Everyone has the same set of expectations for what an accountant should be able to provide. Exceeding the basics is what will make you stand out, and your clients will recognize you for that. A great accountant won’t have to completely change who he or she is, but instead maximize certain core aspects of their personality. Everyone has a little bit of everything, and there are certain traits accountants should focus on strengthening for the benefit of their clients. How many of these adjectives describe you?
1. Detail Oriented
A detail oriented person will be able to recognize where the numbers are going the fastest. This will allow you to spot anything that may be amiss before it ever becomes an issue. Paying close attention will improve your accuracy, and this will make you more effective overall. You can’t afford to miss the small stuff when it’s linked directly to the bigger picture.
Your clients are trusting you with matters they would consider to be very private. You’re handling their personal information, and they’ll take comfort in knowing that they’re putting it in the right hands. They need to know that, no matter the circumstances, no one else will ever be privy to their financial matters. It’s your job to show them your level of commitment.
3. Highly Organized
This one goes without saying, but there’s always room for improvement. Your organization is indicative of your ability to work efficiently and access pertinent information on-demand. Nobody likes when their accountant has to shuffle through papers for half an hour to find simple numbers.
Technology will continue to impact your job. Are you prepared to handle those curveballs? The ability to adapt to a number of environments under different circumstances will help you keep your claws sharp in the industry.
5. Straight Priorities
Understanding how to stagger your priorities will improve your ability to manage time efficiently. Your job is more than numbers, and you need to be able to reconcile related tasks with the core of your responsibilities. Sometimes you won’t be able to handle your whole workload in one day, but the goal is to get as close as possible.
6. People Person
It’s not your job to work the figures blindly. You need to know what your clients’ personal priorities are. Exactly why are they enlisting your service? What are their future goals, and what can you offer them to encourage their success? Every client is a person, and every person has different needs.
No one is the master of everything. Having a collaborative relationship with your colleagues will allow you to explore new ideas and get second opinions. This will ensure that you’re making the best decisions for your clients as you learn new techniques and novel approaches.
Dipping your toes in too many ponds won’t do you any favors. While you may think that dabbling in the maximum amount of sectors will increase your options, you’re only limiting yourself. Pick one area that you can see yourself excelling in, and focus all of your commitment to that area. Let that be your area of prowess, and you’ll be a top candidate for anyone seeking your specialty.
9. Great Communicator
A lot of jargon comes with the territory. Your coworkers and savvy clients will understand it just fine, but your typical client will feel like you’re speaking to them in an imaginary language. You need to be able to communicate to your clients in a way that they’ll understand. This will improve the trust in your business relationships.
Going by the book will give predictable results, and exploring new territory will give better results. Tackling jobs with an imaginative approach will allow you to discover new avenues while adding a new layer of passionate excitement to your job.
It’s easy to be a good accountant, but more challenging to be a great accountant. When it seems like accountants are a dime a dozen, you want to distinguish yourself from your competitors. With some small changes in your outlook and habits, both you and your clients will enjoy your time together more.
Isabel Wiliams is part of the team at http://www.bizdb.co.uk/ - an online business resource
featuring companies house filings. She combines her passion for accountancy with her love for writing.