ListThis week’s post is going to be short and sweet, and a little tongue in cheek – if you want serious accounting advice, then you may want to wait for next week’s blog. I’ve had one of those weeks – mad busy, ill children, an ill husband (though he soldiered on and still went to work, so I can’t accuse him of man flu), and finally an ill me.

Today I felt well enough to haul myself back up to my office and sit here reconciling bank accounts. Lets just say it wasn’t quite as straight forward as it should have been – the marvellous automated link managed to duplicate about 3 months worth of transactions, which was a pig to unravel! Which brings me to today’s topic.

Sad to say, but the number one attribute any good accountant has to have is SERIOUS attention to detail. If I was being really honest about it, then I would use a less pleasant word that begins with “an” and ends with “al”. You have to be prepared to sit down and check through nitty gritty spreadsheets line by line, armed with piles of paper, a big cup of coffee, and a bar of Dairy Milk chocolate. Its not glamorous, its not exciting, but if your accountant doesn’t have that basic mindset then they are about as much use as a chocolate teapot (sorry, clearly got chocolate on the brain).

There are lots of other important attributes – good with numbers really helps, being a people person, ethical, professional, approachable, reliable. But without that ability to plough through the detail, the rest just isn’t going to be enough.

So if you hate all that detailed numbers stuff, then remember, find someone who actually enjoys doing it (OK, I admit it, I get a happy thrill when my numbers balance) to take it off your hands.