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Personal Qualities for an Accountant

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson, studioD

Accountants work in high-stress environments where missing one detail can mean high costs for businesses down the road. An accountant needs a calm, organized and creative personality in order to thrive and not be bogged down by the responsibility of playing a key role in his clients' financial health and future.

Strong Ethics and Integrity

An imperative to be a good accountant is honesty and a strong sense of integrity. An accountant who lives of a life of integrity will make sure that he keeps confidential information private. He will also ensure his clients obey all relevant laws, which will keep them out of trouble in the future.

Organized and Structured

An accountant should personally be a very organized person who is comfortable working within a highly structured environment. An accountant's work can be repetitive and involve strict rules and regulations. She also needs solid time-management skills to keep up with deadlines and complex projects. Being able to organize and prioritize is essential.

Creative and Inquisitive

Although an accountant needs to be comfortable with structure, he should also be creative. An accountant should come up with new and fresh ideas for overcoming obstacles or dealing with financial difficulties. An inquisitive mind that always wants to learn more and research new methods for efficiency will keep an accountant on the top of his field.

Detail Oriented

Having an eye for detail is crucial to be a good accountant. A small error might be hidden among a long line of details that an accountant must go through in order to find. But that one small error could make a huge difference in a business's future. An accountant must also keep very detailed notes about his progress and meetings to keep his clients well informed.


An interest in business -- even having the heart of an entrepreneur -- will help a person be a better accountant. By understanding business models, an accountant can decipher what economic methods might fit best with a business's goals. The things that an account discovers can lead to important business decisions. If he can couch his suggestions in terms of a business's bottom line, he will be an even greater help to his clients.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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