Must-have ‘soft skills’ that all bookkeepers need
It’s not often that we speak of an employees ‘soft skills’. However, today we are becoming increasingly aware of these traits and their positive impact on performance.
Soft skills are defined as those that are non-technical and relate to how a person works. Whilst having experience and knowledge of a particular task or job role is great, it can be a person's soft skills that truly indicate how they are going to perform. Read ahead as we explore the must-have ‘soft skills’ that all bookkeepers need.
Bookkeeping soft skills and attributes
Working as a bookkeeper is no walk in the park. Dealing with financial information on a daily basis and providing data driven reports to clients comes with a lot of skill and sometimes even stress. Why? Because at the end of the day, it is our work and experience that our clients rely on when making decisions for their financial wellbeing.
Sometimes we need to stop and think about what we do. Our work is really important, which is a great reason to take a break at least a couple of times a day.
So when it comes to skills, experience is great, of course. However, at The Savvy Bookkeeper, we believe that all bookkeepers must also have at least the following four ‘soft skills.’ These being ‘emotional intelligence,’ ‘resistance’, ‘integrity’ and ‘industriousness.’ Let’s explore each of these below:
1. Emotional Intelligence
When a person has a high level of Emotional Intelligence, they have a good awareness for their own feelings and those of people around them. This helps in perceiving how their emotions may affect others, and also lets them understand and navigate the emotions of others.
We believe that having a high emotional intelligence allows bookkeepers to better perform their roles. It lends itself to necessary skills as a leader, assists them with client relationships and helps them make better decisions.
Naturally, bookkeepers work with a number of different clients and can do so across many industries. This means that understanding the true needs of their clients is extremely important, as is being aware of their emotions.
The trust involved in being a bookkeeper can also come with a lot of responsibility. Being aware of your own emotions is therefore important in managing your own mental wellbeing.
After all, if you’re not in tune with your own feelings or emotions, you’re not able to manage them well. And if you don’t look after yourself, how can you expect to work productively and provide the best results for your clients?
Resilience is the second soft skill we believe a bookkeeper must have. This can be defined as the way a person is able to ‘bounce back’ or manage adversity if something goes wrong.
Working as a bookkeeper definitely has its busy days. There are also many where more than one challenge is thrown your way. So ensuring that you have the mental capacity to stand up to any difficult event or project is crucial.
Like Emotional Intelligence, having resilience also allows a person to better maintain their emotions. This is extremely important as a bookkeeper or business owner when it comes to managing a team and supporting clients.
In 2021, having resilience is more important than ever. The Covid Pandemic has taught us that life can throw curve balls. By managing to keep up our everyday tasks despite the impacts of the pandemic, it’s likely that we have all become more resilient than ever before.
This particular soft skill is extremely important to have as a leader and business owner, but absolutely essential as a bookkeeper. Integrity is all about trust and is defined as the quality of a person in being honest and having strong moral principles.
When a client employs a bookkeeper, they give them access to their finances and wholeheartedly trust them in being transparent, truthful and in providing accurate reports that they can reply on.
At The Savvy Bookkeeper, we believe that having integrity is a foundation of being a bookkeeper.This also plays an important role in how you approach your clients and the ethics behind your business.
4. Industriousness (work ethic and hard working)
“Industriousness” is a word that isn’t used very often, but we love it. Defined as a person’s enthusiasm in the application of their work or study, this is the fourth ‘soft skill’ which we believe is a must have for any bookkeeper.
As a bookkeeper, work can become tedious and analysing financial information day in and day out can be draining at times. So can the stress that sometimes comes with it. A good bookkeeper should naturally have strong industriousness because to produce quality work at a productive rate, bookkeepers naturally need to have a love for what they do and show maximum enthusiasm.
A bookkeeping all-rounder
Bookkeepers are a special kind – or at least we believe so! While we understand that being a bookkeeper comes with a lot of skill and responsibility, having patience, integrity and a strong connection to our emotions are also key for working at our very best.
So if you’re a business owner and in the process of hiring a bookkeeping employee, be sure to take into account their ‘soft skills’ because they are absolutely crucial in rounding out the best candidate.
Are you a bookkeeper and in need of further assistance? Email us at and we’ll guide you through the Hiring process.
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