Skills and Qualifications Required for an Accountant
Discuss about the Identity in Virtual Communities of Practice.
The current assignment focuses upon the progress report of professional practice within a business organization. In the current study the aspect of accounting within a business organization has been taken into consideration. Based upon the efficacy and the qualifications of the employees, the productivity of an organization could be enhanced. The accounts department could be referred to as the backbone of an organization. Based upon the financial planning the optimal growth of an organization is ascertained (Howieson et al. 2014).
In this respect a number of professional skills and qualifications are required to be present in an accountant. Therefore, based upon the skills and qualifications possessed by an accountant in computing and analysing the organizational data the profitability ratios of an organization are calculated and further used for future planning (Suddaby et al. 2015).
For the current study, the Australia based BRIGHTON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (BIT) has been taken into consideration, which is an AUSTRALIA, based private training organization based in Melbourne. The company offers internationally recognised diplomas across different across different occupations in a safe and sound environment (bit.edu.au 2018).
I have been working as an accountant intern in the BRIGHTON INSTITUTE OF TEHCNOLOGY. Therefore, based upon my experiences of working as an accountant for the organizations I have come across a number of pros and cons. Some of these play an effective role in the professional development. The skills and the expertise required for practicing of an accountant have been evaluated over here which will help further in the development of future professional goals.
In the current study, Australia based private training organization BRIOGHTON INSTITUTE OF TEHCNOLOGY has been taken into consideration. It offers training across different disciplines. The main aim of the organization is to create job ready professionals who are efficiently trained to take over duties in future prospect organizations. The organization offers range of solutions and programs at cost effective prices, which ensures that most of the job aspiring professional can afford it. The institute is situated in 380 Bourke street Melbourne and offers programs in various disciplines such as English, automotive, hospitality etc. One of the pros related to the organization is that the diploma programs offers by the organization has an international exposure which means the program certificates and degrees offered by the organization are accepted across the globe. It was started in the year 2004 and welcomes s large number of overseas or international students every year (bit.edu.au 2018,).
Overview of the Brighton Institute of Technology
I worked as an accountant intern for BIT and was provided with some of the job roles such as data entry , filing, record keeping during my internship days in order to understand my job work well I had to imply a huge amount if detailing in the nitty-gritty of the job. I had to work under the guidance of my supervisor and report to him accordingly with a certain set of tasks assigned to me on a daily basis. I believe the role of the accounting division of the BIT was very tedious as huge amount of calculation and specification had to be met while compiling the data sheets for the number of admissions against the courses available in the institute. Additionally, the data entry and filing required that huge amount of focus and attention had to be given while doing the complications. It also involved keeping a record of the infrastructural and equipments supply of the organization. Therefore, based upon the data filing and the reporting further purchases for them institute was done. The accounting activities were further important in keeping the retune ion investments rolling by investing in future planning.
Our work in BIT Melbourne was supervised by an instructor who would give us the data regarding the amount of investments made by the organization to the expected returns on investment. The supervisors would normally be the one with a much of knowledge in finance. If often becomes difficult to handle such large digit calculations or particularly the record keeping for which effective knowledge and exposure in required in handling similar situations. Therefore, working as an intern I lacked sufficient expertise in the handling and management of such large database. The role of a supervisor is to differentiate the tasks into priority basis using effective judgemental and decision making skills. As a financial supervisor one is expected to take monitor and approve financial processing, reporting, auditing and supervise the role and the functions played by the staff.
The organization here followed a matrix structure, where the employees normally followed dual reporting relationships one would be to a functional manager and the other to product manager (Boussebaa 2015). There are two different categories of reporting lines which have been further discussed in the context of the organization. As mentioned by Brennan (2016), the type of reporting lines further decides the type of power or influenced given to a manager. For BIT a solid line reporting relationship had been followed. The solid reporting live focused upon objective setting and performance evaluation of the employees (Noordegraaf 2016). In the event of dispute the supervisor had to take charge. Therefore, much responsibility lies on the shoulders of the supervisors. As mentioned by Boussebaa (2015), the solid line roles are given to a manager who is geographically close to the individual.
