Should You Take an Accounting and Payroll Program? 4 Ways to Find Out

Effective accounting and payroll is at the heart of every successful businesses, big or small.

From ensuring employees get paid on time, to helping guide financial decisions at the highest level, great bookkeepers will always be in demand.

But before you start accounting and payroll training, make sure you have the right natural strengths to succeed at work.

In addition to a genuine interest in numbers and bookkeeping, you need certain basic skills and qualities to excel in this role.

Ask yourself the following four questions. If you answer "yes" to each one, an accounting and payroll program could definitely be a good fit.


1. Are you willing to learn new computer skills?

Competency with computers and willingness to learn new software is a requirement for many career paths.

However, computer technology plays such an important role in accounting and payroll, it's definitely worth asking just how comfortable you are building new skills in this area.

College accounting programs teach students the fundamentals, such as QuickBooks, ACCPAC accounting software, Sage Simply Accounting, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

You'll get a lot of hands-on training in these tools, so you can jump straight into the workforce after graduation.

You don't have to be a pro when you're just starting out. You just need to be willing to learn.

Accounting and Payroll graduate, Michelle Riedner, says she began training with zero computer skills. 

'I could barely use a computer when I first started. Now I work daily in QuickBooks and SharePoint. I post bills and enter service invoices and time sheets. My typing skills have improved a lot. I'm learning new skills every day! I love this job."


2. Does Working with Numbers Feel Natural to you?

Some people assume that accounting software takes care of all the calculations, so being good at math isn't really a requirement to work in accounting/payroll.

It's true that we don't do a lot of manual calculations anymore, but accounting and payroll still demands a sharp eye for numbers.

Professionals in this field need to catch errors, interpret numerical data, charts, and graphs, and do basic math quickly in their heads.

Bottom line: you'll spend the majority of your day working with numbers. Comfort with math is a must!


3. Are you methodical and good at following procedures?

Accounting and payroll courses focus a lot on the steps, procedures, and regulations that govern bookkeeping and financial analysis.

For example, students learn about each stage of the "accounting cycle", a process that starts with collecting and analyzing documents and transactions, and ends with recording and posting closing entries and preparing financial statements.

Students also learn many procedures for payroll processing, including handling terminations, payroll deductions, pension plans, employee insurance premiums, records of employment, and much more.

They study how federal and provincial employments standards relate to payroll procedures, business ethics, and legal issues related to business.

This career is ideal for methodical students who can remember small details and carefully follow procedures.

Accounting and payroll is all about following the rules, every step of the way. 


4. do you have strong communication skills?

A diploma in accounting prepares students for entry-level positions. But over time, many graduates work their way up to supervisory or management roles. 

If you work with a small business, you could one day find yourself managing the books and one or two assistants, while reporting directly to the owner.

Or, you may end up supervising an accounting and payroll team within a large corporation or government department.

Even if you're not a manager, you may have to answer staff questions about payroll or help clients understand their financial statements.

Good communications skills are really important in this role. You'll need to break down complex concepts and explain them in plain language.

Customer service, professionalism, and patience are big assets in accounting and payroll.


Explore the Accounting and Payroll Administration Program

Think you'd be a great fit for Accounting and Payroll training? Your next step is to learn more about courses, careers, and admission requirements.

Start by exploring the Accounting and Payroll Administration program at Herzing College Ottawa. Training takes just 10 months and includes a 5-week internship.

Click below for detailed information and to chat live with Admissions. We're here to help!

Learn More About Accounting and Payroll Administration Training


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