Characteristics Of A Successful Accountant

A description of the essential characteristics required to be a successful accountant. Covers personal traits and behaviors as well as professional and technical matters.

Characteristics of a Successful Accountant

A truly successful accountant in the business world has certain characteristics. The accountant who has all the characteristics listed below is rare, but most truly successful accountants have many, if not most, of these characteristics.


Technical: Knows accounting principles as well as taxation.

Management: Knows the principles and techniques of business management and administration.

Language: Speaks well and writes well. Spells accurately and has good grammar.

Personal Characteristics

Dress: Dresses for success, wearing conservative, high quality clothing. Shines shoes.

Personal image: Well groomed, clean. Moderate length or short hair, clean fingernails.

Integrity: An accountant sells two things: time and integrity. Has high personal standards of honesty and lives by the organization's high standards. Personal life is consistent with working life's standards.

Confidence: Has self-confidence but is not overbearing. Relaxed.

Service orientation: Always looking to serve others and help solve their problems.

Office/workspace: Neat, organized, inviting. Comfortable.

Personal hygiene: No smell, no bad breath. Good posture. Moderate, pleasant voice. No loud or expansive gestures. Looks healthy and full of energy. Is not sleepy or bored on the job.

Attitude: Positive. Willing to work. Excited to solve problems.

Pleasant personality: Gets along with everyone, including difficult personalities.

Creative: Finds creative solutions to problems. Visualizes alternative solutions.

Disciplined Resource Management

Money: Not extravagant with company funds or personal funds. Personal finances are in order.

Time: Uses time effectively and efficiently. This is absolutely essential. Accountants sell their time; expertise and knowledge help, but there must be time to use it. Those who are not good time managers will not be successful accountants.


Sends thank-you notes.

Introduces people.

Uses common courtesy at all times.

Punctual; does not make others wait.

Knows when to stand up in respect of others.

Able to manage meetings and end them gracefully on time.

Attends to details.

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