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Firm Management

Back to the Basics

Before the world changed in March of 2020, one of our goals was to become the most trusted professional advisor for our clients. At the even more basic level, we sought to make an impact in our client’s lives with the hope of helping in ways beyond ...

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“Drastic Changes in the Accounting Profession!”

“Continued Turmoil for Accountants!”

“Increased Talent Shortage Hits All Time High!”

These headlines and more are just a few examples of what seems to be a never-ending list of challenges and problems accountants have faced over the past year. We all have felt, without a doubt, the pain and struggles of the past year, given the constant challenges and immense difficulties.  That, however, is why now is a great time for a change – it is a great opportunity to triumph in the face of turbulence.  Now is the ideal time to shift our focus away from the major changes at the macro levels that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and instead focus on the changes that are more personal, and most importantly, more impactful.

Before the world changed in March of 2020, one of our goals was to become the most trusted professional advisor for our clients.  At the even more basic level, we sought to make an impact in our client’s lives with the hope of helping in ways beyond getting the tax return done in time.  That help is something different for each client, but when we were able to help them, it was highly rewarding.  Let us look forward, and instead think about focusing on how we can make a difference for just one client in one moment in time.  Bring back a little happiness, and a little bit of ease for them, even if just for a moment.  That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

After everything we have been through, doing a little good will make us feel even better than before.

Shifting Focus

The first step in the process, hasn’t changed from before.  Frankly, every firm should have a huge poster hanging in the office and at everyone’s home off, which simply says “It’s about more than taxes!!!” That is the first step if you want to make a difference – you have to understand that making real difference in someone’s life is not about a tax return.  It is about figuring out what they are really struggling with, and what is holding them back. Each person, entity, organization, and client has something, we can help them clarify direction and figure out what that one thing is. There is a whole person behind the documents submitted for their taxes – your job is to figure out who that is and what they need help with, but that starts with caring enough to focus on them.

Team Approach

Once you look daily at your fancy new sign and accept that it is not just about the taxes, the next moment of realization is to understand that you can’t do it all alone.  That is right, we need to admit that we, as powerful as all we accountant’s are, cannot do it all by yourself.  We can do a lot, don’t get me wrong, but simply not everything.  That is why we need to bring in a high quality team around us.  We are the center of the team, helping our client, driving the solution, but we must bring in the right team members around us to help achieve those goals.  This is why virtual family office solutions have become the go to solution for accounting firms. 

With the team of the right people both around you both internally and externally, not only can we help our clients identify the main challenges they are faced with, but we can also work to help them solve the problem at the same time.  Best of all, by having the power of a bigger team, with a variety of individuals focused in niche specialties, you won’t become overwhelmed trying to do everything yourself. 

Finishing It

Have you ever started a project, but not finished it?  Of course you have.  No matter how much you wanted to finish that project, for some “unknown” reason, it just never got finished.  We are all used to this at the personal level, but this level of project fatigue extends to the organizational level as well. 

Again, this is where our role as trusted professionals is about more than just tax returns.  At this point, you have already clarified the client’s direction to best understand their major roadblock, you’ve brought in the right people on the team to solve the problem, and you are heading towards the finish line.  But then something happens – another fire drill. 

You are left confused: why would they not want to finish this project? You know that after all, it will provide them with not just what they really want, but what they really need.  The reason: the challenges of everyday life get in the way.  We all know how that goes, and this is where we can come in at the end and really make our mark.  This is where we can help them stay on track, help them stay focused, and help them finish this project, whatever it may be.

Executing this plan is harder than it sounds, but the reward is remarkable.  Seeing the look on your client’s face when you make a real difference is not only financially rewarding, but personally rewarding as well. 

So go out, get your “It is about more than taxes!!!” banners printed, bring on the team, and help get your clients over the finish line!  This is why we do what we do, and this is what can make our profession so remarkable.  We CAN make a difference in someone’s life.  If you are lucky enough to have experienced this before for yourself, you know what I’m talking about.  If you still have not, don’t lose hope – the path is awaiting you, go get started. 

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