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The Best Personality Assessments for Accounting Firms

The Best Personality Assessments for Accounting Firms

It takes a lot more than being great with numbers for an accountant to be an asset to an accounting firm. Each accountant’s ability to navigate interpersonal relationships is key to the health and success of your firm. When an accountant understands their own personality style and the personality style of their coworkers, they are equipped to have peaceful and beneficial work relationships in the office.

How can you and your partners enable your accounting team to understand personality style?

Over the years of my consulting career, I have recommended several actionable tests. Here are the ones I most commonly recommend:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator– Through a certified professional or the official online platform, this multiple choice assessment determines your personality type. The results of this assessment will be in the form of a four letter description. The description communicates how you recharge your energy level, how you best receive information, how you make decisions, and how you approach the world. The partners of the firm can use the personality assessment to understand how each team members will receive change and can best be managed.
  • StrengthsFinder– Part of building a strong team is having each member use their strengths. But how can each member use their strengths if they don’t know what they are? The StrengthsFinder assessment helps people pinpoint their strengths and gives strategies for using their strengths in the firm and in life.  This also allows the management of the firm to ensure the right people are on the team and doing the right work for their strength.
  • DiSC profile– The DiSC profile begins with a short assessment consisting of rating a series of statements and how true they are for you. Then you are given a visual graph showing how you interact with your work and with others. The letters in DiSC stand for:
  1. Dominance (result-oriented, driver)
  2. Influence (expressive, persuasive)
  3. Steadiness (team player, understanding)
  4. Conscientiousness (analytical, loves detail)
  • Emotional Quotient is a person’s ability to understand other’s emotions and to use his emotions in a positive direction. Someone may have a high IQ, but if their EQ is lacking, they might struggle to become a successful member of the work place. This can help to determine the right person to communicate with clients and their communication style in the firm.

Each of these assessments has a different emphasis, but each achieves the goal of equipping accounting firms with the interpersonal relationship information it needs to work together and communicate with each other effectively.

In my training and traveling, I sometimes get asked whether or not personality assessments are worth the time, money, and energy. I would answer with a resounding “Yes!” Communication and interpersonal skills inside the firm and with clients and vendors are greatly affected by each member of the firm, and these tools can help to make those relationships much better.

What difference will understanding your team’s personalities make for your practice?

  • A personality assessment defines the common terms used when getting to know one another’s personality type. The common terms are key. One woman in an accounting office said, “When I sensed my coworkers were thinking that I was being cold towards them, I warned them that my husband always called me an introvert. But that didn’t seem to mean very much to them. But when we did the personality assessment and it defined my personality as introverted, then my coworkers understood. And I could understand their personalities as well because the terms were clearly defined for us all.”
  • Each employee will be able to become more confident in their personality because they will understand themselves better. Each of the personality assessments is written so the employee can celebrate the personality they have and how their strengths can be used, as well as how best to relate to others.
  • Personality assessments help the leadership of the accounting firm to understand how to best communicate and motivate your team members. Did the email and the bar graph not motivate your employee? Based on their personality, would an in-person question and answer session have worked better?  Would some staff like public recognition better than others to feel appreciated?
  • Understanding personality can help avoid and even solve relationship conflicts.  Knowing which staff needs more details or time to process information or who want the bottom line information will help team members relate to one another more effectively, and the leaders to lead more efficiently as well.

When your accounting team understands their personalities and the personalities of their coworkers, your firm will experience success. If you would like some input as to which test would be best for your firm, or how to better communicate as a team, please contact me.

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