Five career tips for accounting graduates in Kenya
By Preston Maithya | July 2nd 2020
Are you an accounting graduate looking for career
opportunities in the corporate world? Then this article is meant for you.
The successful completion of your course(s) is not the end
of the journey. It’s the beginning. To make it in today’s highly competitive
job market, you need relevant academic qualifications in your area of
specialization. Still, you also require other skills that are not taught in
school. This means you need 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 opportunities are few.
To acquire work-related skills such as interpersonal skills,
the ability to work with various software, or a successful engagement of
clients and other stakeholders, you need career experience where you get to
learn on the job.
However, these days getting an internship, whether paid or
unpaid, is not easy. Here are some tips that will enable you to have a
relatively easy time once you’ve landed that dream job.
1. Register for computerized accounting classes
Unfortunately, in this era, almost all firms do not prepare
their ledger accounts in 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, Turnquest, Sage-Pastel, and
QuickBooks to process their accounting information. Very many graduates have
challenges using such software since they first encounter them at the workplace
It’s therefore advisable to undergo training on financial
applications early enough to avoid cluelessness 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 has to learn how to use it effectively. Most advanced accounting
software are dependent on this application. Once you are done with basic
computer training, look for Excel Expert handbooks or guides and learn how to
set financial formulae, formatting of cells, rows, and columns as well as how
to enter data and apply mathematical tools to give the desired results.
3. Learn how to write cheques
This is one crucial payment method that you will never learn
in college, but you will often use it in the workplace to pay clients. You can
accompany a relative or friend as they head to the bank and see how they write
cheques. Ensure you know how to enter details of the payee and amount paid in
words and figures. Research on cheque payment vouchers, folios, and how they
are prepared and stored for future use as back-ups.
4. Familiarize yourself with iTax portal and know how to
file tax returns
Taxation is an integral part of accounting and finance in
every organization. Various taxes such as VAT, PAYE, Corporate tax, rental
income tax, and withholding taxes have to be filed with government revenue
collection authority before setting deadlines through the online iTax portal.
The filing of taxes through the portal will be easy if you learn how to work
with it in advance.
5. Learn about document filing
Bookkeeping, a sub-function of accounting, is all about keeping records of transactions mostly in hard copy files. You have to be a good bookkeeper for you to become a good accountant. Good knowledge on how to categorize, arrange documents neatly, and in chronological order in a file is vital in knowing how to store and retrieve accounting information when and as needed by the various users in the company.
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