As an experienced general manager what I look for in my accountant has evolved over many years. Becoming an Accountant is a much longer process, as you will either require a formal professional qualification from a Chartered Accounting body or with a University degree. Good accountants are great role models and have the patience, skills and confidence to delegate while maintaining a measure of approachability.

Not every small business wants or needs to hire an accountant to handle their taxes. However, most individuals will need to have a general set of accounting job skills that translate across all areas of the field. The ability to be a team player: Accountants typically work in teams and participate in face to face meetings with their clients and on a regular basis they consult business issues with other decision-makers.

Your accountants need to be comfortable with a range of business sizes. Perhaps that focus is on auditing, maybe management or tax and finance related. The skills demanded of the accountant in a decade's time will be vastly different to the skills required today as the global economy continues to evolve at an ever-quickening pace.

For example, an accountant just starting out might charge less to file your tax return, but an experienced new accountant who charges more could get the tax return done in half the time. So, before offering a job position to the first accountant you encounter, make sure that the prospect possesses these four qualities.

Always remember that communication is critical, especially in the world of business, as it enables you to have a firm grasp of what's taking place in your company without you having to see everything all the time. Times are changing, and a good accountant would take the time to attend seminars, conferences, and refreshers to be up-to-date with any changes of tax laws and the likes.