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How skilled is an accounting job?

How to improve my skill set

I have recently started a new job and I have been told that my skillset is not what they wanted. they have not given any further specifics. I have recently qualified in a small firm. I understand that some of the larger firms have different ways of working but as I have not worked there, I do not know how they work. I am then told that well accounting is an unskilled job and that most accountants just do accruals & prepayments. Can anyone shed some light on this and how I can acquire these skills as I progress? 


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By tom123
18th Jan 2018 07:03

I think you need to push your employer for some more information - something that you can actually work with.

As it happens, accruals and prepayments do actually form part of my month end work - but there is plenty other stuff as well.

Who is telling you about most accountants - are they one them self - I guess not?

Have you moved from practice to industry? If so that is a big change. The peculiarities of year end compliance work are largely irrelevant to managing the finances day to day of a manufacturer - for example.

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18th Jan 2018 09:50

Not enough information provided to make a productive comment.

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18th Jan 2018 10:27

gippt wrote:

I have recently started a new job and I have been told that my skillset is not what they wanted. they have not given any further specifics. 

So their "skillset" includes not being able to recruit effectively and not being able to manage staff properly. How did you end up choosing them??

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By gippt
18th Jan 2018 11:39

The last company I worked in m, I was there 10 years. It is the only company I have worked in other than a short time in practice. One of the reasons I moved was because I was not learning anything.

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18th Jan 2018 13:28

You still haven't provided any useful information, though.
Have you gone from industry to practice, or vice versa?
What were you doing before?
What are you doing now?
Have they offered anything other than the put down?

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By gippt
18th Jan 2018 18:08

Hi, It is mainly from one company to another. The criticism is that my skills do not go beyond those of someone who is unqualified. I have worked in practice but what I did there was no more or less than what I did in industry.

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18th Jan 2018 18:18

On the limited evidence available to me at present, I would say that the way you present queries is poor.

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19th Jan 2018 10:38

I would have thought it was the other way around. In a small firm you are
Preparing tax returns
Drafting Self employed accounts
Drafting Ltd co accounts
Completing company tax calculations
Dealing with CGT
Preparing client management accounts
Doing Audits
Advising people
Helping Junior staff

Off you pop to Huge plc as the new assistant group accountant and you are satin a cubicle with no window doing accruals and prepayments for 22 subsidiaries bored to death...

Unless you are head of mergers and acquisitions there of course...and get the corner office overlooking the park

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19th Jan 2018 11:15

What they are saying, gippt, is that you haven't got that "something" that you need to be an Accountant as apposed to a number cruncher. That "something" cannot be defined or learned. You've either got it or you ain't. The best way of explaining is to look at Donald Trump becoming President. Whatever you think of him he has got that "something".

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19th Jan 2018 11:59

1. They say you haven't got the skillset
2. You are told most accountants just do accruals and prepayments

Are you saying you can not do accruals and prepayments?

My head has hurt trying to understand the problem. Could it be that you are not so good at communicating?

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23rd Jan 2018 10:59

Irrespective of your abilities if someone hiring or managing a qualified accountant says that accounting is an unskilled job- find another job.

The guy is either an ignorant buffoon and or deliberately trying to wind you up. Usually it is a bit of both.

You are supposed to be a qualified- which means educated accountant. Assess the job. If it just needs a bought or sales ledger clerk you should know.
Otherwise ask yourself and answer honestly, are you being given the order of the bullet?

If you feel that the job advertisment and prospect was misleading you may have aclaim before an employment tribunal.

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