What Qualities Make a Good Accountant?

It takes a rare individual to make a good accountant since the qualities of an accountant are hard to find in a person after all. People in this field need to have a love of math, be detail-oriented and have the ability to stay organized. While other qualities can certainly help, an accountant must have these three characteristics in order to be successful.

Mathematics

If you’re thinking about becoming an accountant and you don’t absolutely love numbers, facts and figures, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying your job. In addition to general education math courses, undergraduates may have to take courses such as:

  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • applied math for business or economics
  • statistics
  • financial accounting

Although many accounting programs don’t require many courses that would fall under a mathematics curriculum, many classes involve working with numbers and figuring out math problems. Accounting is all about money, and if an accountant keeps costing people money by getting his or her math wrong, he or she won’t be an accountant for long. Some people have the ability to do fairly complex math, but they lack passion. A person like this might be able to have a career in the accounting field, but he or she may become easily discouraged with the job.

Detail Oriented

One of the most important qualities of an accountant is the ability to stay detail oriented for the entirety of the work day. Most people can stay alert and focused for short periods of time, but if you’re thinking of becoming an accountant, ask yourself if you can fully concentrate on your work for eight hours each day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most accountants work full-time, and many of them work more than 40 hours each week during certain times of the year. It can be easy to accidentally use a wrong number or put a figure on the wrong line, but accountants need to be very accurate. If you make even simple mistakes very often, you’ll end up with unhappy clients, and your boss probably won’t be very happy with you either.

Organization

As mentioned before, accountants often have to work more than 40 hours per week. This means that if you take this type of job, you should expect to have many tasks and duties. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have more than you can handle, however. An accountant’s workload is usually quite manageable as long as he or she is able to stay organized. Keeping a clean work space and making sure that you don’t let your email folders fill up are important, but part of being organized is also learning how to prioritize. If you have more to do in a day than can possibly be done, you need to be comfortable with choosing which things should be worked on soon and which things should be left for another day.

Working in accounting is a good career choice, and, for many, it’s a comfortable way to earn a living. If you think that you have the qualities of an accountant, and think you can handle what accountants do, you should consider getting the education that you need to start your career.

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