Accountant Internship at the BRIGHTON INSTITUTE OF TEHCNOLOGY
I have also felt during by internship in BIT that the organizational cultures play a very important role in the grooming of the employees. The organizational culture could be further described based upon a number of attributes such as reporting hierarchies, unit structure, communication mediums and intercultural issues and the availability of training and development opportunities. As mentioned by Spence et al. (2015), the culture of an organization is dependent upon the amount of scope for development it offers to its employees. The type of organizational structure followed over here is the Flatarchie. This type of model is a hybrid between hierarchical and flat organizations. The organization believes in flexibility option where it depending upon the situation and the type of activities at hand they change their reporting style (Tham et al. 2018). However as argued by West (2018), the need for flatter organizations has developed immensely in the global business world. As supported by Boussebaa (2015), a flatter structure seems to open the lines of communications between different layers in an organization which helps in trouble shooting and effective decision making.
The work unit structure followed by BIT is that of a matrix organization structure. It is a hybrid of functional organization structure and projectized organization structure. As mentioned by Lupu and Empson (2015), the matrix organization structure follows a two command structure –vertical and horizontal. Here, the employee can work on individual projects even after being part of a functional group.
Since BIT is an educational and training institute running a range of complex and exclusive programs for students all across the world. Therefore, it needs to communicate across different media and channels. Some of these are face to face communication, social media communication and one way audio video communication (Tseng et al. 2014). The BIT mainly stresses upon face to face communication across its various departments. As commented by Crystal (2017), the face to face communication modes are considered to be one of the most powerful means of communicating the message across the groups. It is particularly useful when working in team. The organization also practices a two ay remote communication in dealing with some of it international clients as it has students from all across the globe. As commented by Lupu and Empson (2015), virtual business is the need of the hour which helps organization and clients communicate across huge geographical distance. Therefore, the BIT implements the virtual communication platforms in its business setup in order to communicate across departments layers of the department. The accounting department is divided into many layers across the globe one situated in Melbourne and the rest across different geographies and territories. The organization also uses social media communication for receiving feedback across wide group of products and services (Nao 2017).
Role of the Accounting Division of the BIT
One of the issues I have personally faced while doing my internship as an accountant in BIT is owing to the wide existence of intercultural issues in the organization. As mentioned by Li et al. (2016), the organization welcomes huge number of overseas students across different culture and disciplines. As mentioned by Carley and Prietula (2014), disparity in cultural faiths and beliefs can result in organizational disputes. As supported by Van der et al. (2016), the implementation of effective communication technology across different layers of a department have been seen to produce better results.
As an accountant working for BIT I had been assigned a number of task responsibilities such as –information collection, financial analysis, ledger entry and drafting of financial reports etc. Thus, working as an accountant I was responsible collecting financial information from a wide range of sources. One of the biggest challenges I had faced was in assembling, collating and organizing the sensitive and vital data into format to be used in financial reports. For checking the accuracy and completeness of the financial reports I had to apply generally accepted accounting principles. I was also responsible for ledger entry of the data into sophisticated software programs. Some of these programs handle crucial operations such as calculation, reconciling bank statement etc. As mentioned by Abbas and Khali (2016), the development of the software programs has lessened the problem related to calculation of huge figures. However as argued by Silva and Mousavidin (2015), it has limited the role of the accountants whereby grater amount of knowledge in software programs is crucial to governing success in the data filing process.
I already had a set of skills from my accounting studies which helped me in performing and understanding my duties well. Some of these were strategic thinking skills which helped in understanding the organizational problems and issues. I had also been exposed to sufficient number of classes of data analytics which helped in dealing and monitoring the complex data chains generated across the semi-quarterly sessions based upon the number of admissions made in BIT. As mentioned by Rao et al. (2016), when working as part of a large organization good customer service orientation is required. Therefore, some of the strategic business management skills acquired by me during study days helped in understanding the client demands better.
However, I felt I was in great need o acquiring and enhancing some of the interpersonal skills such as time management , adaptability and communication. As mentioned by Lvina et al. (2018), working between tight deadlines can often hamper the work-life balance of an employee. I often felt that I need to hone my time management skills which will help to multitask better as well as relax for the next day’s work. The accounting industry is very dynamic and the employees often have to work under huge pressure (Novakovich et al. 2017). Therefore, one needs to embrace the change or act as per the situation. Additionally, I think working as part of a team I also needed to hone my communication skills. This would have helped me in communicating the difference of opinions better across the team.
Organizational Reporting Structure at BIT
Working as in accountant intern for BIT, I had to undergo an accounting simulation workshop. The two such aspects which were empathised upon here were learning the handling and management of accounting software and effective communication skills. Therefore, undergoing the program I realized that I was not confident as well as competent enough to handle the different accounting software. Additionally, I also felt that I lacked effective communication skills. As mentioned by Kiron et al. (2016), effective communication skills are imperative to success in a business organization. I think learning to communicate better had helped me in escalating my problems to my supervisor.
