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What is it like to work in an accounting office?

Iwona JACKIEWICZ
Senior Accountant at RSM Poland

Modern accounting can be compared to a maze where you keep reaching a dead end over and over again, even if you have a flashlight. That is because the activities of an accounting office today go beyond posting, preparing reports and records, making valuations or settlements; it is also about confirming and reconciling balances and representing the company before institutions, such as the Tax Office, Social Insurance Institution, Statistics Poland, National Bank of Poland or commercial banks. Expectations towards accountants are growing, and it is sometimes difficult to meet these expectations due to many, often contradictory, regulations. What helps to overcome accounting intricacies is good software, but this is not a solution to everything. Therefore, what an accountant can do in order to effectively navigate through the meanders of accounting?

Knowing the regulations is key

Firstly, you have to keep learning all the time and stay on top of the changing regulations. This way, you will know where and what to look for, and you will find the section that is not inconsistent with the others and their interpretations if needed. Yet, the regulations are not is the only thing: you need to be familiar with professional computer software that may be required at work in a particular outsourcing company or a new client.

Business with a human face

To a large extent, the effectiveness of work in an accounting office depends on interpersonal skills. A good accountant always remembers that he or she is not working with an impersonal organisational unit, but with people of flesh and blood who are counting on his or her expertise and responsibility. And there are different clients: everyone has a unique type of business, and usually unique board reporting requirements. For example, working and reporting for multinational companies is different than in the case of domestic companies. Therefore, , you should always get to know your client’s requirements as much as possible, preferably in the beginning of your cooperation. Firstly, in order to adapt their needs to Polish regulations and accounting standards. Secondly, in order to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. As a result, both parties will be happy about their cooperation, and that is what makes it successful.

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Meet the deadline

What is incredibly important in your cooperation with the client is that you meet the agreed deadlines, both when it comes to those set in-house and those required under the Polish law. It is always a good idea to agree on a work schedule with the client and the employer, along with deadlines (with due consideration for any corrections needed). As a result, all parties are clear about their responsibilities and about what is being required of them.

From the accountant’s perspective, it is also essential that you do not take too many jobs: any work overload may hinder meeting the deadlines and cause unnecessary stress. This way, instead of winning new clients and being praised by your boss, you may end up losing your regular orders along with people’s trust and confidence in you, which is very difficult to regain later.

The office is never as bad as you imagine

Even though working in an accounting office may seem difficult at first sight, with the requirements set for accountants being complicated, it is not all that bad at the end of the day. Every novice accountant is given tasks corresponding to his or her experience and skills, and may count on the invaluable support from better qualified and experienced colleagues. Only as you gain self-confidence and seniority, your tasks as an accountant become more comprehensive and problems to solve more complex. At a certain point, navigating through the most complicated accounting maze becomes a routine, and working in an accounting office becomes a true everyday pleasure.

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