1. Eager to Keep Learning
Being enthusiastic about new information is one of the most important qualities that an accountant can have. Accounting is a field that changes quickly. This is why it is so important that CPAs take the CPE requirement seriously and apply themselves to consistently expanding their knowledge.
Experienced accountants will tell you that there is something new to learn almost every month, whether it be new regulations, best accounting practices, or the integration of new technologies. Accountants should not be afraid of these changes. Instead, be open to expanding your knowledge and embrace developments in the field. This way you can stay on top of your game, remain competitive and wont be left behind by the fast-paced industry.
For accountants to be open to new policies, practices, and trends, they need to be adaptable. While some people see accounting as rather mundane, it is actually a pretty unpredictable job. Over the course of their career, CPAs are likely to work with a variety of different clients in different fields. You may even work in different countries. In order to be comfortable and successful in various work environments, accountants need to be adaptable.
Since the advent of COVID-19, everyone has had to learn a hard lesson in adaptability. From a business perspective, the COVID-19 crisis has forced people to think of creative solutions, including in terms of accounting. For CPAs, the pandemic has meant that interacting with clients must be exclusively virtual. While this means that we have lost the interpersonal benefits of ‘IRL’ consultations, the best accountants have embraced the changes to the job.
3. Ethical Responsibility
Accountants have a great deal of responsibility. Not only do they have access to confidential information, but their role in advising business owners on financial matters can make or break a company. This is why so many states require prospective CPAs to take an ethics examination.
Accountants have an ethical responsibility to give clients accurate information, to be accessible, to be open to questions, and to behave with integrity. A good accountant is someone who has a good track record of ethical best practices, such that they have developed trust and a good rapport among their clients.
4. Effective Communicators
Accounting is not only about sitting at a desk crunching numbers. Contrary to popular belief, a good accountant is usually someone with excellent people skills. After all, communicating with clients and coworkers is a really important part of the job. Accountants need to be able to convey information clearly and assertively. This also helps by creating the impression of competence and trustworthiness.
As new technologies continue to transform the field of accounting, the advisory, interpersonal, and analytical duties of accountants have become more and more important. This makes it especially important that accountants are effective and enthusiastic communicators.
5. Organised and Detail Oriented
This last point is probably the most stereotypical of the personality traits on this list. Accountants work in highly structured environments with strict rules and regulations. For this reason, a good accountant is someone with exceptional time management skills who is able to juggle complex projects and maximise productivity. This requires a natural gift for organisation. Accountants should also have attuned diligence for accuracy to ensure that their records are up to date and free of errors.