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Leadership skills every accountant needs to succeed

Good leadership is vital for a successful business.  Whether you have 1 or 100 employees, as a practice or partner, it is key that you have good leadership skills.  

Practice owners and partners need a number of attributes in order to manage their team members and run their business successfully.  One of the vital attributes is leadership.  Some people are natural leaders, but anyone can develop the skill set needed with some practice.  

Here are the nine leadership qualities that anyone hoping to succeed in business requires:

  1. Management and Organizational Skills

As an accountant, you are used to managing a variety of duties and responsibilities. You will have mastered being proactive and acquired strong management and organisational abilities to succeed at your chosen profession.  These skills are also vital as a leader, practice owner or partner.      

To ensure your team finishes all their tasks, you must plan and set deadlines. You should look to use project management software for tracking tasks, monitoring milestones and ensuring optimum productivity across your business.    

  1. Communication Skills

Excellent communication skills are vital regardless of the business you work in. On a daily basis, accountants must communicate with clients and coworkers.  As a practice owner or partner, you may be leading a range of people with various skills and experience, so you must be able to explain complicated material simply.

Leaders need to have strong presentation and facilitation skills.  They should be comfortable talking on a one-to-one basis and to a group.  It also goes without saying that they must have good listening skills.  Leader who don’t listen cannot show empathy or understanding and so never gain commitment from their team.

These skills can be acquired.  It is well worth doing the necessary training and working at it to hone your communication skills.  

  1. Time Management Skills

While successful people make more money than others, they only have the same 24 hours in the day as everyone else.  Unfortunately, you cannot buy more time, so you must invest your minutes and hours wisely.

Good leaders exhibit great time management skills.  They set an exemplary standard in getting tasks completed while also having the time to support their team members.  Delegation is a key component of time management.  While some people prefer to retain control, good leaders are effective delegators.

There are numerous techniques to help you to manage your time including blocking out distractions and scheduling yourself.  It is well worth investing some time in finding out how to make the most of your time.   

  1. Mentoring Skills

Understanding your team members’ skills and limitations is important when you are running a business as only when you have this knowledge can you effectively direct and lead them. 

The first step is to set a good example which will inspire your team members to improve their performance at work and so come to you for support and development. It’s crucial that you make yourself accessible to and approachable to all your team members.  While you may not formally mentor them, team members must be able to freely discuss their issues and aspirations with you.   

  1. Adaptability Skills

The accounting industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is necessary that you have the flexibility to quickly adjust to anything that comes your way. Being a practice owner or partner will expose you to a variety of consumers and clients, each of which will require their own handling.  In dealing with individuals, there is no such thing as one size fits all.    

To advance and succeed as a leader, you must be prepared to adapt and take advantage of new opportunities.

  1. Learning Skills

The accounting sector is dynamic and highly competitive. As a practice owner or partner, you must constantly be aware of new developments whether changes in standards or the law or the development of new digital solutions.  Some accountancy practices have disappeared as their competitors increased their productivity and efficiency using cloud accounting and other digital products.  

if you want to succeed, you must adapt and this requires learning new approaches. You must keep abreast of industry trends so you can adjust your business accordingly.

  1. Initiative Skills

As a leader you must step up and take charge. You must show your independence of thought and action. Taking the initiative demonstrates your self-confidence. It also inspires your team members and builds their faith in you.

Initiative requires many of the skills we have covered above as well as problem-solving and creativity.

  1. Critical Thinking Skills

A practice owner or partner must have superior critical thinking skills.  In addition to dealing with data, situations, reporting, and legal requirements, you must also be able to perform SWOT and other such analysis on your business and develop appropriate strategies.

A good leader needs critical thinking skills to work out the strategies which guarantee success. 

  1. Ethical Skills

As a leader, you should base your decisions on your values. This will help you establish a solid bond with your team and inspire and motivate your colleagues as well.

Setting an example as a leader

Good leaders set good examples.  They serve as role models for a variety of traits including excellent communication, initiative, and ethical conduct. Their team members then exhibit similar habits, according to the leader’s established culture. Together, they create a pattern of success and assist their businesses in achieving significant milestones.

Tell us what you think! When it comes to making changes that can advance your accounting practice, Intelligent Outsourcing is always interested in hearing from owners and partners like you. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook or book a discovery call to find out more about us.