9 Important Qualities of a Great Accountant*

9 qualities of an accountant

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9 Important Qualities of a Great Accountant*

9 qualities of an accountant

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If you’re searching for an accountant* for your business, you probably have a list of boxes you want ticked to ensure you’re getting the best professionals available. Of course, every business owner wants qualities like: 

  • Highly organized

  • Attentive to detail

  • Manages time well

  • Adaptable

  • Communicates articulately

  • Works hard 

  • Learns easily

  • Creative 

  • Trustworthy

But those are qualities you’d expect from nearly everyone you do business with, right? At Scrubbed, we like to think there are other qualities your accountants* should possess that are more specific to the finance industry and that help guarantee your business’s success. 

These characteristics aren’t just related to one person but should be embraced company-wide. Here’s our list of the nine top qualities of a great accounting* firm to help you find the pros who are best suited for your business. 

Possesses Diverse Knowledge

Accounting* is more than just keeping a ledger by adding and subtracting numbers. There are a lot of moving parts to accounting*, and sometimes startup entrepreneurs aren’t even aware of all the elements encompassed by accounting. In fact, we think good accountants* are often most helpful when they tell you what you don’t already know, helping you find areas for financial improvement you never knew existed. 

Your business accountants* should have the knowledge diversity to provide a broad range of services. You don’t want to have to go to one accountant* for your checkbook management and another for your taxes. Scrubbed is pleased to offer services in the following areas: 

Accounting* and bookkeeping: general ledger maintenance, bank reconciliation, purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, cost accounting*, inventory system support, financial reporting, and payroll setup and support

Corporate finance: financial modeling, pitch decks, transaction advisory services, and financial planning and analysis

Tax compliance and advisory: tax planning, state and local taxes, tax support services, and income tax preparation and filing

Professional support: SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) compliance, audit support, controllers, and transaction advisory for buy side and sell side (mergers and acquisitions)

Has Serious Experience

Being able to offer a sweeping array of services properly can only come from experience. You want to know that your accountants* have performed these tasks before many times. 

The best way to find out if an accountant* is experienced in the areas you require is to first check out their website (they have a website, don’t they?) and then to ask about specifics in your initial consultation. Any accountants* you consider should have testimonials or be able to offer references from previous or ongoing clients. 

It may be tempting to go with an accounting* firm of older employees, thinking they’ll have the experience you need. But while you don’t want a firm of only recent graduates, there’s no guarantee senior accountants* have the experience you require. 

Some near-retirement accountants* may have practiced law or real estate first or spent more time in management than performing actual accounting* tasks. A relatively young firm with cumulative years of experience often gives you a lot of hands-on background knowledge with the energy to get the job done for you. 

Works with Your Business Sector

Your accountants’* knowledge and experience should extend to your particular area of business. While ideally a prospective accounting* firm will have dealt with many different types of industry, they definitely need to have worked with yours. 

An accountant* who only handles automotive shops, for example, will not likely be familiar with the nuances of  accounting* for a cannabis business. Be sure to ask any accountants* you are interviewing if they have experience in your business type. 

If you need a specialty accountant* for a niche business, it’s more important that they have experience specific to your area than to find an accountant* that’s handled thousands of clients but none close to your business. 

Stays on Top of Industry Changes

Hand in hand with an accountant* that understands your business sector is their ability to stay current with industry changes. Naturally, you’ll expect your accountant* to know about new tax codes and finance law that affects your enterprise. But you also want them to know about trends in your industry, like employment statistics, salaries, outsourcing, important new legislation, and recent mergers and acquisitions. 

Understands the Range of Business Sizes

Have you approached accountants* previously, only to find they only deal with big international conglomerates? Or, conversely, have you found some firms don’t understand the complexity of anything larger than a small office? 

Your accountants* need to be comfortable with a range of business sizes. Why? So they can change and grow with you. You don’t want to have to switch accountants* midstream if a sudden influx of cash boosts you out of startup territory. Nor do you want to give up your current accountants* if as a large company you spin off another business as a startup venture.

Along with understanding different business sizes is being comfortable with various foreign business settings and markets. For example, Scrubbed has offices in San Francisco and the Philippines, which gives them an edge by being familiar with both Asian and American business environments. 

Uses Latest Technology

It’s great for your accountants* to have the most diverse background possible and one that aligns perfectly with your business. It’s even better if they can apply the latest technology to make your accounting* practices more efficient. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also know there are fewer errors, and you’ll be able to stay abreast of your industry and your competition. 

At Scrubbed, we utilize the top software platforms and know how to integrate these with your IT and current business practices for the most seamless accounting* available. Some of the top programs and platforms we use include: 

  • Xero

  • Expensify

  • Gusto

  • Dear Systems

  • Bill.com

  • Cin7

  • QuickBooks

This lets us handle all of the functions listed above and more. We make it our goal that if you need an accounting* service, we’ll provide it and do it well. 

Maintains Proper Certifications and Continuing Education

In order to be able to offer the latest technology to our Scrubbed clients, we take maintaining all the proper certifications and undergoing continuing education seriously. This is something you should demand from any accounting* firm you are considering working with. 

At Scrubbed, we maintain special relationships with the accounting* programs and platforms we use for our clients. Our staff go the extra mile to become certified in the programs they’re using, and our volume of experience ensures our clients we know how to get the most from these services: 

  • Xero: Platinum Champion Partner

  • Expensify: Approved Bronze Partner

  • Gusto: Silver Partner

  • Dear Systems: Proud Partner

  • Bill.com: Guru

  • Cin7: Proud Partner

  • QuickBooks: Certified QuickBooks User

When you work with Scrubbed, you can rest assured that only staff who are knowledgeable about these platforms are working with your books. 

Has Security and Internal Controls

If you’re giving your accountants* all your financial information and perhaps even access to your inventory systems, checkbook, and tax filing, you want to make sure your data stays secure. 

Here are some safety measures that accountants* like Scrubbed use to make sure your business is not at risk of a security breach, whether through cyber theft or human error: 

  • Team leader with subtasks divided among personnel as a means of internal control by limiting access to too much financial information

  • Updated hardware and latest software, whether internal or SaaS (software as a service using a subscription plan, often cloud-based)

  • Password protection and cybersecurity measures, including data encryption

  • Employee screening and vetting 

  • Employee certification on relevant software

  • Backup plan for data in the event of a natural disaster or other disruption

Makes Working Together Easy

Finally, teaming with your accountants* should be a pleasure, not a headache. Remember, they are working for you, not the other way around. Here are some signs that an accounting* firm is customer-centric: 

  • At your initial meeting, they ask a lot of questions about your business, rather than simply providing information about themselves.

  • They offer services that grow with you, with a range of price tiers that take into account different size business at various stages of development. 

  • The accountants* offer staffing consistency instead of a revolving door of consultants each time you meet. 

  • They have time for your calls and respond in a timely manner to questions or requests you have. 

  • They treat small businesses and large corporations equally well. 

  • When doing your books, planning for an audit, or helping you prep for a big investors meeting, they explain the process to you. 

  • They offer proactive strategies at regular intervals and don’t just provide the bare minimum at urgent deadlines. 

  • Rather than trying to run up your bill, they show you how you can save money with your accounting* firm. 

Are you ready to experience all the best qualities of a great accountant* firsthand? Get in touch with Scrubbed today and ask about what services are right for your business. We offer a free consultation, so there’s nothing to lose. Why waste time with accountants* that don’t have the qualities your business deserves?