A successful accountant isn’t just born that way. It takes work and a lot of that is up to your chosen habits day after day. There are a few key skills that you need to get up to scratch to be an accountant - these include the usual suspects like organisation, good communication and good time management, but there are a few extra habits you'll need to get right, to be successful.
Identify and change bad habits
Almost half of the things we do day to day are habits, rather than conscious decisions, so in order to progress professionally and personally, it’s important to differentiate good habits from bad ones so you can work on changing them. One way to do this is by changing your daily routine, even if only slightly, so your habits become clear. There are a few different methods or life hacks you can use to train your brain to be better at certain tasks too, like by completing strategic games or using techniques like ‘The Power Hour’ and ‘The Pomodoro Technique’.
Schedule your day
It’s no secret that you need to be organised to run your own business, but did you know that a schedule for your day is much more effective than creating a to-do list? Create a schedule in your calendar of what needs to be done by when, ensuring each of the goals are realistic. If you start the day knowing exactly what to do, it’s much easier to be productive and get everything done. By just having a to-do list, it is difficult to judge how long things will take to do and can often mean that the list is left uncompleted at the end of the day.
Organise your workspace
Along with organising your day, you should try to organise your workspace. A clear and tidy space sets for a clear and tidy mind. With everything in front of you organised, it is easier to concentrate, and so you’ll likely find your day being more productive overall. Another habit to try and get into is keeping your work and personal life separate. Try to leave your work at the office and if you do have to work from home a little, set some uninterrupted time to work before spending time with friends or family.
For your business to become successful, you’ll need to have a controlled, well thought out process to ensure things are done properly and accurately, with controls in place for managing change and maintaining integrity. You need to create a process which allows for expansion and growth, however it is not possible to achieve this with manual processes. Luckily, there is online accounting software like Xero which frees up time by automatically organising data and minimising mistakes, whilst improving the quality and accuracy of your financial data.
Answer emails as soon as you can
The most productive people respond to emails as soon as possible. That said, they don’t check their emails all the time, but instead have scheduled times in which they check them. Make your own schedule for checking emails, with a maximum of three checks per day, for example, checking them at two set times during the work day, and then once in the evening. This can help you reduce stress and anxiety and improve concentration.
The importance of relationships
To reach your full professional potential you’ll need to network. Meet with new clients or bring them to your office, whatever works for you. Being relationship focused in general will benefit your business hugely as employees, co-workers and clients will be more willing to work with you if you’ve focused on and nurtured relationships with them.
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