Are you a recent accounting graduate looking for career opportunities in the corporate world? Then this article is for you.
Passing your courses is not the end of the journey. This is actually the start. To succeed in today’s highly competitive job market, you not only need relevant academic qualifications in your area of specialization, but you also need other skills that are not taught in school. That means you have to be both book-smart and street-smart. Being street smart means you have to know how to survive in the real world where competition and opportunity are scarce.
To acquire professional skills such as interpersonal skills, the ability to work with various software, or successful engagement of customers and other stakeholders, you need a career experience where you will learn on the job.
However, nowadays, getting an internship, whether paid or unpaid, is not easy. Here are some tips that will help you have a relatively easy time once you land your dream job.
1. Sign up for computer-based accounting courses
Unfortunately, at this time, almost all businesses do not prepare their general ledger accounts or management accounts on paper, as you are taught in college. Companies have digitized their accounting systems and use sophisticated software such as Sun, Oracle, MC, Turn Quest, Sage-Pastel and QuickBooks to process their accounting information. Very many graduates have difficulty using these software since they first encounter them in the workplace.
It is therefore advisable to get training on financial applications early enough to avoid ignorance in the office due to the inability to use the software you are working with.
2. Perfect on your MS Excel skills
MS Excel is the basic accounting application, and every accountant should learn how to use it effectively. Most advanced accounting software depends on this application. Once you have completed your basic computer training, look for manuals or Excel Expert guides and learn how to define financial formulas, format cells, rows and columns, as well as enter data and apply mathematical tools to obtain the desired results.
3. Learn to write checks
It’s an important payment method that you’ll never learn in college, but you’ll use it quite often in the workplace to pay customers. You can accompany a relative or friend when they go to the bank and see how they write checks. Make sure you know how to enter the beneficiary details and the amount paid in words and numbers. Research on check payment vouchers, folios and how they are prepared and stored for future use as backups.
4. Familiarize yourself with the iTax portal and know how to file tax returns
Taxation is an integral part of the accounting and finance of every organization. Various taxes such as VAT, PAYE, corporation tax, rental income tax and withholding taxes must be filed with the government revenue collection authority before the deadlines set through the portal iTax online. Filing taxes through the portal will be easy if you learn how to use it in advance.
5. Learn more about filing documents
Bookkeeping, a sub-function of accounting, involves keeping records of transactions primarily in paper files. You have to be a good accountant to become a good accountant. A good knowledge of the categorization, the orderly and chronological organization of documents in a file is an essential step in knowing how to store and retrieve accounting information as and when required by the various users of the company.