The placement at BIT helped me in reshaping my career by understanding the aspects of strategic accounting skill and data analytics. As commented by Ngoo et al. (2018), the current business world is taken over by the consent of big data. Therefore, developing sufficient knowledge and concept in big data would have helped me in dealing and compiling the figures well. The placement also ensured that I had some real life exposure to accounting challenges, which would help me, better in adapting to my next placement.
Therefore based upon my experience from working as an accountant for BIT I think I excelled in some of the areas whereas I lacked the specific skill sets in some. However, the organizational exposure has helped me in learning to work under strict pressure and deadlines which helped me in enhancing my productivity. Additionally, some of the skills which were particularly picked up by me during my internship were teamwork, communication skills, use of accounting software. Most of the organizations nowadays perform and work as a team. Therefore, working as a part of a team we need to communicate across clearly which also required effective negotiations skills. As mentioned by Schön (2017), each member in a team can think and decide from a different perspective. However, as supported by Plotke (2018), to decide on a common point requires us to apply the skills of strategic thinking. In my opinion, the exposure through the internship helped me in honing my skills of effective team negotiation. I also felt working in a team helped me in understanding my responsibilities better. The experiences gained from the simulation workshops helped me in applying them to the practical scenario. I had felt the need to develop my software skills better as I had experienced one such scenario during my internship where I felt that I could have performed much better had I learnt the software accounting skills better .A huge amount of data had to be compiled and presented to the supervisor just the next day clearly indicating of profit earned by BIT due to summer course admission. Hence, as I lacked the required expertise in using the upgraded software I failed behind my target and got reprimanded by supervisor in front of entire team the following day. The experience however made the importance of learning to use the updated accounting systems and technologies. The entire experience has been further explained with the help of STAR model which could be broken down into – situation, task, action and result.
Internship program as an accountant in Brighton Institute of Technology
Compilation of enrolment data along with profits earned by organization on summer diploma programs
To compile the data using upgraded software system
The lack of skills in the specified area and lack of effective guidance and support from supervisor and peers resulted in failure
Organizational Culture at BIT
The above analysis could be further evaluated based upon a few specific points. Focussing upon the structure of the organization which followed a flatarchie structure i felt there was a need to a flatter hierarchical structure. This is because it would have helped the organization infuse better communication skills into the system. As mentioned by Lawton and Páez (2015), the cross cultural workforce of an organization often limits the free flow and exchange of valuable information. I also felt freely communicating across different layers of the department would have also helped me in honing my professional skills.
However , the simulation game experiences during the internship helped me in honing my leadership and decision making skills better as I had to work as part of a team. This further helped me in learning the different aspects of applying effective judgement based upon business management parameters such as long term success and profitability of the organization. During one last experience, where I had to compile a huge amount of data using upgraded accounting software I failed badly due to the lack of skills. However, the experience helped me in understanding my professional gaps. Based upon the experience, I enrolled similar projects and coursework which would help me in recovering my professional gaps. I think I had faced additional challenges owing to language difficulty as I had to work along with multicultural team. Therefore, I often felt language constraint as communicating messages clearly across the multilingual and multicultural groups led to functional gaps. I think I contributed in a positive way to the organization through my strategic thinking skills and experience of data analytics. From my study programs I had developed sufficient knowledge to get though these areas effectively and could also help my colleagues or peers. Hence, I was of much value to the organization. From the entire experience I felt the aspect of computing though changing and upgraded technologies most difficult. However, from the experience I learned some of the effective skills such as teamwork, communication and team negotiation which could further help in reshaping my career path.
The current assignment focuses on the aspect of professional practice and the various factors which guided an effective professional practice. Here, the same had been dealt with the aspect of an accounting internship in a private job training organizing. From the reflective analysis we have found that the soft skills are as important as the professional skills of accounting and should be effectively implemented in personal, professional practice.
Communication Channels at BIT
Some of the skills which have been highlighted are communication skills, team work skills, group negotiation skills. This is because large organizations are working as teams which call for sufficient exchange of valuable information and skill. Two such personl and professional skill which has been highlight diver here are communication and computing skills. Hence, effective training and development should be made a part of the program. It helps in ensuring that the employees apply both the soft skill as well as the professional skills in his workplace. The aspect of hierarchy has been further discussed over here which plays an important role in the development of the training programs.
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