Accounting may not be for everyone. It’s a lot of responsibility, can be monotonous, and requires concentration beyond belief. If you are easily distracted, the misplacement of a comma can make a huge difference… and could cost you your job! Here’s a few important qualities that accountants should have. See if accounting is right for you.
Do you enjoy educational opportunities? A career in accounting will require the proper education. To begin, you will need to enroll in an online Bachelor’s degree in Accounting program. From there, you will qualify for entry-level accounting positions, however, if you wish to become a Certified Public Accountant, additional coursework may be required. If you truly wish to move up among the ranks, earning your master’s degree will help tremendously. Additional education to obtain certifications will also help you move up the corporate ladder. Continued education is a must and often a requirement. Are you in it for the long haul?
Do you enjoy math? “Of course,” you say. “What accountant doesn’t enjoy math?” Well, at times, the repetition and constant figure crunching can get mundane. Make sure you truly have a love for numbers before you invest in an expensive accounting education. Dedication to the field of accounting and all things financial is imperative for success. You will want a good return on your money after you graduate… any accountant knows that!
Are you a person of integrity? Are you willing to follow the rules? Through an accounting practice, you must be upfront and honest with your clients. Remember that the numbers do not lie. Today’s tax codes and regulations can be difficult to understand and perhaps, may be hard to adhere to, however, as a professional accountant, you must be confident in your tax code comprehension and willing to abide by all the rules, to a tee. No cheating allowed!
There are other important qualities that one should maintain to be good at accounting. Your online Bachelor of Accounting degree program may teach you these requirements, however, for many, they are considered qualities that… if you haven’t developed them by now, it may be too late. For example, how do you manage your time? Quality time management is a must. You must be efficient to handle the work load of an accountant, especially during the first few months of the year… aka tax season. Know how to prioritize.
Do you pay attention to details? No doubt, accountants must get the facts correct and record them with accuracy. You can not afford distractions or mistakes. Do you consider yourself a good organizer? Will your office be nice and neat or look like a hurricane just blew through? As some employees are messy… but know where everything is, others are neat and definitely know where everything is. It’s best to show your clients that you are organized and can keep a tidy office. This presence will give clients the confidence they need to place their faith in your abilities. Organizational skills will allow you to quickly find the information you need… when you need it and not just as the client leaves the parking lot!
Are you a good communicator, through written and verbal means? Excellent communication skills are important to forge lasting relationships with clients. They need to know, in layman’s terms, what you need them to understand. Effective communication is also needed when collaborating with other fellow accountants, office personnel or other business professionals… and maybe the occasional pizza delivery guy!
Do you adjust or accept change easily? Technology today demands that those involved in any type of computer-based processing stay current with the everyday changes and improvements that present themselves. Most businesses find it beneficial to update software and the like whenever possible to maximize efficiency. Are you going to fall apart when everything you are accustomed to has magically changed while you were sleeping overnight?…And you go into the office the next morning and everything looks different? A good accountant embraces change and appreciates its value.
Do you enjoy working with people? Your clients should be important to you. You must have a genuine interest in helping those that come to you for your expert advice. If you don’t have a tolerance for those who keep you in business, you probably should choose a different profession.
A career in accounting can be stressful, as well. Deadlines are often in place and long work hours are involved during tax season. Although intense at times, an accounting career can be rewarding, exciting and quite lucrative with the proper credentials and experience. If you would like to learn more, see our list of the Top 20 Online Accounting Degree Programs available to you.