Accountancy IS a people profession
An informal survey of working styles and personality types among accountancy practitioners has revealed that sociable, outgoing individuals dominate the profession.
Wolters Kluwer created a quiz with the professional online community AccountingWEB that probed respondents’ working habits, attitudes to technology and personal tastes in food and music.
The light-hearted questionnaire attracted more than 5,000 views and drew nearly 50 comments from accountants who shared their characteristics with their peers. Surprisingly, the classic image of the numbers-obsessed loner was eclipsed by those who fitted the “Personable Practitioner” profile.
Based on the number of people who downloaded the companion working style guide, just under half the respondents were Personable Practitioners (49.2%). Sociable and outgoing, they are fun to be around and stimulate interesting conversations.
Personable Practitioners work well on the phone and are smooth operators in networking situations where they can broaden the firm’s horizons and open up new business relationships.
The other personality profiles that emerged from the quiz include:
- Technical Boffin (20.5%)
The classic single-minded expert, who puts all else to the side when they focus on the job in hand. Boffins can be lone wolves who don’t always fit with normal routines - timesheets could be an issue.
- Efficiency Ninja (12.1%)
Process driven: Ninjas like to work methodically and demonstrate good attention to detail. They know a successful firm needs robust processes to ensure consistency of client service.
- Digital Commando (9.8%)
Self-motivated, and results-driven: Confident in their own abilities and keen to exploit the latest tools and technologies. Resistant to bureaucratic restrictions
- Delegator (8.3%)
The leader who sets the firm’s agenda and focuses attention on collective objectives. They will be good at reviewing performance and giving feedback to colleagues.
This snapshot of the accountancy profession illustrates a couple of emerging social and demographic trends. The low turnout of Delegators suggests that many older practitioners steeped in accountancy’s hierarchical traditions are reaching retirement age. In their place, firms are seeing the emergence of a new cadre of Digital Commandos, who are comfortable with the internet, social media and cloud computing and occasionally impatient about using these tools to improve efficiency.
Download the Wolters Kluwer-AccountingWEB guide for a detailed run-down of the different personas and their working styles.