What are the Qualities of a Good Accountant? 7 Important Things to Look Out For

  • How do you know if an accountant is good or not? Is it only about the numbers or is there more to it?
  • A great accountant not only keeps the numbers intact... they should be your long-term business partner and work with you towards your long-term vision of the company. 
  • We'll help you uncover the most important qualities to look for in a good accountant to ensure your business doesn't face financial management problems.

    Editor's Update 06/07/20:
    A good account needs to be able to juggle more than just numbers. So how do you find a good accountant? To make sure you find a great account you should ask these questions before you hire:
    - Are you available all year round?
    - What sorts of clients do you work with?
    - Do you specialise in a certain area, eg. tax or bookkeeping?
    - Would you outsource any of the work to a third party?
    - How often would we communicate about tax issues?
    - How do you charge for accounting services?
    - What is your approach - are you more conservative or direct?

qualities of a good accountant

Good accountants aren't just about how well they can crunch numbers. A great accountant is not only the person who has read the accounting books, but also the person who will be your long-term business partner and will help you manage and revolutionise the entire performance of your company. 

What are the personal qualities of a good accountant?

Here are the seven most important qualities to look out for when hiring an accountant for your small business. 

1. They have high conceptual knowledge and attention to detail 

Good accountants can state your financial and pinpoint potential discrepancies for further investigation. They know how to execute their knowledge to put it into practice

2. They want to help you grow your business

Rather than just viewing good accountants as number crunching experts, they should be recognised as your valuable business partner. A qualified accountant can help you to grow your business by identifying opportunities and how to guard your business against threats.

3. They can help you find the right business model

Often startup business decisions fail within the first few years because they have not implemented the right business model. The right business model that is tailored to your business needs will give you an edge over competitors. Good accountants can sit down with you and help you find out which business model works best for you, especially when you are starting out your business from scratch.

4. Ability to work with your team

A qualified accountant will join in with his client's business vision and should possess good organization skills to effectively work together with the team to grow the business.

5. Up-to-date knowledge in tax and legislation requirements 

Tax law and legislative requirements change regularly. A qualified accountant should know the latest tax updates which may have an impact on your business. They should have extensive knowledge to help you create tax effective structures and meet your annual tax compliances.

6. They're easy to contact

When you come across a problem, is your qualified accountant always on call or are they difficult to get a hold of? Good accountants would be dedicated to helping you tackle financial problems your business may face to ease the weight off your shoulders. They will be dependable at times if problems pop up where you need a professional business advisor with whom you'll able to communicate anytime, around any issue.

7. You can have lunch with them

As a long-term business partner who will help you manage your business and tax matters, they will know your business back to front. Can you sit down with your business accountant to express matters of your concern and do they understand your needs? It depends on your communication skills.

What are the qualities of an accountant in your opinion? And does your accountant have them?

Caxton Pang


Caxton is the Director at Linton Solutions, a growing boutique accounting and business advisory firm located in the Sydney CBD. Caxton specialises in business advisory and taxation services for small to medium enterprises (SME’s). Caxton’s top 5 attributes are commitment, communication, forward-thinking, well organised, high integrity and ethics.

Comments (2)
Aishah Mustapha

Aishah Mustapha, Content Marketer at

Those are all great barometers to judge good accountants. Their values are also important. They should be trustworthy because they will be closely advising your business and handling sensitive personal information. Search for integrity too, that they won’t use a shortcut, take the easy way out or resort to questionable practices when consulting you or doing a job. And that they are proactive and always managing risks for your small business.

Kirsty Fox

Kirsty Fox, Principal at

As an accountant, I work with you from the beginning. We talk about structure, what your tex requirements are, and the various insurances, etc to llok at. We look at the problems you are facing and how we can address them to take the stress off you. A proactive accountant will also be in contact with you often (no charge), an talk to you when there are changes in the legislation that will affect you (they may or may not charge for that - depends what it is). It's all about you - the problems you are facing and how we can mitigate those for you.