes longer than expected or needs more attention than anticipated, make sure to adjust accordingly so that everything gets done on time without sacrificing quality or accuracy in any way shape or form.* Don’t forget about yourself either! Taking breaks throughout the day helps keep us focused on our goals rather than getting bogged down in monotony; plus taking small breaks throughout each day helps us stay healthy too!
9. Stay Up-to-Date on Accounting Trends
The accounting field is always evolving, and it’s important that you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. You can do this by reading industry journals and attending educational seminars, but if you really want to be in the know about what’s happening in your field, make sure that you’re following industry leaders on social media as well. Social media has become an invaluable tool for staying informed about new developments within any given profession–and being able to discuss them intelligently at work makes it easier for people like us (accountants) to get ahead!
10. Seek Professional Development Opportunities
Professional development is an important part of any career, but it’s especially critical for accounting associates. As you gain experience in your role, you’ll want to make sure that your skills are up-to-date and relevant. Professional development opportunities can help ensure this happens by giving you access to:
- New knowledge and best practices
- Networking with peers who share similar interests or challenges
- The chance to learn new skills
- Ask for Feedback from Your Manager
Accounting associates are in a unique position because they have to know a lot about accounting and many skills relating to it while at the same time being able to work effectively with others and manage multiple tasks, all at the same time. This entails working with partners, principals, and other accounting associates. So, I hope this post has provided some helpful advice on how to succeed as an accounting associate in the best way possible. With these ten tips, you can use your skills quickly and efficiently and even help your firm get ahead of its competitors.
Wishing you much success!