Skip to main content
Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Accounting Skills Guide

Recommended high school-level background courses

  • All accounting courses
  • English Composition
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speech
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Economics
  • Computer Applications
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intro to Business
  • Keyboarding
  • Personal Finance
  • Business Law
  • Business Management
  • Spanish
  • Lifetime Fitness

Basic skills in the program and on the job


Strong reading skills are important in this program. The accounting textbooks, which are a central part of the course work, are written at a college level. Tests are based on a combination of text material, lectures, and homework problems. Students will be developing a methodology for following sequential instructions to problem solve and organize answers.

In addition to the texts, students will read data spreadsheets and use manuals that accompany software texts. The students will also be required to research articles on the web or in trade journals, and report on their findings. In the workplace, they will refer to manuals and source documents to analyze additional financial data.


Written and verbal communications are important in all accounting programs. In the work place, accountants will interact in groups, or one-on-one with clients and co-workers. They may also be required to explain and clarify their work to their supervisors.


Effective math abilities are needed in the Accounting programs. High school courses in algebra will help the student succeed in this program.


Good time management skills are crucial to this program. You can expect regular homework assignments. Strong reasoning skills are also important. Students must learn to follow sequential instructions carefully; the accounting cycle proceeds in a specific order, and accounting-related software also requires a specific sequence of steps. Students will develop and enhance their analytical skills in order to problem solve.

Professional responsibilities

  • Planning, directing or coordinating financial activities of a brand, office or department
  • Preparing cost estimates to aid management in bidding or determining prices of products and or services
  • Examining budget estimates for completeness, accuracy and conformity with procedures and regulations
  • Analyzing credit data and financial statements to determine the degree of risk involved in extending or receiving credit
  • Advising clients on financial plans using knowledge of investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans and real estate
  • Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions

Career options

  • Financial Manager
  • Cost Estimator
  • Budget Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Financial Examiner
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Claims Examiner
  • Staff Accountant

Skills covered in accounting coursework

  • Collecting, recording, summarizing, and interpreting financial data
  • Using accounting data to make management decisions
  • Using appropriate accounting procedures in all financial matters
  • Using computers and other electronic means of handling accounting data

© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


Minnnesota State Logo - vertical

Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State

This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 877-853-8324 or 507-453-2700.