What You Need To Pursue A Career In Accounting

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A career in accounting presents one of those few job opportunities that allow you to work across several industries and sectors. Accountants can work full time for any company, start out an accounting firm or freelance for many organisations at a time.

For many Ghanaians, the foundation for a career in Accounting is set in High School. For a strong start, it is advisable to have a background in business. After high school, an aspiring accountant has the option of studying for a degree or going straight for a professional certificate.  However, many people from non-business backgrounds have made their way into the sector by studying accounting in the university. A degree or a professional certificate in accounting is required in order to practice as an accountant in Ghana.

An advanced career in Accounting often requires professional certification. Options in Ghana, include the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA),  Institute of Chartered Accountants – Ghana (ICAG), and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Skills Required

  • Computer skills: Most accounting processes are done using a computer.
  • Mathematical proficiency: You must know your way around numbers.
  • Detail-oriented: Accuracy is critical.
  • Must be patient: You must have the patience to see projects through successfully.
  • Responsible and accountable: You should be able to be counted on to see a task through.

Duties Required

  • Prepare accounting vouchers and ensure that all supporting documentation are attached
  • Review payments and verify that every release of funds is backed-up by supporting documents
  • Record journal entries in the QuickBooks accounting system and ensure that all financial transactions are properly coded accordingly
  • Process fund requests and internally control fund use and amounts paid using appropriate checks and controls
  • Review and verify cash disbursements from petty cash
  • Prepare payroll payments for employees, including calculating, withholding and recording all applicable income taxes and other social payments based on Ghanaian tax rules
  • Verify timesheets collected, filled out and checked by management in terms of leave records, updating accrued leave and travel advances
  • Notify management in writing about any concerns, risks or misuse of resources and report any illegitimate expenses, misuse of funds or other false financial claims
  • Keep all sensitive financial information confidential

Basic Qualification  Requirements

  • A minimum of an HND in Accounting
  • Accounting practices and principles
  • Mastery of QuickBooks
  • Sufficient knowledge of accounting standards and government of Ghana tax laws and regulations
  • Good administrative and organizational skills; record keeping and filing systems.
  • A strong command of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, QuickBooks and other relevant Accounting software

Common Interview Questions in an Interview for an Accounting Position

  1.   Talk about the most challenging task you have handled as an accountant.   
  • This is to assess your work experience and ability to solve problems
  • If you have some level of experience, talk about your most challenging task on the job as an accountant.
  • If you are a fresh graduate, talk about your most challenging task during your internship and how you handled it
  1.    Why did you apply to this company?           
  • Ideally, you should already be armed with background information about the company. Talk about how your skills will be useful to their peculiar challenges.
  • Show your enthusiasm about joining their company.
  1.    How do you intend to ensure accuracy in your work?
  • Your interviewer wants to assess your understanding of the sensitive nature of the job and how much you value accuracy.
  • Talk about your attention to detail and willingness to self-audit and double check your work.
  • Also, show your efforts in consultations where you’re not sure to ensure 100% accuracy and good practice in your tasks.
  1.   Which accounting standards are you familiar with?  What new industry practices are applied now?            
  • This is to test if you are abreast of current industry practice and if you follow best practice.
  • This is a good time to talk about what software you are proficient in and talk about your experience using them.
  • Honesty is the best policy here as you might be asked to show proficiency.

 

Enyonam Damesi