Clients expect accountants to have great organisation skills and boast a high degree of precision, but there is more to being an exceptional practitioner than these two traits.
Professional accountants are often thought of as extremely precise, with a keen eye for detail and a vast amount of practical knowledge, and rightly so. If you make even a small mistake in this environment, it can have a huge impact on a client’s business.
Certainly, accounting books provide a basis for business decisions and measure the financial health of a company, so it’s natural that accountants are expected to have great organisation skills and boast a high degree of precision.
The duties of an accountant can vary from company to company, but typically they are responsible for:
Your accountant would be responsible for ensuring that your financial data is properly stored, updated and managed. This is so the information can be reported on accurately to the business owners, investors (if you have them) and the government. The accountant would also ensure that proper procedures are in place for data entry and that the accounting software system being used is modern, secure and backed up regularly.
Ever been in a meeting and someone said: “how about we get the bean counters in here for their advice before we make a decision?”. There’s a reason for that. When it comes to decisions involving the future of your small business, your accountant may sometimes be your best resource.
Perhaps you need some simple tips on how to proceed with spending in the next quarter, or perhaps there’s a situation regarding a big expenditure, and you want to discuss options for credit or tax deductions, or maybe you just need help interpreting some of the financial jargon in a document. An accountant can help you with all of that, as well as troubleshoot the day to day activities of managing the finances of your company.
Have you ever heard of a “Cash Flow Statement” or a “Profit and Loss Report”? These are the types of reports that allow you to keep updated on the company’s money. You or your investors are going to be making decisions based on the reports your accountant provides, so he/she needs to make sure they are up to date and accurate.
Are there lots of rules and regulations affecting your small business? Perhaps your business is going through an audit? Or it’s tax time? Well, an accountant can handle these headaches and ensure that your income and expense reporting follows applicable state and federal laws.
Applying for a loan is both an art and a science. A good accountant will do more than just pull together your numbers. They can help you craft a compelling story.
Lenders obviously need to see solid financials and credible forecasts, but that’s just the beginning. An accountant will tie it all together in a presentation that sells a wider vision for your business. There won’t be any spreadsheets. You’ll be armed with graphs and charts that visualise the numbers – allowing your lender to see the opportunity literally. And they’ll use powerful forecasting tools that loan officers trust.
Detailed budgeting can eat up a lot of your time and energy. As a result, many businesses end up working off a vague set of numbers that are full of assumptions and estimates. Your accountant can help you produce a rigorous, accurate budget that gives you real confidence. You’ll know the real cost of doing business. You’ll know how much money you can reinvest. And you’ll know what you can pay yourself.
This is where the accountant comes in. Whether working in-house full-time or provided by a third-party accounting firm, an accountant is valuable in helping you keep track of all financial matters related to your business.
While many clients expect accountants to be great at organising and to be extremely precise, they are simply the result in being trained to make impactful decisions that could affect the overall financial health of a business. These are only some of the traits that accountants need to develop to be good at what they do.
Here are the qualities that will let you know that the accountant you’re partnering with will help you see your business and finances through every step of the way:
Being passionate about a business’s financial vision is one thing, but good accountants are skilled at funnelling those visions into fruitful business plans. They are masters at ‘sweating the small stuff’ to ensure records are up to date and error-free and can confidently grasp legislative requirements and complex fiscal formulas.
Any certified accountant that operates under a strict code of ethics has a strong sense of integrity and is inclined towards honesty inspires confidence among co-workers, superiors, and clients alike.
This is also a trait that should extend into an accountant’s personal life as well – a person with a strong sense of integrity will most likely be someone who operates within the legal boundaries of a country’s existing laws and is also likely to be a law-abiding citizen.
Good accountants are flexible and understand a variety of business models so can determine what economic methods best suit a business’s required goals. Because they know how to grow their own business, they can also offer credible advice in terms of revenue building and financial outcome management.
Being able to crunch the numbers and swiftly determine a business’s core financial health is something a good accountant excels at. They realise that the most critical part of financial mastery is cash. They understand its peaks and troughs and thrive on facts, figures and hard-core problem-solving.
Good accountants are ethical, diplomatic and have well-developed people skills that enable them to develop trust and rapport with their clients. They’re able to use their integrity to foster collaborative and respectful environments, which helps clients make good business decisions.
The ability to lead and work with other people is a much-needed trait for any employee in any workforce in any industry. In real life, accountants often found working in teams to come up with solutions and strategies for business’ finances.
You will rarely see a lone accountant crunching numbers in a single office cubicle. As much as this is an integral part of an accountant’s daily work, data analysis will still take up a long time, and raw data can take a long time to compile and translate into meaningful statistics and graphs.
Accountants also need to consult with each other for these solutions to know which ones will provide the best avenues for growth.
A clean workspace and solid time management skills are key traits in good accountants, ensuring they can negotiate deadlines and manage complex projects. They love a highly structured environment and are comfortable with repetitive processes and strict rules and regulations.
Although good accountants are supremely comfortable with structure, they are also able to foster fresh ideas in dealing with financial difficulties. An inquisitive mind means they embrace change, are always keen to learn more and see each new challenge as an opportunity to learn and test their skills.
Accountants also need to be creative to come up with unique solutions and strategies for businesses facing certain financial hurdles that can be difficult to overcome, especially when these problems are equally unique and don’t often come up in textbook cases.
Creative solutions are also something that an accountant needs to be able to come up with, as the business landscape is dynamic and at times, unpredictable.
All industries are highly dynamic in nature, and accountants need to be able to respond to changes in industries and working environments effectively.
