7 Traits of Successful Accountants


Success is one of those things that’s easy to describe but hard to identify. Look for these lucky seven traits to track down the most successful accountants for your company.

There’s no single blueprint for success, but the most outstanding accountants share certain characteristics. Among other things, they’re true team players, even as they remain dedicated to their own personal and professional development; they’re solutions-oriented, willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to drive value for their organizations; and they’re technically proficient, with a strong attention to detail. Above all, successful accountants pride themselves on their ethical commitments and responsibilities; they understand that a lot is riding on their decisions.

Whether their make-up is a matter of nature or nurture, these are the kinds of people you want on your team and in your organization. Put simply, successful accountants make a company better. Here, then, are some things to look for in accounting candidates, so that you can find the type of employees who will put your company over the top.

Ethical behavior

If anything defines a successful accountant, it’s their moral compass. They understand that in the world of accounting ethics, there are no shades of grey. Accountants who have experienced professional success know that providing an accurate picture of the company’s present position is necessary to equip decision-makers with enough information to move the organization forward. There may always be room for interpretation; there is none, however, for inaccuracy.

Team player

Successful accountants are exceptional team players. To be sure, they prioritize their individual duties and responsibilities – you won’t find them slacking at their own jobs or struggling to find their professional motivation. But they also understand that they are only one part of the team. As such, they are flexible enough to adapt to different roles; they have no trouble meshing with the different working styles of those around them. They add value by bringing out the best in others, and are as comfortable giving direction as they are receiving it.

Whether their make-up is a matter of nature or nurture, these are the kinds of people you want on your team and in your organization.


Truly great accountants are dedicated to building their accounting and finance toolbox. They realize that in order to stay current and relevant, they need to embrace professional development and enhance their skill set. But they are driven not only in regards to their own career: their commitment extends to their company, their manager, and their team. They won’t shy away from working overtime to ensure the job gets done.


The best accountants are comfortable taking on increasing levels of responsibility, either by assuming additional duties, or taking on a leadership role. They want their careers to progress: they aren’t satisfied with the status quo, but are intrinsically motivated, rather, to achieve and progress beyond their current position.


A proactive mindset is common among strong accountants. They are always eager to find efficiencies and improve upon inefficiencies. The questions they ask both themselves and their colleagues are forward-looking, such as: “Where will the business be in three years?” Seeing themselves as business partners, they are invested in generating value and efficiency for the company.

Truly great accountants are dedicated to building their accounting and finance toolbox.


The world of accounting and finance is filled with challenges. Whether it’s managing a tight timeline, or juggling competing needs (e.g., keeping a department that’s in charge of innovation within its budget), accountants are asked to assume a myriad of responsibilities. The best accountants, however, approach these challenges in a solutions-oriented way – as problems to be solved. And make no mistake about it: successful accountants are exceptional problem-solvers.

Attention to detail

In addition to their technical proficiencies, the best accountants have an eye for detail. They understand that small mistakes can snowball over time into larger errors – and that can cost their company dearly. They stay current, relevant, and focused on the task at hand. Unsurprising, then, that so many job postings prioritize attention to detail as a requirement.

Successful accountants do a lot of things well, and can contribute a good deal to your organization. Look for these hallmarks the next time you’re hiring an accountant, and you can be confident that you’ll be adding someone who will be worth their weight in gold.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!