11 Habits to Become Successful CPAs or Accountants
Infinity Globus
20 Nov 2022

If you are running an accounting firm or practicing a career as a CPA or accountant some habits can definitely lead you to success. To develop some great habits, one must need a lot of patience. After all, habits cannot be built in a day.

Accounting is a thriving industry and it is important for you to evolve with time and develop some habits of a successful accountant to stand out.

Either run the day or the day runs you – Jim Rohn.

This quote is apt to explain the importance of planning, and developing a habit to be organized and productive.

Planning your day in advance, learning time management, using the latest technologies to be updated, and enhancing your communication skills are among the 11 habits to become successful CPAs or Accountants.

Here we are explaining some personality traits and soft skills that a CPA or Accountant must possess to ace their career.

11 Habits to Become Successful CPAs or Accountants

1. Understand business issues

Understand business issues
To be a successful CPA and to be at leadership levels, it is crucial to understand business issues.

You must have a deeper understanding and possible solutions to the day-to-day challenges involved.

Your decisions as a CPA will have an impact on the business so use your expertise and skills to resolve issues and prove yourself as a successful CPA.

2. Time management

This is a fact that people in the accounting industry are always busy. They have so many things in their bucket every now and then. So time management is among the inevitable habits of a successful accountant.

As per Timewatch.com, if time management is done effectively, a person can reap below benefits:

  • It should be this- Reducing stress at work
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved focus on tasks
  • Better decision making
  • Faster goal achievement
  • More confidence at work
  • Better reputation at work
  • Better workplace relationships
  • More free time

Prioritizing the tasks, blocking the calendar for important tasks, and hour blocking are basic soft skills every accountant must have.

3. Plan your day in advance

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain.

How you start your day is an important aspect to be a successful CPA or accountant. Start your day with calm, and take out a few minutes every morning to plan the day.

As an accountant, there are a lot of deliverables, work calls, and tasks to do. As a habit of a successful CPA or accountant, one must learn the art of planning. Make a to-do list, understand which task requires more attention, and do the hard jobs first.

A modern way solution for planning and organizing for individuals and teams is Trello. This habit will not only lead you to be a more organized accountant but also helps in avoiding unnecessary stress.

4. Stay updated with the new technologies

Accounting is an ever-evolving industry. Do not just stick to years-old traditions. Keep on learning new skills and new technologies to become a successful accountant. For eg Cloud accounting is a technology every accountant must learn.

“As automation technology becomes increasingly prevalent, and data is shared more seamlessly between the core products and services that small business uses, cloud platforms will look to build the final mile of the journey by delivering end-to-end practice management solutions for accounting firms, says Ben Richmond, Vice President of business growth at Xero in an article published at Accounting Today.

A survey by FloQast says 89 percent of accounting professional sees integrating applications to automated data entry as a positive impact of technology.

Positive impacts of technology

5. Research of Prospective Client Prior to Meeting

To be a successful accountant or CPA, it is vital to be presentable and interactive with clients. Know your clients, whether they are small businesses or multinational firms and just learn more about them.

Spend some time on a daily basis reading newspapers or articles about their field so that in the next meeting you can have an everlasting impression on them and it will make you stand out of the crowd.

6. Provide value

As a habit of a successful accountant, you should always find ways to provide additional value to the clients. Read more and more about the project, and spare some time only to look for ways to develop a particular project. Understand their requirements and in response to that figure out ways to provide value. For e.g. CPA recommends a way in which he can save $$ while filing taxes for their clients.

Suggest new ways or technologies to ease out an arduous task. By providing more value to the clients, you can build a healthy relationship with them which will eventually be going to advantageous for your accounting career.

7. Communicate effectively

Communication is the key to personal and professional success. It is among the most important traits of an accountant. Be proactive and clearly communicate the updates, strategy, and coming plans.

Effective and efficient communication is a soft skill for every CPA or accountant. Efficiency in the Interpersonal, verbal, and written communication is a skill every accountant must ace.

Discussing the projects with the clients, updating clients or investors about the business growth, and communicating with colleagues or financial or governmental agencies are some key areas where a CPA or accountant will need good communication skills.

8. Cutting out distractions

A survey by Accountemps reveals that 32 percent of employees found chatting and socializing with other employees as their biggest distraction. And 25 percent of them got distracted with non-business-related internet usage quite often.

Accounting definitely requires a lot of focus and cutting out distractions can be really helpful in focusing more on the tasks.

Firstly, you need to understand where your time is actually draining. One can install a time tracker app such as Toogl, or Hourstack to keep an account of your online hours.

Through this, you can easily check the distractions and cut out them to boost your productivity.

Wasting the work day away

9. Maintaining Confidentiality

As a CPA or accountant, you will deal with the financial statements for your clients. You may also come across some important documents, hence it should be a habit of accountants to keep all the information to themselves.

Maintaining secrecy is an unsaid rule every accountant or CPA must follow. Failing to do is will not only be unethical but also can impact your career.

10. Maintain work-life balance

Lastly, this habit is applicable to all working professionals to maintain a work-life balance. Leave all the work-related issues at the office and come back home with a fresh mind so you can utilize this time to energize yourself for the next day at work.

If you have plenty of work and you are finding it hard to manage everything, then a simple solution to this is to outsource accounting services. This way you will find more time for yourself and your family members.

11. Selecting the right kind of client

During your career as an accountant selecting the right kind of client becomes imperative. The definition of ‘Right Client’ may vary from person to person. But we can definitely have some set criteria for selection.

It is important to be clear about the services you are offering and understand their needs. Also analyze the current workload, and other terms before saying yes to a client.

Implementing the above-mentioned 11 Habits to Become Successful CPAs or Accountants will be beneficial at every stage of your career.

If you are a beginner or an experienced accountant, these habits will always make you a step ahead of your peers. Implementing and practicing these habits of an accountant in your day-to-day life will lead you to a well-structured professional life.

Infinity Globus author

Infinity Globus has been offering outsourced tax and accounting services to its global clientele for over two decades now. With the zeal and dedication to meet the needs of its clients and extend customized solutions, the firm has made an impeccable mark through its relentless services that amplify clients’ success and bring sustained growth all through.