9 Signs of a Professional Accountant

The accountant is the second person in the company: they know where your money comes from, what companies you work with, and what you are building your dacha for. A bad accountant can expose you to fines and investigation. And it is almost impossible to distinguish a bad specialist from a good one if you do not know accounting basis. However, we have gathered nine signs that can help you distinguish a professional accountant.

1. They see both the details and the big picture equally

If you want to know how important the details are, ask an accountant. One wrong number or a tiny comma missing in the sum can lead to consequences for the size of Everest. So an excellent specialist can see every detail: numbers, signs, letters. They perfectly master the techniques of concentration and know their limits. Not a single mistake will slip past such an accountant.

Seeing details in a solid document is not as easy as it seems. In fact, we do not read words and other data separately but perceive them as a whole. A great accountant sees more than just it. They can easily switch to the big picture, and see the relationships between different documents and the overall accounting structure.

2. They monitor government changes

Keeping track of all the endless amendments and innovations is not a very exciting chore. But it is responsible for the speed of submitting reports and the most reasonable use of all the possibilities of the tax system depend. So excellent specialist always keeps their finger on the pulse.

3. They track technical innovations and know new services and programs to simplify work

There are two ways to automate: custom development or ready-made services. The first way is good because you are guaranteed to get the right solution for your specific needs. But, of course, it will be long and expensive. The second way is good because “everyone has already thought of it before us”, most accountants have the same problems, and smart people have already prepared their solution. It can be both official services and solutions of independent developers.

4. They know that the routine is not worth the time and effort

Time is the only resource that cannot be replenished. The only thing we can do is distribute it wisely. Let’s say there are two accountants who work 40 hours a week. But one of them spends 30 hours on routine work, and the other 30 hours on solving strategic problems, improving skills, and achieving goals. Who do you think will be the fastest to succeed?

Routine is the inevitable evil of accounting work. But it can be delegated. Smart automation frees you up to the maximum time at the minimum cost. For example, if you have two or three new partners a year, then it doesn’t make sense for you to buy an expensive service, it’s easier to check them manually. And vice versa, if you have an endless number of documents, 10-15 suppliers, and 50-70 items in the invoice, then manually entering primary documentation will gobble up all your time. 

5. They see the business as a friend, helps them save on taxes

The accountant is a business’s best friend. The fact is that the manager doesn’t care how many documents and accounts the accountant conducted, how they were able to meet the deadlines with reporting, and how many coils of nerves they spent communicating with the tax office. 

An excellent specialist knows all the pains and needs of the business. And helps close them. It focuses on global goals (reduce costs, optimize taxes, increase profits) and not on a particular accountant’s calendar. 

6. They are ahead of deadlines

The work of an accountant is built around dates. Salaries, taxes, rent, reports – everything must be ready by a certain date. And few people take into account that, according to the law of meanness, counterparties disappear at the last minute, websites hang, computers break down, etc. So failure to meet the deadline entails consequences in the form of fines. A good specialist takes this into account and always prepares in advance. And they set a personal deadline 1-2 days earlier than the actual one. 

7. They don’t burn out and know how to take breaks in time

For some reason, many people think that successful accountants live at work, but this is not so. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend at work, what matters is how productive you are. A rested and focused specialist will do more in one hour than a burnt-out employee in 8 hours.

The human concentration limit is 45 minutes. After that, be sure to take a short break. In addition to breaks, one should not forget about vacations. Ideally, choose vacation dates in the interval between reports: in the inter-reporting period for the 1st quarter and the 2nd quarter/half a year, or in a respite between the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

8. They improve analytical skills

The work of an accountant is difficult because it contains a continuous and voluminous flow of information that needs to be processed, isolated from its most important, and interpreted when making decisions. All these tasks require a sharp analytical mind. But this is not some kind of gift from above, but a skill. And, like any skill, it takes constant work and practice. 

9. They understand the importance of soft skills and develop them

Hard skills are fundamental for an accountant, but in the modern world, employers are increasingly paying attention to soft or trans-professional skills. And here are the top 3 soft skills for an accountant:

Communication skills and ability to work in a team

An accountant constantly has to communicate: with employees, management, counterparties, inspection bodies, and shareholders. So communication skills are at the top of the list to master. 

The ability to explain complex things in simple terms

An accountant constantly has to explain something: to management, employees, and customers. If you know how to convey the complex in simple words, then you will simplify the work for yourself and others. In this case, you will have to do it only once.

Stress resistance and patience


Constant changes, deadlines, and problems with employees and clients – alas, this is the reality of the average accountant. And the way you deal with all this is a direct indicator of your professionalism. 


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