An accounting manager is a professional who is more senior than an accountant and typically manages and guides the daily operations of a company’s accounting department. Monitoring tax filing, financial reporting, budgeting, financial management, and assigning tasks to accountants are some other responsibilities of an accounting manager. An accounting manager is also responsible for the establishment and enforcement of proper accounting policies and principles.
As accounting managers delegate tasks to other accountants under them, they need to acquire basic leadership qualities and skills. Only through leadership skills can they get the best out of their team. These leadership skills also play an important role in helping them achieve organizational goals.
Must-have leadership skills for accounting managers:
Here are some of the essential leadership skills every accounting manager should have in order to be great at their job:
- Communication skills
It is a part of the day-to-day work of an accounting manager to be a leader to a team of amazing accountants. They also have to deal with many people, including internal and external stakeholders, corporate and individual clients, financial and governmental agencies, employees, management personnel, and so on. Therefore, conveying complex accounting-related information effectively can be tough unless you have exceptional communication skills.
If you want to be an impressive accounting manager, you should be able to communicate efficiently with colleagues and external agencies. Fortunately, you can develop these skills through an advanced degree in accounting. For example, an online MBA accounting degree is one great option for people who want to study at flexible hours, allowing them to manage their education and other responsibilities, such as a job.
- Critical thinking skills
As an accounting manager, you will have to face multiple challenges in your career. Once you have learned to develop critical thinking skills, it will be easier for you to face these challenges and make informed decisions.
An accounting manager with critical thinking abilities will be able to:
- Help identify biases, assumptions, errors, etc.
- Snap out of challenging situations quickly.
- Think of alternative solutions to problems they face.
- Make well-thought-out decisions.
- Understand the possible consequences of their decisions.
Therefore, it is obvious that critical thinking skills will help you excel at being an accounting manager and contribute to the success of the organization.
- Organizational and management skills
Being an accounting manager comes with a lot of duties. One of the major duties of an accounting manager is to influence the strategic growth and success of the organization they are working for. However, it is impossible to drive a company’s value without exceptional organizational and management skills.
If you are an accounting manager, acquiring organizational skills will help you in the following ways:
- Good management and organization will help you keep track of important documents and paperwork.
- You will be able to manage the finances of several departments within your company in a more organized and strategic way.
- You will also constantly manage and prioritize ongoing projects and tasks as best as possible.
The accounting industry is forever evolving. An accounting manager has to deal with a challenging workload and several other stressful situations. Therefore, if you are an accounting manager, developing adaptability skills is crucial. The ability to adapt to changing environments will help you stay calm in stressful situations. Consequently, you will be able to think quickly and draw better conclusions than if you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the situation.
Difficult times will come and go, but adaptability skills will make you and your team thrive in times of change. It is one of the least talked-about leadership qualities, but it is essential for accounting managers. You must always be ready to embrace hardships and be vigilant to earn success as an accounting manager, and that is not possible without adaptability skills.
- Morals and ethics
An accounting manager works in a leadership position. The role of a leader should be based on principles of morals and ethics. By having firm moral and ethical values, you will create a positive and healthy work environment for your team members, and they will be motivated and inspired to work hard. Not only that, but practicing morals and ethics at the workplace also aids in creating a strong and trustworthy relationship with your teammates.
Being ethical and moral is helpful in many different ways in the accounting industry. For example:
- It promotes transparency/openness, responsibility, and professionalism.
- If you follow ethical principles, you will be able to build trust with other stakeholders as well, and it can prove to be a major cause of the success of your organization in the long run.
- It can help you retain clients; in fact, it can also help you gain new customers.
Accounting managers lead a broad group of accountants/employees on a daily basis. Being a leader is great, but being a mentor to your teammates is by far the greatest thing. Having mentorship skills makes a noticeable difference in your role as an accounting manager. You will be able to provide invaluable advice and instructions to accountants if you have the skills of a mentor. Qualities that make a good mentor include the following:
- The ability to articulate your experiences and instructions in such a manner that is easily understood by each team member.
- To be willing to actively listen to the questions of those working under you and answer the queries patiently.
- To have a respectful attitude towards everyone working as your team.
- To possess an eagerness and passion to reach goals and inspire others to do the same.
An organization can greatly benefit the leadership of an accounting manager who is no less than a mentor for the rest of the employees.
Being an accounting manager is not an easy job either. You have several talented accountants working under you, and it is your responsibility to assist and guide them. Therefore, you need various skills and qualities to ensure that you prove to be a great leader to your entire team, as listed above, and if you work on them, you can be a great accounting manager in the long term.