4 Habits Accountants Should Ditch for a Fulfilling Career

Lauren Funaro
July 25, 2023
min read
September 19, 2023
Photo credit
Unlock a fulfilling accounting career by ditching these 4 unhelpful habits. Learn what not to do and when to slow down for success. 🚀
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Accountants spend most of their time telling clients what to do. They’re no strangers to repeating themselves either — it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of: “Keep doing this, and for the love of everything, start doing that.”

If that sounds like you, don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you what to do; I have a feeling you already know that. 

You know what we don’t talk about enough? What not to do, where to slow down and when to halt completely.  

I had the chance to speak with Ivan Marusic, a former InDinero Senior Accountant who’s helped premier start-ups like Github and Instacart through their Seed funding — and even led a start-up to close a $3 mil Series A. 

As the go-to person for his clients and team, he knows that sometimes you need to stop before you can start again. That’s how he wound up running his own business. 

So for just a few minutes, let’s close the inbox, drop the ledger and stop doing the things that make your work (and life) that much harder. 

4 Habits that Accountants should ditch

  1. Stop hand-holding your clients.
  2. Stop thinking there’s an I in team. 
  3. Stop pretending that pedigree = talent.
  4. Stop holding yourself with work that doesn’t matter.

1. Stop handholding your clients

There’s a difference between “offering excellent customer service,” and “running yourself into the ground.”

This can be a tough habit to break, but it's important to trust your clients to be able to handle things. If you're constantly hovering over their shoulders, they'll never learn how to do things for themselves.

Your clients might think they need you 110% of the time, but the truth is, there’s a lot they can and (probably want to) do on their own. It’s faster, easier and means no one has to pick up the phone. 

A recent consumer survey found that 67 percent of respondents prefer self-service over speaking to a customer representative. The good news? That likely applies to ANY client-facing role. 

There will always be things you have to answer or handle yourself. The trick is not to get bogged down by answering redundant, easy questions over and over again. 

Set the right tone by giving them the resources and tools that help them solve their own problems.

Ivan recommends using Scribe, an AI-powered process documentation tool, to quickly document and share processes with clients. Scribes write SOPs, training guides and help center FAQs for you by just following along as you work. 

“I use Scribe use it to create and manage client relationships, track my time, and generate invoices. I also use it to collaborate with clients on financial reports.” — Ivan Marusic


2. Stop thinking there’s an I in team

There’s this weird myth that the only way to be a top performer is to work alone. But the truth is, clients come from your network. That network is likely made up of colleagues, former bosses and even competitors. 

Accounting is a team sport. You need to be able to collaborate with other professionals — like lawyers, bankers and IT experts. If you're too focused on doing everything yourself, you'll be setting yourself up for failure.

“Big firms are all about teamwork, so you need to be able to collaborate with others and be willing to help out where needed.”

When working your way up, remember to support those around you. Share in big wins, and offer support when you can. This will make others just as open to helping you when you’re in a bind. 

Maybe you can do it alone, but you shouldn’t have to. 

3. Stop pretending that pedigree = talent

Whether you’re hiring, managing a team or simply trying to make your own way, don’t be blinded by the flash of an Ivy League. As someone much wiser than I once said, “CPA is the great equalizer.” 

(Source: Reddit)
Being a great accountant is about understanding and implementing the concepts, problem solving and pushing forward. Anyone, anywhere, can have grit and talent. Give them (or maybe even yourself) a fighting chance. 
“The path to becoming a partner at an accounting firm is long and challenging, but if you're persistent and willing to work hard, you can achieve your goals.”

Stop holding yourself back with work that doesn’t matter

If you want to be successful, you need to be willing to delegate. 

“Being a top performer means being able to work independently and as part of a team, meeting deadlines and producing high-quality work.” 

You know what it doesn’t mean? Spending hours on Teams going back and forth with your boss or responding to the same questions on Slack again and again. 

I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. “Boundaries” aren’t quite a Big 4’s forte. Being a top performer usually means being the go-to person not just for your clients, but for your team. 

Here are some quick ways to push back and save time, so you can focus on the work that matters. 

  • Silence all notifications for 2 hours every day — and put that visible block on your calendar and Slack. 
  • Give yourself a thirty-minute window to answer any inquiries that came through in those two hours. 
  • Schedule biweekly check-ins with your boss and direct colleagues. Remind them to save questions for the check-in. 
  • Use a tool like Scribe to quickly document processes and workflows. That way you can answer questions with a quick link or, even better, have your team check the platform first. 

Every “quick question” adds up to hours out of your week. Get that time back, so you can get s%^& done. 


Ivan used these hacks to get ahead, and now he gets to work for himself, helping small businesses with their accounting, financial reporting, and tax compliance needs. 

Now it’s your turn to stop hurting your career by ditching these unhelpful habits:

  • Stop handholding your clients.
  • Stop thinking there’s an I in team.
  • Stop pretending that pedigree = talent.
  • Stop holding yourself back by doing work that doesn’t matter. 

It’s time to focus on what really counts, so you can carve out a career that’s successful — and actually fulfilling.

Ready to try Scribe?

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