Good accountants are worth their weight in gold. Not only are they responsible for helping business owners keep on top of their tax obligations, but they can be a serious asset when it comes to making big financial decisions. They can assist with long term strategy and planning, troubleshoot cash flow issues and help small businesses move towards profitability. If you’re looking to kickstart your accounting career, here are five qualities that will help you succeed.
Being a great accountant is not just about being financially literate, you also need to be empathetic to your clients. In order to create great relationships, you need to understand the challenges of running and growing a business. Whether your client’s business is booming or struggling, you need to be able to show empathy to the highs and lows of small business and offer practical solutions. Empathy is what will help you grow long-term relationships with your clients.
Some clients will come to you and just want you to complete tasks on their behalf, such as submitting their tax returns and lodging their BAS. However, many clients will come to you seeking your perspective. You are one of the few people who has access to their books and all their numbers. They may have questions regarding business decisions or cash flow, and you’ll need to be able to clearly articulate your point of view and offer perspective as a financial expert.
The best accountants are those who are dedicated to both their work and their clients. Once you start working in the accounting industry, it’s imperative that you stay up-to-date with your qualifications and training. The finance industry is constantly changing and adapting to new technologies and innovation. As a finance expert, you’re expected to keep abreast of changing laws or tax obligations, in addition to general finance news. You’ll also need to keep an eye on technology trends such as automation and artificial intelligence.
You don’t have to manage people in order to be a good leader. It can start with your own responsibilities and looking after your clients. Set an example for others with your dedication and initiative. If there’s a way you and your firm could be doing something differently in order to streamline processes or better serve your clients, don’t be afraid to suggest it to your manager. A good leader can also recognise their own weaknesses and look for ways to improve.
It’s also very important to be proactive as an accountant. Not only does it pay to show initiative with your existing clients, but it can also help you win new clients. Seek out smart solutions to common problems, even before your clients ask. If there is a way your client could be making smarter financial decisions, share your wisdom in a respectful and honest manner. Let them know how you and your firm can help take them closer to their goal of running a successful business.