So what are soft skills for accountants? And why do they matter?

To begin with, it helps if we understand the skills that most accountants develop first – the technical skills.

What are technical skills for accountants?

When we train to become accountants, we focus firstly on the technical skills.

These include things we would all recognise, like:

  • Numeracy – maths skills, calculations etc
  • Financial accounting – profit and loss account, balance sheet etc
  • Tax – tax legislation, tax calculations etc
  • Investment decisions – return on investment, net present value etc
  • Financial management information – calculating ratios, budgets, etc

The list goes on – I’m sure you can add to that list.

So these are tangible skills – sometimes called hard skills. You can easily demonstrate your technical skills in examinations. They can be learnt and tested in an academic setting.

We might spend years developing them. We pass examinations. Then we get awarded a qualification or membership of an institution.

It is a huge accomplishment.

What are soft skills for accountants?

Soft skills, in contrast to hard skills (or technical skills), are not generally taught in standard accounting courses. Indeed, accountants often do not learn soft skills formally at all. Instead, they generally learn them informally in the workplace and develop them with experience.

These soft skills include things like:

  • Communication – in speech, in writing, presentations etc
  • Organisation – time management, prioritisation etc
  • Problem-solving – finding solutions to accounting and business problems etc
  • Management – managing others, developing a team etc
  • Strategic thinking – planning for the long term etc

Why develop soft skills?

Developing these soft skills enables you to make the best use of the technical skills that you have already learnt.

Then these soft skills enable you to do things like:

  • Make a greater contribution to the organisation
  • Perform your current role well and with confidence
  • Prepare yourself for promotion
  • Develop strong alliances and relationships at work
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Position yourself favourably within your organisation etc

How can I develop these soft skills?

We aim to help you develop your soft skills in a way that is specifically relevant to accountants like you. We have development programs tailored to you.

As a result you will gain in confidence, develop your skills more quickly and have a range of tools, frameworks and models to help you navigate future situations.

Technical skills will get your finance career started.

But it’s the soft skills that make the difference if you want to progress your career further, enjoy it more and make a greater contribution with your technical skills.

Discover the Seven Essential Soft Skills for AccountantsDownload the Report Now