According to new research from insurers 1st Central, accountants are the professionals most likely to crash their car and make an insurance claim. Of course, no one can be good at everything, and even if they aren’t the best drivers, accountants certainly have many redeeming characteristics.
In fact, the best accountants in our view are those that have the characteristics of entrepreneurs and apply these to their everyday work.
Accountants must have a strong business focus. This involves talking to different parts of a business, and having an in depth knowledge of its mechanics, the way in which it functions beyond the financial, in order to make commercially savvy recommendations.
Accountants might not always be known for being the most creative individuals but the ability to think ‘outside the box’ and encourage calculated risks where appropriate, that can maximise business returns, is invaluable.
Confidence is also key. Accountants are very client / business facing (depending on whether they are in practice or in house) so confidence in their own knowledge and recommendations is key to reassuring their clients / colleagues. They must also be prepared to speak to all manner of people and might need to ask for pieces of information that are sensitive or difficult to produce.
Developing these traits will make an accountant stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive jobs market, as technical competence can now only get a professional so far.