Each day, countless individuals look to accountants to assist with their taxes and other important financial matters. Companies large and small rely on accountants to keep them operating profitably, legally, and ethically. Performing these duties requires accountants to possess several key skills, and you may be surprised to discover that not all these skills are so-called “hard” skills. As you’ll see below, hard skills and soft skills alike are critical strengths for accountants.

Must-Have Skills for Today’s Accountants

Here are a few of the areas in which accountants can hone their skills to ensure a thriving career:

  • Technology: Modern accounting doesn’t rely heavily on pen, paper, and calculator anymore. Robust computer-based accounting information systems and programs designed specifically for accounting help accountants complete their job. This includes the use of cloud accounting, which is a growing trend in the industry. Accountants must know how to use these tools.
  • Business: Accountants who work for businesses need to have a grasp not just of their own jobs but of how the larger business functions. These individuals increasingly interact with multiple departments within a company and should therefore have a firm understanding of what those departments do and their overall purpose within the company.
  • Specialization: Accountants who wish to work in a specific field such as healthcare or residential housing may increase their employment potential by expanding their expertise through courses focused on that particular field.
  • Problem-Solving: When problems arise, whether they’re regulatory concerns for a business or complicated exemption specifics for an individual client, accountants must be able to think on their feet and devise effective, timely solutions.
  • Time Management: Accountants can get very busy, especially at certain times of year, but must be able to manage and deliver to deadlines no matter how many projects they’re handling. Getting behind can have detrimental effects for their organization or client.
  • Communication: Accountants are hired to be the experts in taxation and other financial areas. Their bosses or clients rely on them to communicate needs and concerns in a plain manner, both verbal and written, that’s easy for any non-accountant to understand.

Skill-Oriented Online Accounting Degree Programs

The University of Texas Permian Basin offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for aspiring accountants through our AACSB-accredited College of Business. These skill-driven programs prepare you for numerous rewarding roles within the accounting profession. Where available, we’ve provided earnings information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for careers associated with these degrees below.

BBA in Accounting

If you’re looking to work as an accountant or in a related role and haven’t yet earned a bachelor’s degree, the place to start is UT Permian Basin’s online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program. Our program provides the foundational skills to analyze and resolve accounting problems within specialized areas including healthcare, governmental and non-profit organizations, energy, and other important sectors of the economy using the latest tools.

MBA in Accounting

If you’ve recently earned a bachelor’s degree, our online Master of Business Administration with accounting emphasis equips you with a comprehensive, practical understanding of accounting and business principles and applications, from the traditional to the modern. Our program gives you the flexibility to choose from one of two tracks to align with your professional aspirations:

  • The CPA track is intended for students who intend to pursue a public accounting career.
  • The non-CPA track consists of general accounting studies and is designed for students who wish to work in a related business role.

Many students complete our accounting MBA program in as little as four semesters and go on to work in a variety of careers. Potential career paths include financial manager (BLS annual earnings estimate: $134,180) and financial analyst (BLS annual earnings estimate: $83,660). Having a master’s degree can also help you compete for leadership positions.

Master of Professional Accountancy

If you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree and are certain you want to achieve CPA certification, our online Master of Professional Accountancy is your program. Our program includes courses that cover all the CPA exam topics, making it essential for exam preparation. Many students finish our professional accountancy master’s program in as little as one year and graduate with the potential to become a certified public accountant (BLS annual earnings estimate: $73,560) or even chief financial officer (BLS annual earnings estimate: $107,680). According to the BLS, some employers prefer candidates who’ve earned a master’s degree, and with the added credential of a CPA license, there’s no telling where your career can take you.

The Quality You Expect From UTPB, With Unexpected Convenience

Each of our online accounting degree programs features the same curriculum as its campus-based counterpart and is taught by the same distinguished faculty and CPAs. Once you begin your program of choice, you’ll quickly understand the advantages of the online format. Our programs are delivered asynchronously, which enables you to complete coursework on your own schedule, around any professional or personal responsibilities you might have. And since they’re presented online, you can access our programs from any location in the world with internet access. Distance is never a barrier to you earning an accounting degree from UT Permian Basin.

Learn the skills you need to succeed as an accountant or in a related field with a respected degree from UTPB!