Accounting is a stable, lucrative and challenging career choice, and it offers a lot of opportunity for the right candidates. In the United States, accountants earn an average of $65,000 each year, and there is the potential for even more with experience or a focused area of accounting. In order to succeed as an accountant, the first step is to earn your bachelor’s degree in the field.
Beyond that, success is often largely dependent on whether or not you hold the following personality traits, each of which is desirable in accounting.
1. Detail Oriented
In accounting, something as simple as a misplaced decimal point can make all the difference. That is why so many of the most successful accountants are highly detail oriented.
When you’re combing through receipts or analyzing and compiling data, you should be able to notice any inconsistencies and observe even the smallest of errors.
To some people, accounting can appear like a dry or uninteresting field. Thankfully, that is not true, but it does require professionals who can focus on a single or even monotonous task until it is finished.
Particularly in the busy season for accountants, or just before taxes are due each April, it is important to be able to focus. Long days are not uncommon, and accountants should be able to stay focused and attentive even after a typical eight-hour shift is over.
Perhaps the most integral personality trait for a professional accountant is trustworthiness. After all, no company or individual wants to hire an accountant who can’t be trusted. Earning that trust can take time, but the best way to start is by working hard, ensuring that clients are completely satisfied and being honest about billing and tax practices.
Accountants who are able to establish a reputation for their trustworthiness are often in demand, helping them to charge higher rates and ensure financial stability for the future.
Accountants may have to handle billing, payroll, taxes or budgets for multiple clients at once, or they might be tasked with overseeing the finances of an entire organization. Either way, there are thousands of potential things to keep track of, and there is no way to make it work unless you can be organized.
After all, an unorganized accountant is one who could mix up tax returns or input the wrong data in a spreadsheet, causing major financial problems in the future.
To become an accountant, you’ll need to earn the right degree and perhaps become accredited by an accounting body. In order to become a truly great accountant, however, you’ll also have to prove that you are a hardworking professional. In accounting, dependability is important.
If a client needs to have paperwork managed by a specific date, they need to know that their accountant can handle it, even if requires working late or on the weekend. By being hardworking, you can set yourself apart in the field and demonstrate your ability as a successful accountant.
These personality traits may not be prerequisites to becoming an accountant, but they will absolutely be a great way to get ahead in a competitive field and find success in your career.