5 Essential Qualities of a Strong CPA


Do you aspire to become a successful Certified Public Accountant? This is an ambitious career goal. Itís also one that you may have for many good reasons. CPAs play a critical role in virtually all industries, as well as the lives of adults throughout the country. They also tend to earn relatively high salaries.

As is the case with any profession, if you wish to succeed as a CPA, it helps to cultivate certain strengths ahead of time, before starting your career. They include the following:


This is an obvious point, but an essential one. CPAs need to have a thorough understanding of a wide range of complex topics related to not only accounting, but various laws and regulations.

Thatís one of the reasons the CPA exam is somewhat challenging. Passing it requires being highly familiar with numerous subjects.

Thatís certainly not meant to discourage you from pursuing a career as a CPA. Itís instead meant to encourage you to work hard in your classes and take all steps necessary to pass the CPA exam with minimal difficulty. 

For example, along with majoring in accounting, you can improve your chances of passing the CPA exam by supplementing your education with an online CPA review course.

Interpersonal Skills

Those who aren’t entirely familiar with what being a CPA involves often make the mistake of assuming that CPAs tend to be number-crunchers who spend most of their time in offices where they donít interact with customers.

Thatís not necessarily the case. Many CPAs are highly involved in discussions with their clients. 

In fact, this is becoming increasingly common due to the rise of such technologies as artificial intelligence. Many AI programs are now capable of taking over administrative tasks that CPAs themselves used to handle. 

Thus, many believe CPAs will spend more time with their clients in the future. With that in mind, work on developing the interpersonal skills that will help you communicate easily and comfortably with your clients.

Research Skills

While itís important for CPAs to retain the knowledge they receive in their college classes and CPA review courses, aspiring CPAs must also be aware that tax laws and various similar topics are often changing and evolving. For a CPA to succeed throughout their entire career, they must be willing to actively research such changes.

Technical Skills

Just as CPAs are required to stay up-to-date on changes to tax laws, they are often also required to learn how to use a variety of new technologies and tools.

Strive to learn about the tools most CPAs currently use. Learn how to use them yourself, and develop strengths that will allow you to easily adapt when you need to learn how to use new technologies in the future.

Management Skills

Once more, there are numerous reasons to become a CPA. One is the fact that CPAs theoretically have the potential to rise high in their careers. You may start out in a fairly low-ranking job when you first join a firm or the accounting department of an organization, but if you work hard and demonstrate talent, you could rise to a managerial position. You may even start your own firm one day. In either case, youíll need to be able to manage a team.

Thereís no right way to be an effective manager that applies to all individuals. The management style of one strong manager may be different from that of another equally strong manager. In general, though, developing the ability to manage others effectively will help you grow and thrive in your career.

Donít worry if you lack some of these skills and qualities right now. Itís entirely possible to cultivate them. You simply need to begin doing so early.