Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?
I don’t read as many blogs as I used to, but I love Seth Godin’s work (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) as well as anything put out by Perry Marshall (https://www.perrymarshall.com/blog/). And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my wife’s blog (and book by the same name) — http://EveryBitterthingisSweet.com/. She’s a published author with Zondervan and a speaker for Christian events, and the joy of my life. So yeah … her work is probably my favorite 🙂
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
I’m extremely fortunate that I have such gifted people around me, in particular my COO, Troy Lakey, who has been with me for 9+ years. Because of my staff, I’m able to focus on copywriting on behalf of our tax and accounting firm clients, setting strategic direction and speaking to groups of CPA’s and tax professionals about how they can grow their firms. In many ways, I’m a mere figurehead because of how effective and diligent is my incredible staff.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
My passion in this industry is that CPA’s and tax professionals would recognize their greatest asset remains the relationships they form with their clients and prospects. In this age of automation, it’s imperative that small and medium-sized firms recognize this point of leverage and find ways to integrate relationship-building into their marketing automation and activities — specifically in the online arena.
One of my favorite activities is to speak on this to groups of tax and accounting professionals, which I have recently done at the NATP conferences, Accelerate (hosted by OfficeTools) and a variety of other success-oriented events hosted by different groups within the industry. My recent book: How To Attract, Retain and Profit from More Tax & Accounting Clients Using The New Channels of Marketing has been very well received, and I’d be glad to offer it to any of your readers who shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (which goes right to me).
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
With five children in the house (ages 12, 11, 11, 9 and 3 — with one on the way) and a wife who home schools, I’ve found that reaching beyond the borders of our homestead is difficult during this season. But we make it a point to serve as a family, and have done so in a variety of different contexts, whether it’s working together at a local homeless shelter, or providing space in our home for various gatherings and meetings. I’m very involved in my church, and am on the board of a few different ministries that serve overseas as well as domestically.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
Aside from the fact that social media will continue to take over the online world, automation and cloud technology will continues its rapid adoption. CPA’s and tax professionals will gain more freedom to orient their practices around serving their clients in areas outside of simple bookkeeping and tax. And they’re going to have to, if they want to build something sustainable in the long-term. But with government regulations (like the ACA, etc.) continuing to increase in scope, no matter what political party holds majority power, there will always be a market for CPA’s and advisers who can help small business owners and families cut through the red-tape and secure their businesses and families against risk and liability. And this represents real opportunity — as long as the CPA is able to speak the language of their clients and prospects in such a way that resonates with them.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
We’ve buit a hardy tribe of success-oriented CPA’s and tax professionals who recognize the power resident within their client relationships, and all of the possibilities therein. But regardless whether a CPA joins our little tribe, I’m going to continue to bang the drum of CPA’s cutting through the jargon and speaking to the conversation going on within the hearts and minds of our clients and prospects
What is your career philosophy?
I believe that God cares about even the transactional details of our daily lives … so I may as well seek to find Him in every activity of my day and career. I’ll go where that leads me, and let the chips fall.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life
More than 13 years ago, I was on staff with a non-profit called YoungLife which wanted to transfer me to points remote, and a local businessman named Chauncey Hutter, Jr. helped my wife and I stay rooted in our local community by offering me a job in marketing for his tax business. I didn’t realize at first, but this was life-changing. Four years later, he helped me to start TaxProMarketer and recommended our service to hundreds of tax professionals across the country. This kind of unselfish mentoring is rare in any industry, and I’ve sought to emulate his open-handed generosity in everything we do as a company as result.