What Makes a Great Accountant?

The top accountants separate themselves from the crowd with their performance and productivity. Here’s what makes them great.

Greatness is something you earn and establish – not something you inherit or are born with. It takes hard work and dedication, among other things. So what makes a great accountant? Read on to find out.

Natural collaborator

A great accountant is a natural collaborator. They’re as comfortable with people as they are with numbers: collaborators by instinct, they seek to build consensus and create buy-in with key stakeholders. They can adapt to the natural working style of the rest of their team, and communicate with others in a positive, inclusive manner. Although they’re committed to achieving their personal milestones and career goals, they understand that true success is measured in terms of collective accomplishments, and their ability to foster greatness in others.

What’s more, natural collaborators can win over their non-financial peers by partnering with them and helping them understand the key drivers of their projects. They build consensus and ensure that win-win partnerships form the foundation for each interaction.

Attention to detail

A great accountant has an unerring eye for detail. Patient, systematic, and focused, they are capable multitaskers; they can manage time-sensitive deadlines, without sacrificing accuracy. And they know full well that even the smallest errors can add up to big losses, costing their business both time and money.

They’re as comfortable with people as they are with numbers: collaborators by instinct, they seek to build consensus and create buy-in with key stakeholders.

As such, a quality accountant will be up-to-date on changing regulations and reporting procedures and policies. There’s a reason why job descriptions routinely list attention to detail as one of their key requirements.

Improvement and growth

A great accountant is committed to continuing their personal and professional growth. They work energetically to develop and enlarge their skillset, because they know that enhancing that “toolbox” will benefit their employer, too. Seeing opportunities for improvements within the accounting cycle, they can design innovative solutions that add value to their department or organization.

What’s more, an outstanding accountant will bring their analytical skills to bear on problems to produce solutions that minimize risk and maximize growth. This desire for self-improvement makes them fantastic managers, who can develop teams and inspire a culture of continual improvement.

They work energetically to develop and enlarge their skillset, because they know that enhancing that “toolbox” will benefit their employer, too.

Ethics

The best accountants hold themselves – and others – to the highest ethical standards. In the ethics of accounting, there’s little latitude for interpretation and subjectivity; for the most part, something is either right or wrong. Great accountants understand this.

They also know that their company is depending on them to provide an accurate, detailed financial picture, so that strategic decisions can be made to advance its interests. Great accountants can cope with ambiguity; they refuse to tolerate misrepresentation of data, however.

Great accountants are innovative, solutions-oriented, and committed to professional development. They make their companies better.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!