What is the difference between a good accountant and an exceptional accountant?

February 22nd 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

The total combined membership of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB), consisting of ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS, CIPFA and Chartered Accountants Ireland, is 275,000.

This high number of professionals makes accounting a crowded industry. In such a competitive environment, accounting professionals know how important it is to stand out in the crowd.

So, what is it that makes the difference between a good accountant who may struggle in today’s environment, and a great accountant who is more likely to succeed? Keep reading to discover the areas accounting professionals concentrate on to take their services to the next level.

Having a genuine interest in clients

Any good accountant has the numbers covered but the great ones pay attention to people too. They understand that there is a human aspect to their work. This understanding leads them to develop a deeper understanding of their clients so they can provide real value that is tailored to their needs. Top accountants also function as a voice of calm in situations where clients are experiencing difficulties. Adding this type of human touch to their services helps accounting professionals to stand out.

Diversifying the services, you provide

Taking the step to provide services outside of the norm is something that ambitious accountants do to stand out from others in the industry. In the case of start-ups, it also helps to concentrate on certain niche services such as tax advice or wealth management where there may be less competition and where having in-depth knowledge helps them to grow more quickly.

Being knowledgeable about industry trends

The world of accounting continually evolves. So, accountants who want to rise to the top of the profession know that keeping up-to-date with developments is essential. They do so in various ways, including taking courses, reading industry papers, and monitoring legislation. Taking time out from the day-to-day to do this gives them the knowledge they need to provide a more accurate service which helps to instil clients’ trust.

Paying attention to detail

Spotting mistakes is part of what every good accountant does. However, professionals who put details at the forefront of their services do all they can to ensure that mistakes are not made in the first place. They often automate processes in order to remove as much human involvement as possible thereby reducing the likelihood of mistakes happening

Being an effective communicator

Top accounts remain in regular contact with clients and develop strong and transparent relationships as a result. They are also able to communicate accounting complexities in a way that clients can easily understand. In addition, the most successful professionals predict questions that clients may have and are able to answer them accurately and comprehensively in a timely manner.

These factors are all vital components of the difference between good accountants and great accountants. This difference is what makes certain accountants more likely to develop a successful and rewarding career that takes them to the top of the profession.

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