The world of bookkeeping and accounting seems to revolve only around spreadsheets and numbers. Accountants and bookkeepers are expected to have a good eye for numbers and a keen eye for details. While these are true, there is more expected from these individuals than just being good with the books.
This blog post will discuss the skills, both technical and soft, needed from an accountant and a bookkeeper. This information will help you ensure that you outsource bookkeeping solutions to experts.
Technical skills ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to do the job. Meanwhile, soft skills ensure you have tax and bookkeeping solutions that go beyond technicalities and help you move the company further.
A bookkeeper and an accountant are commonly thought of as a single entity who does the same job. However, the two are different, and here are the technical skills you can expect from a bookkeeper.
Data Entry: Bookkeepers these days rarely use manual data entry methods. Because of software featuring Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology (that turns images into text), data entry has become easier and less prone to human errors.
Monitoring and Tracking: Bookkeepers also monitor and track all the details in books. A bookkeeper should check whether all the details are correct, and report any mistakes. They should raise a red flag and report errors as soon as possible so you can address them quickly.
Managing Payroll: The bookkeeper checks timesheets, projects, and taxes to ensure they reflect on payslips and the correct salaries are sent to your employees. They derive all the details for payroll management from the data they record in the books.
Processing Income and Expenses: The bookkeeper is the frontline of your small business finances—ensuring that invoices are sent in advance, customers are reminded, and you receive payments on time. Thanks to the bookkeeper, you can also track the costs your business needs to pay.
Reconciling Transactions: At the end of the month, the bookkeeper will reconcile bank transactions, sales taxes, payroll taxes, and other payment gateway records on the books. They will ensure that all the details match with no inaccuracies.
Compiling Data Needed for Reports: Bookkeepers also play administrative tasks like compiling all the financial documents from different departments. They are also who accountants rely on to pull up data needed for financial reports.
As you can see, bookkeepers are more concerned with data management and keeping the books organized. When all the data is ready, it is the accountant's job to make sense of them. These are the technical skills you can expect accountants to have.
Preparing Reports: The more often you see financial reports of your business, the faster you can act on the red flags or replicate the best practices. Your accountant can prepare different accounting reports or create reports for special key performance indicators unique to your business.
Analyzing the Numbers: Together with financial reports come the insights and analysis of your accountant. An accountant will help you see the bigger picture of your business finances and simultaneously, let you dive into the details like employee expenditures, sales, taxes, and why your dashboard looks as such.
Recommending Policies and Procedures: After letting you see your financial status through easy-to-understand reports, accountants will also recommend how to sustain excellent financial practices or change procedures and policies that do not work.
Well-Versed with Financial Legalities: A certified public accountant (CPA) should be well-versed in accounting and any laws related to it. They’ll handle complicated taxation laws, data confidentiality and security, returns and refund policies, and other financial legalities your business needs to address.
Utilizing Accounting Software: Adaptability to technology is one of the requirements for accountants, especially with plenty of bookkeeping, accounting, taxation, and OCR software available to make financial management easier.
Tax Preparation: An accountant will reduce the stress during tax season as they will be the one computing, filing, and remitting the taxes you owe to the government. They will ensure that what you file is all accurate.
Aside from being knowledgeable in math and having the technical skills for accounting, bookkeepers and accountants also need to have soft skills or interpersonal skills. Here are some examples.
Communication Skills: Both written and verbal communication skills are essential as bookkeepers and accountants will be dealing with clients, managers, employees, and other stakeholders regularly. They need to be able to explain financial reports and data clearly so that people without a finance background can understand. Listening to client concerns should be their forte.
Organizational Skills: Bookkeepers need to have excellent organizational skills as they will be dealing with a lot of paperwork and financial documents. They should be able to track deadlines, manage projects, and maintain documents neatly.
Team and Management Skills: A bookkeeper or accountant who is a team player will be an asset to any organization. They should be able to work with other finance team members harmoniously and provide support when needed. They should also have leadership qualities to manage their own team if this becomes a possibility in the future.
Now that you know the skills accountants and bookkeepers in a bookkeeping solutions agency should have, the next step is to find the right experts to do the job.
Unloop is a professional bookkeeping solutions company. Like you, we also began as a small business and slowly worked our way up. We have qualified bookkeepers and accountants who possess all of these necessary skills to help your business run smoothly. Contact us today to get started!
Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.