Why accounting skills are important for your professional and everyday life

By Fi Darby | 19 February 2018

Can you use your accounting skills in other areas? Of course you can! It’s small wonder accounting is often referred to as the language of business; if you cannot understand the language of accounts, statements and reports, there is a large portion of business you will be effectively illiterate in. It could be argued that the goal of any establishment is to secure money to ensure continued function.

So if we conclude that every organisation and its various departments depend on the ordered measurement, recording and communication of its funds, it becomes easy to see why attaining basic accounting skills would be not only an advantage, but often a requirement for any professional position in a competitive job market.

But wait, what are accounting skills good for?

Accounting comes in all shapes and sizes including home accounting, managerial accounting and small business accounting. Basic accounting skills can be useful to most individual departments, for example, have you ever considered the question, ‘How does accounting relate to human resources’? Both are fundamental areas in any company and appear to function independently, but their roles are inextricably linked.

Employees and human capital management plays a huge part in commercial success, and the cost of their salaries and related human resources issues has a big impact on profitability. If you are looking to update your skill set with an accounting online course and give your resume a bit of additional appeal, being able to offer even basic accounting skills is likely to give you the edge over your rivals.

woman making calculations

Understanding your business

One way to consider whether you understand your business well enough is to imagine that you are recruiting someone to look after it for you. Which skills would you be looking for, would you be after someone with basic accounting skills, would you, in all honesty, necessarily employ yourself?

Businesses are composed of many interrelated parts and it is important that any manager or supervisor has an element of understanding of all of these and appreciates the difference between business accounting and managerial accounting.

Different aspects of your business that you should understand include: 

  • Your business competition – no business runs in segregation from its competitors
  • Your customers – understand their needs and wants and keep ahead of these
  • Your business processes – to enable you to maximise efficiency
  • Your business or small business accounting – where you are losing and gaining money
  • Your business model – your step-by-step strategy for profitability

If you are looking to update or formalise your skills on any of these but are worried about how you are going to fit upskilling into a busy schedule, then an online course in accounting or management might be a good route for you.

Can I get the skills I need online?

Online training is flexible and can be started to suit you and completed at any time of day. You can work through assignments in a block or spread them out according to your schedule. We have a huge range of both business and accounting qualifications; feel free to browse through all of them but look at the courses below to give you an idea of what we have to offer.

Certificate IV in Small Business Management (BSB42518)

Another Certificate IV course, which delivers the practical and theoretical skills needed by small business managers and owners. This course includes some elements of small business accounting and suggested outcomes involve a range of entrepreneurial and business management areas either for those new to these roles or those wishing to refresh their skills. It comprises 10 units of competency including: 

  • Establish and maintain a payroll system
  • Refine and strengthen a small business
  • Introduce cloud computing into business operations

woman florist/owner of shop

Important management skills

Not only are managers responsible for ensuring the smooth running and profitability of a business, they are also responsible for guaranteeing that employees’ skills are utilised to meet the same goals. Each manager has their own style and the range of management skills is vast, but there are a few key areas that all managers should aim to both understand and demonstrate: 

  • Problem solving – spotting problems before they emerge is vital
  • Communication – all business personnel work within a sophisticated communication web
  • Innovation – in a rapidly changing world, keeping ahead of the game is a must
  • Professionalism – managers with high standards can expect the same of employees
  • Motivation – motivational interaction can increase productivity and employee satisfaction
  • Managerial accounting – understanding how to make successful, financially based decisions

Do you want bo be a manager? You need accounting skills!

If you are looking to prepare yourself for a move into a managerial role, you will be expected to possess not only the above soft skills but to be able to provide all required information for improving decision-making processes in the form of documents and reports.

Management accounting skills enable managers to achieve a company's goals by assessing and evaluating the success or failures of the business's efforts. Managers are expected to be able to look at internal financial reports and make changes within the company to improve on outcomes.

Expanding your skill set for non-accounting roles

  1. Important in everyday life too.
  2. Setting a budget.
  3. What about accounting within the household?

Even if you work in a job role that does not traditionally encompass basic accounting skills, you will find that a more in-depth level of accounting skills can make a big difference to the way you view situations and make business decisions.

Finance underpins everything that each member of a business community achieves, and it is only possible to gain an understanding of how financial decision are applied within your business when you understand basic business or small business accounting and maybe even some elements of managerial accounting.

 upgrade your skill concept

1. Important in everyday life too.

Once you start to understand the importance of basic accounting skills it is only a small step to appreciating how useful these skills can be for everyday life. Too many of us spend without thinking, have little or nothing in the way of savings plans and fail to invest in our futures. Accounting techniques can help us all to make financial decisions based on realistic summaries rather than up-in-the-air guesswork.

2. Setting a budget.

If you are on a budget, home accounting can really help you to spread payments and make simple but effective changes to your spending. If you are currently doing financially well, home accounting is essential to ensure that you make the most of the investment and saving opportunities that present themselves.

3. What about accounting within the household?

For many people, becoming familiar with basic home accounting software will help them understand their own finances better, allowing them to track spending and savings, set budgets and even do some investing. If after having a go, you feel that these software applications or apps are a little over your head, maybe it is time to take one of the above courses in accounting, so you are better prepared to handle your own finances.

How can you get into accounting?

Basic accounting skills, small business accounting skills or even managerial accounting skills are an asset to anyone and can easily be gained, at any level. If you are struggling to make your mind up about which course is right for you, contact our advice team or if you want a bit more information about the differences between Certificates and Diplomas, find out more here.

If you are looking for some suggestions on apps to use to manage your own personal finances, read our article on 10 Ways to use the Internet to Automate and Simplify Your Life

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