While accountants must work with numbers, is that what gives them the most job satisfaction? What is it they love most about their careers?

Rather than math, it’s the problem solving that accountants enjoy most, according to survey results from Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

Forty-one percent of the accountants polled said solving problems gives them the most job satisfaction, compared to just 22 percent who chose working with numbers. Seventeen percent of the respondents cited making strategic recommendations for the business as their top favorite task.

Here are three tips for accountants to highlight their problem-solving and strategic expertise and achieve job satisfaction while also boosting the bottom line:

1. Collaborate across departments

Unlike accounting practices, which you learn in college, problem solving involves creativity that you often must learn on your own. Collaboration is key to that creativity. Consider the value of brainstorming with others to clarify the problem, generate ideas and create as many solutions as possible.

2. Cultivate teamwork and delegate effectively

In order to focus on problem solving and maximize productivity, you'll want to share some of the day-to-day tasks and business operations with your team. To do that within your company, you should promote mentorship and team building programs for your staff.

3. Maximize insight from data

One of the best problem-solving strategies is to leverage data from a wide range of sources. As Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, points out, "Accounting and finance professionals regularly mine data to identify historical trends and make projections based on those findings. They also can uncover potential areas for concern and put their problem-solving skills to work in the process."

Want to read more about what's important to problem-solving accountants?