Why accountants are like beavers

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Gary Hunt

By Jennifer Rieman, CAE, manager, public relations

Are you a dolphin, beaver, fox or owl? Toni Bell, owner, Phoenix Consulting Company, poses this question during a Winter Quick Byte Advance On-Demand video, one course in a series available complimentary to members now through March 1.

Bell explores how the four temperaments impact work relationships and how understanding your own temperament, as well as those of your co-workers and clients, can improve your relationships at work.

Toni Bell“People like to do business with people that they like and with people who are competent,” Bell said. “But it’s not enough to just be competent, you also have to be confident and connect with others.”

Broadly, dolphins are relationship driven and want both meaning and significance in their work. Beavers like their work to be orderly and precise, while foxes are action-oriented. Owls tend towards perfectionism and value expertise.

Accountants and CPAs are often beavers, Bell said, although she advises against pigeonholing particular people. When working with others, identifying their type and preferred style can go a long way toward connecting with those around you.

“Ask yourself, what is this person driven by versus what I’m driven by?” Bell said. “It’s not just about you. If you are working with a team or a customer, it’s really about them and what they need.”

Other topics in the Winter Quick Byte Advance On-Demand series include:

  • A legislative forecast and updates on the Society's most recent research in CPA learning and compensation and benefits.
  • Tactics for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
  • Analysis of research on what makes CPAs happy on the job.

Each 20-minute course qualifies for .4 specialized knowledge CPE credits. Complete all five courses to earn two complimentary hours. Hurry: this offer is available only through March 1.


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  1. Amber McAuliffe | Mar 16, 2018
    I'd say I'm a cross between beaver and dolphin... great analogy!

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