What Are Basic Accounting Skills?

Anyone can learn to complete a bank reconciliation.

Anyone can learn to complete a bank reconciliation.

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.

Journal Entries

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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About the Author

Keela Helstrom began writing in 2010. She is a Certified Public Accountant with over 10 years of accounting and finance experience. Though working as a consultant, most of her career has been spent in corporate finance. Helstrom attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has her Bachelor of Science in accounting.

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