Essential Qualities to Look for When Hiring an Accountant

Accounting is more than crunching numbers. It’s also about communicating and working with people.

Looking beyond the usual industry skills and proficiencies is essential when hiring an accountant. You’ll want to find candidates who can effectively communicate financial information and translate complex topics into simple language. Here are seven critical qualities when hiring an accountant: 

You Have a Passion for Problem-Solving

Regarding the job description of an accountant, a passion for problem-solving is a must. Accountants must be able to tackle unexpected challenges that arise on the job, such as changing guidelines or new tech tools, and resolve them without hesitation.

A proactive approach is another essential quality for accounting professionals, who are often tasked with forecasting financial metrics and making short- and long-term decisions that affect the company’s future. Predicting potential problems and taking action can help businesses save money and avoid costly errors.

A strong work ethic is also necessary, allowing accountants to stay focused and accurately complete their tasks. They are often required to double-check their mathematical calculations, which requires attention to detail.

You’re a Team Player

Few careers offer a more diverse mix of numbers and people than accounting. Accountants must regularly interact with clients, industry professionals, and colleagues to review data, analyze reports, break down complex financial information into laypeople’s terms, and more.

A great accountant in Las Vegas is a team player, and interviewers frequently ask candidates whether they fit the company’s culture well. Be ready to answer this question with examples from your past work experiences.

The best team players can recognize when a colleague needs help with a project and are willing to lend a hand. However, they also avoid offering unsolicited advice too often or overstepping their boundaries with too many responsibilities, as this can be seen as micromanaging and an insincere attempt at ingratiation.

You Have a Strong Sense of Integrity

A sense of integrity is a crucial quality to look for in candidates. It means they’re reliable and honest, essential to a good accountant. They always do their best to keep their promises and never make excuses or lie.

They also have a solid moral compass and are not afraid to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s uncomfortable. This type of person is an excellent addition to any team because they can help lead others by example.

People with a sense of integrity are also very generous and empathetic. They always remember to say thank you and are quick to offer a helping hand. They also value their time and don’t waste it on unimportant activities.

You’re Organized

Keeping track of large amounts of data is essential to any job, but it’s especially crucial for accountants. They must be able to keep their records in order, follow proper reporting guidelines, and remain organized throughout the day.

This is essential for keeping up with deadlines and meeting company standards. Having this type of work ethic also helps accountants be more proactive, which can make them an asset to your business.

Accountants also often must teach themselves or others about different financial concepts and systems. If you’re always willing to help a friend or colleague learn, you could be the perfect candidate for an accounting career.

You’re Creative

Accountants must cross every T and dot every I and find creative ways to do the job. They’re not just math whizzes; they must be comfortable interpreting data and creating results to help their business grow.

Communicating financial information in a way that is easy for non-accountants to understand can make all the difference. This soft skill may seem unimportant, but accountants must be effective at their jobs.

Being able to see outside of the box can lead to clever answers for customers and can help them save money. This shows initiative and is something a leading accounting firm wants to see in its employees.

You’re Detail-Oriented

Being detail-oriented is a crucial quality many employers seek in their employees. This is because it allows them to trust that their employees will submit work that requires only minimal corrections and oversight, allowing them to save time and energy.

Additionally, being detail-oriented often translates to an employee being able to stay organized and prioritize tasks effectively. This can be important in an industry with tight timelines and deadlines.

It also helps if an accountant can explain financial information and complex concepts clearly to others, especially when working with clients or co-workers who aren’t familiar with accounting terms. This is a great soft skill that can help an accountant be more effective. It also helps them to avoid costly errors that could result from not being able to understand the details of the information they’re dealing with.

You’re Flexible

Despite the stereotypical depiction of a lone accountant crunching numbers at their desk, most accounting professionals must regularly collaborate with other business departments and staff members. This requires a good work ethic, strong communication skills, and an attitude of cooperation and collaboration.

Another essential aspect to look for is flexibility. As your business grows, you may need to change how your accountant charges for their services. Make sure you ask about their fee structure in your interview and that you negotiate if necessary.

Also, consider how often you would like your accountant to update you with data and reports. This will help you determine if the type of accountant you seek suits your business requirements.