Accountants are important to business, yet some companies don't need a full-time accountant or someone with extensive accounting training to complete bank reconciliations, record simple journal entries or to pay vendor bills. Business owners, administrative assistants, receptionists and other employees learn to invoice clients, complete account reconciliations and research account discrepancies using logic, common sense and amateur detective skills.
A journal entry in a general ledger is used to record a company's financial transactions and events. Using a system of debits and credits, basic journal entries record expenses such as depreciation, rent, the purchase of supplies, and the payment of utilities and insurance. Journal entries also record company sales, the purchase of assets and the incurrence of liabilities.
Balance sheet reconciliations are an important accounting process used to verify account balances and activity and to identify and correct errors and material misstatements. Account reconciliations are performed in accordance with company policies and procedures and best practices. Monthly balance sheet reconciliations that may be performed with basic accounting skills include bank accounts, prepaid expenses and accounts payable.
Research and Problem Solving
Entry-level accountants and bookkeepers must be able to perform basic research to verify account transactions and resolve account discrepancies and errors. Problem-solving skills are also needed to gather needed information from various sources and to investigate and analyze data to develop and implement solutions such as correcting errors and inconsistencies in financial entries and in client and vendor transactions and accounts.
Other basic skills may include the preparation of reports that reflect business activity such as accounts receivable and accounts payable aging reports, depreciation schedules and ad hoc reports. Other skills include the ability to understand and create a basic income statement and balance sheet and to create various spreadsheets that report and analyze various financial business data.
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