Posted: 11. July 2019 by: Rupert Tennant

6 Skills to Look From Your Accountant

One of the most important employees every business owner needs to find is an accountant. That’s because it’s their knowledge, skills and expertise that can greatly help your business when it comes to paying your taxes and organizing your finances in a responsible way.

Finding the one to accomplish that, however, is much harder than it seems.  You’ll need to find an accountant that fulfils your criteria when it comes to their education and skills but also one that will fit in with your corporate culture.

Organization skills

The first set of skills to look from your accountant is their ability to organize the complicated work that needs to be done in every accounting department. It’s also important that an accountant is able to follow deadlines and clearly set schedule. That’s because there are penalties and fees when you’re late with a payment.

This is not a skill that can really be tested during an interview and it’s best to actually hire an accountant on a probation period and to make sure that they are actually able to do the job in an organized manner as you’ve agreed on.

Knowing the tax code

A tax code is rather complicated at this point, and that’s why you need an accountant in the first place. What you want is someone who can prove their education and experience in this area. That’s something that is especially important if you have a niche business.

For instance, if your business is working with a lot of companies abroad, you should take on an accountant that’s familiar with this type of work in particular and not just anyone working in the field. Their knowledge of the loopholes involved could end up saving you quite a lot of money.

A team player

Accounting isn’t really a joint effort. It’s mostly done by a separate team or for a small company an individual dedicated to it. However, the business finances overall are something that simply needs to be done by the company as a whole.

That means that the accountant should know how to work with others and find a way to match their strengths and weaknesses in the ways that are the best for the company. This is best tested by choosing someone who has worked with the company of your size before.

Communication skills

Many tend to overlook what are called soft skills since they focus on what’s bringing in the money, such as professional expertise and education. However, it’s usually the soft skills that can make or break your relationship with an accountant or with any employee for that matter. The most important of these is always the ability to communicate in an articulate, productive and friendly manner.

Communication skills aren’t easy to test, however. That’s something you can pick up on, only if your accountant has been with you for a while and that’s why probation periods are so important. It’s useful, however, to stress how much you care about communication skills.

Leadership

Accounting teams can start small, but they also quickly grow from their initial intention and their initial size. As the company grows, so will the accounting effort. That means that your accountant should be ready to become leaders in their team and in their field overall.

It’s quite possible for an accountant to fit their role as it is and to be great at their job, but not to be able to take on a leadership role when the department grows larger. You’ll need to tailor the role to the person doing the job.

Openness

There are a few ways in which an accountant needs to be an open person. First of all, they need to be open about their own mistakes and their own abilities. A good accountant will tell you when they don’t know how to approach a complicated issue or when they’ve made a mistake. It’s a rather rare quality to fail.

They also need to be open about your own mistakes and able to tell you when you’re doing something wrong or at least when you’re taking a course that they wouldn’t like to take. That’s the only way to conduct a business in an open and fair manner.

Conclusion

Accountants are amongst the most important workers a business could have. They could end up saving you quite a lot of money simply by knowing the tax code and its details. Choosing an accountant thus needs to be done with a lot of care and planning. You also need to make sure that that the accountant is able to fit in within with your company and be in alignment with your corporate culture and overall corporate values and goals. For the most part, they should work with you for a while, before you can figure that out