Nowadays, offices can change really quickly, and accountants need to be able to adjust to these alterations. Quality service is made possible when regulatory changes in the business and industrial sector are responded to as soon as possible, and accountants that stay on top of the latest trends and demands in the business sector are able to adapt to this shifting landscape.
Because accounting is such a precise science, good accountants are adept at communicating in a clear and informative voice and can write in a style that is clear and persuasive. They have well-developed interpersonal skills and an innate ability to assert themselves when networking.
Clients are just as varied and dynamic as the business and industrial sectors themselves, and accountants need to be able to adjust to their clients in order to meet their requirements and help their businesses out.
Not only does this help them decide which accounting solutions could fit the business as well as maximise profits, returns, and investments on the part of the client, but will even allow accountants to impart much-needed insight and advice to their clients.
Interpersonal skills are also valuable in certain situations, and can greatly benefit both accountant and client. For the accountant, this will bring positive response and recommendation, which can, in turn, bring them to more clients for them to work with.
Good accountants are great role models and have the patience, skills and confidence to delegate while maintaining a measure of approachability. Their core leadership skills extend to include strategic thinking, meaning they can make logical decisions that prove to clients that they are working to improve both the present and the future.
It’s great for your accountants to have the most diverse background possible and one that aligns perfectly with your business. It’s even better if they can apply the latest technology to make your accounting practices more efficient. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also know there are fewer errors, and you’ll be able to stay abreast of your industry and your competition.
At Scrubbed, we utilise the top software platforms and know-how to integrate these with your IT and current business practices for the most seamless accounting available. Some of the top programs and platforms we use include:
This lets us handle all of the functions listed above and more. We make it our goal that if you need an accounting service, we’ll provide it and do it well.
For those of you with who feel numerically literate, here are the skills you need to start off on your journey.
Accountancy has been an indispensable tool of business since day one. No project can get off the ground without a tight control and solid method applied to the numbers. Innovation is needed because, as the business world evolves, so too does the accounting requirements that go with it. Often, recruiters will be looking for candidates with fresh ideas – poised to make an impact on the future of the accounting universe.
Hand in hand with a need for innovation is the need to understand the field in which you will be working. Assimilating new information and data, project management or meeting new clients forms the backbone of daily tasks. As such, understanding information quickly is essential, and it is through asking well thought out questions that you can get settled in no time. Start by understanding the different types of accountancy.
Part of the sacred requirements in any industry, once again, communication is vital. Accountants need to convey complex information in the most straightforward way possible. Whether you are an outside firm hired on behalf of a business, or you are part of an internal accounts team, you will likely need to work alongside colleagues on every level. Assessments of these skills start when you apply for your first accountancy role.
It’s perhaps a little surprising that people forget about this. While certain skills are basically offshoots of common sense, the need for commercial awareness is crucial. Commercial awareness is, in essence, the knowledge of how and where your business fits in the market – how it is affected by economic, social and political movements and how it can forge ahead and evolve. It is about knowing your craft.
As with any role, enthusiasm is a key component that recruiters will look for. The ability to bring positive energy to a team and truly believe in what you are working towards is crucial. Enthusiasm is contagious; it demonstrates that you are willing to learn your trade.
Closely aligned with understanding and enthusiasm, the initiative is a must-have. It proves that you can work on your own, that you are an independent thinker and in turn, it will lead to you being trusted with more responsibility. It is particularly important if you decide to become a freelance accountant at a later stage of your career.
We all have particular brands we are fond of using. Most of the time, the reasoning behind our choices comes down to one thing: trust. The same applies when you are building your career. You want people to trust you. Credibility is the currency that you can trade on. With more credibility comes more opportunity. Through building a credible brand, you are also laying the foundations for a solid future.
A willingness to put in the hard graft is certainly recommended. As with any career, you will start at entry-level and, most likely, want to work your way up. It is not always going to be an easy path. An ability to work towards tight deadlines, juggle multiple clients’ needs and remain positive through these challenges is something that should not come as a surprise. Resilience is the ability to keep a cool head and put trust in your skillset.
Although this may not be immediately relevant, it is something to take into account before embarking on your career journey. Perhaps one of the benefits and appealing aspects of a career in accounting is flexibility. However, it is also important to build a solid foundation early on in your career. Changing finance and accounting jobs every year can be a disadvantage as employers will be looking for excellent CV stability and a career that has progressed well. Make sure you find the right balance.
Finally, the presence of or the willingness to include international work experience will add another string to your bow. While this may not be something that is immediately present on your CV, it is worth bookmarking this skill for later use. Many commercial businesses are concentrating on the next phase of their organisational growth, and more often than not, this is linked to overseas trade.
Are you ready to experience all the best qualities of a great accountant firsthand? Get in touch with us today and ask about what services are right for your business. We offer a free consultation, so there’s nothing to lose. Why waste time with accountants that don’t have the qualities your business deserves?
THIS WEBSITE CONTAINS GENERAL ADVICE ONLY AND IS NOT PERSONAL FINANCIAL OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. ALSO, CHANGES IN LEGISLATION MAY OCCUR FREQUENTLY. WE RECOMMEND THAT OUR FORMAL ADVICE BE OBTAINED BEFORE ACTING ON THE BASIS OF THIS INFORMATION. INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN HAS BEEN SECURED FROM SOURCES EWM ACCOUNTANTS & BUSINESS ADVISORS BELIEVES ARE RELIABLE, BUT MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY OF SUCH INFORMATION AND ACCEPT NO LIABILITY. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU CONSULT WITH A TAX ADVISOR, CPA, FINANCIAL ADVISOR, ATTORNEY, ACCOUNTANT, AND ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL THAT CAN HELP YOU TO UNDERSTAND AND ASSESS THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ANY INVESTMENT.
Guest post by : team Form -
Like this? Share it...