70% of small business owners outsource their accounting and tax preparation.
This means that there are plenty of opportunities to find the right clients for your accounting practice.
If you’re thinking about becoming an accountant, future employers and clients want to see more than just good education on your resume. They want to see that you have the top qualities of an accountant as well.
And while it’s great if you already have some of these traits, you can also work to develop them while you grow as an accounting professional.
Not sure what these qualities are? Keep reading for the top accountant qualities to cultivate so you can land that dream job or client.
One of the most important traits of an accountant is being detail-oriented.
If you’re already working as an accountant, you’ll know that one missed number or misplaced comma can lead to huge problems. This could mean hours of poring over documents, or worse, a financial disaster for the client.
A huge part of being detail-oriented is to double-check your work. Even if you’re not in the habit of doing this, it’s a habit that you can train yourself to do with practice.
Accountants also need to be able to take all this detailed information and explain it to clients in an easy-to-understand way.
Accountants have to deal with huge amounts of paperwork, photocopies, and confidential documents, so organization is a must-have quality.
Having good organization is especially vital during tax season. This is because you need to know exactly where each client’s information is so you or your assistant can access it when needed.
This also means organizing your office so that client files are in drawers or on shelves in alphabetical order. If you deal with both personal and corporate tax, make sure you have a system to differentiate which folder is which.
Especially during busy seasons, accountants may have to deal with frustrated or stressed-out clients.
Many clients also don’t understand much of how their taxes are done and may not understand the process. One of the jobs of an accountant is to be patient enough to explain all this information.
Explaining the process in detail helps clients feel more at ease. It also helps them better prepare their tax information for next year. This results in a more seamless process for you.
The best accountants have excellent customer service skills. They are also able to communicate openly and effectively with their clients.
A successful accountant will also go the extra mile to figure out how to best serve the client and creatively find solutions to problems.
When clients feel like they’re getting amazing value for their money, they’re more likely to keep you as their accountant. They’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Those with the best accounting careers are accountants who place a strong emphasis on ethics and integrity.
If an accountant does something unethical, not only will their career suffer, but they could get their clients into huge legal trouble.
As an accountant, you need to establish trust with your clients. You need to show them that you know the difference between being creative with problem-solving versus doing something immoral or illegal.
This means showing clients that you take care of their finances in a transparent way and can talk to them about why and how you did something if they ask.
One key trait that many people overlook with accounting jobs is that it’s vital to be a team player.
If you’re working at an accounting firm, you’ll have other accountants, accounting assistants, and administrative assistants working alongside you.
You’ll also have to work with bookkeepers and clients directly to make sure everything is filed and submitted properly.
Good With Technology
While accountants deal with numbers, they have to have an expert understanding of the technology they use every day.
This includes the use of spreadsheet software like Excel and popular accounting software like Quickbooks and Sage.
It’s also good to develop technology skills in general, as you will need to keep up with rapidly-changing technology and may have to learn how to use new programs during your career.
Becoming an accountant doesn’t stop at getting your CPA license and setting up your firm.
While the accounting education you got will help determine how well you know the basics, you have to continue to learn throughout your career as an accountant.
This means staying up-to-date on accounting trends, best practices, accounting technologies, and tax laws. You should also attend regular professional development sessions to keep updating and improving your knowledge on these topics.
Accountants deal with confidential information every day. This is why they need to be reliable and worthy of being trusted with all this private and often sensitive information.
As a beginner, one of the best ways to prove that you’re a reliable accountant is to collect good reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.
A great way to do this is to work on freelance accounting jobs by joining a network such as https://www.taxfyle.com/freelance-cpa-jobs.
Develop These Qualities of an Accountant
While you may not have all these qualities of an accountant at the start, you can work to develop them as you grow in your professional skills.
The more you work on cultivating the right combination of skills and knowledge, the better chance you have of getting those dream clients or landing a job at an amazing accounting firm.
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