Bookkeepers must possess all the technical knowledge and skills necessary to do their job. However, that isn’t considered enough by businesses anymore. Businesses look for bookkeepers that not only have the required knowledge and experience necessary to do their job but also have soft skills to complement them. These soft skills may have nothing to do with how a bookkeeper performs different bookkeeping tasks, but can significantly enhance the quality of their work.
Below is a list of five best soft skills for bookkeepers. While these are not the only soft skills that bookkeepers need to have, they are the most important.
The most important soft skill among all is communication skill. This is, mainly, because bookkeepers need to interact with almost every department with a business. Similarly, during meetings or outside of them, bookkeepers need to report their performance to higher management. This requires them to have communication skills. Another reason why bookkeepers need to have communication skills is so they can share their technical information in a way that is understandable to everyone within a business.
Communication skills consist of the ability to communicate both orally and in writing. Oral communication, for bookkeepers, will include expressing their ideas and information verbally. Written communications, on the other hand, include simple tasks such as writing an email or more advanced tasks such as writing reports. For bookkeepers to be successful, they must excel in both oral and written communications.
Time Management Skills
Another soft skill that is important for bookkeepers is the skill of time management. More often than not, bookkeepers will find themselves facing strict deadlines. Even when they are not working with deadlines, they have an endless list of responsibilities that they need to perform, which requires them to manage the responsibilities in a given amount of time. Time management skills also define the productivity level of bookkeepers.
Time management skills do not require any special consideration from bookkeepers but only to do everything on time. However, it is much easier said than done. There are multiple time management techniques that bookkeepers can use to become productive, such as prioritizing tasks, allocating time, setting goals, creating timetables, etc.
There was a time when the process of bookkeeping was done manually in large books. However, in the modern world, the manual process has completely been replaced with technology with the help of different software packages. This means that bookkeepers not only need to learn how to use technology but stay up-to-date with any technological changes that affect them.
There are many different software packages that bookkeepers need to be comfortable using. However, technology skills do not only consist the ability to use of these software packages. Bookkeepers need to be competent in using all aspects of technology to their advantage when needed. Similarly, they must also apply technology solutions in their daily tasks to make their job easier.
Another particularly useful soft skill for bookkeepers is that of leadership. Bookkeepers who can demonstrate leadership qualities are generally given priority over those that don’t. Some businesses even test their candidates for leadership skills before hiring them. Furthermore, bookkeepers who possess leadership skills are not only limited to bookkeeping roles but can also move into management positions or even directorships.
Leadership is the quality of stepping into senior roles or taking charge when necessary. However, leadership isn’t only limited to that. Leadership also includes respecting others and earning the respect of others. Similarly, it includes guiding others through difficult tasks and acting as a mentor to them. Lastly, leadership also includes assessing the strengths of everyone in the team and helping them unlock their full potential.
The last best soft skill for bookkeepers is problem-solving skills. Problem-solving skill in bookkeeping is crucial to have. Problems may arise due to different reasons in the bookkeeping process. Businesses expect their bookkeepers to have the problem-solving skills necessary to resolve any issues that arise during the bookkeeping process, which may include both expected and unexpected ones.
Problems-solving skill consists of using different techniques to pinpoint the origin of a problem and the ability to figure out how to solve it. However, problem-solving isn’t only about solving problems. It’s also about figuring out the best way to do it. Furthermore, it consists of detecting any irregularities or anomalies in the books of a business and finding their cause.
Bookkeepers can no longer rely on their technical knowledge only to survive in a business environment. They also need to develop different soft skills. These soft skills can not only help bookkeepers with their job but also with other aspects of a business. The five best soft skills for bookkeepers are communication skills, time management skills, technology skills, leadership skills and problem-solving skills.