Accountancy Recruitment: The Ideal Accountant

When it comes to accountancy recruitment, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd has read CVs from, interviewed, and placed an extensive range of accountants.

There are, however, similarities between the skills, attributes, and extra special qualities that seem to be synonymous with successful job offers.

For that reason, we’ve summarised the key areas that make the ‘ideal accountant’, so you can spot them when it comes to CV sifting or interview stage.

The primary way of spotting these is drawing out points from a CV that match what you need and asking for an example of evidence as part of an interview.

Accountancy recruitment: an accountant’s skills

Although being qualified by experience is entirely acceptable for some roles, most accountancy firms seek an ACA/ACCA or equivalent qualification. 

But it’s the skills in addition to those qualifications that make an accountant stand out. So what can you look for to identify the perfect accountant for your firm? 

The ideal account has to have a lot of skills in addition to qualifications to add value for clients and the firm: 

Technically proficient — they need to be an out-and-out numbers person. It seems obvious, but technical proficiency is more than a qualification that says the accountant passed — it’s the feeling you get that they’re not just happy around numbers, they excel and actively enjoy what they do. If you pick this up — your clients will too.

Attention to detail. They can spot a mistake even after seven hours of looking at numbers. Accounts, audit, and tax can be taxing — especially given the size of some organisations, so demonstrating where they have picked up an anomaly evidences their skill.

Advisory. They can turn accountancy talk into jargon-free advice for clients. It’s a skill to be able to talk to people, but enjoying advising clients and seeing the importance of that advice is different — your clients need someone who is personable and knowledgeable.

Software knowledge. They have experience in using cloud-based accounting software. Beyond the knowledge of using accounting software within a firm, most roles now require the planning and implementation of packages and training for clients, so it’s helpful to have a person who embraces existing and new software.

Management capability. Above and beyond managing others, true management is understanding the bigger picture when it comes to the firm and clients. Has the individual worked closely with senior team members or worked as a senior team member? Can they demonstrate where their decisions have led to achievements for a firm?

Accountancy recruitment: an accountant’s attributes

A can-do attitude. They are problem solvers, sense when you have clients with accounts, audit, or taxation complexities. Look for an accountant who presents solutions instead of procrastinating about the issue — negativity is not healthy for teams.

A team player. Above and beyond management skills, being a team player means mentoring others and celebrating successes. Whether a person is a good fit for your firm is essential — as a poor match can lead to a whole team being unhappy.

Relationship builder. It’s a given that accountants need to be able to speak to people, but can they seek out opportunities and create long-lasting relationships with clients? 

Bright ideas. Some accountants are full of bright ideas that can lead to both growth for a firm and efficiencies that save time and money. 

Conscientious. It sounds like a given that someone is dedicated. Still, interviews can be a fantastic opportunity to investigate the evidence that an accountant is willing to go above and beyond for a firm. 

Accountancy recruitment: an extra special accountant

Rapid career progression. This can be a clear indicator that someone is ambitious, which is ideal for client-facing roles where an accountant can achieve as their client base grows. At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we have noticed a correlation between those that have progressed rapidly and their success at interview stage.

Business acumen. A strategic thinker that truly understands the business and wants to drive it forward can be a gamechanger for a firm. It’s the ability to operate at helicopter level, be commercially minded, and work closely with Partners to effect change.

Previous achievements. Understanding what the accountant has achieved previously can give a clear indication of their capability and dedication. Recruiters always look for quantifiable achievements, as they provide a realistic picture of what a person is capable of. 

About Public Practice Recruitment Ltd

Public Practice Recruitment Ltd recruits high-calibre accounting professionals at all levels for tax, accounts, and audit vacancies on both a permanent and temporary basis for accountancy firms. 

Specialising solely in accountancy recruitment, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd has new accountancy jobs every day and has a superb track record of meeting and exceeding expectations for accountants looking for their next accounting role. 



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