When most people think of accounting or accountants, the first thing (and usually the only thing) that comes to mind is someone who can do taxes.
As accountants, we often have some of the most fair-weathered friends in the sense that certain people only contact us when they need taxes or some other accounting work done. It is something of an unfair burden on the average accountant, especially if we end up doing the work pro bono.
Communicate clearly, and often …
But there is so much more to the accounting profession than just taxes. Certified Public Accountants are among the most insightful finance professionals any individual or business could ever hope to have in their network.
Really good CPAs are able to speak in terms that any layperson can understand. Every discussion that we have with friends and clients should involve informing them, directly and indirectly, of how we can improve their financial performance in clear terms free of industry jargon.
Work your angles …
Older accountants tend to be better accountants. At least that’s what I always say as an older accountant myself. This is one of the only areas of my life where I try to encourage people to consider an age bias. Obviously that is not a universal law, as there are plenty of talented and very capable CPAs who are younger, but there is a lot to be said in this profession for experience.
Get in where you fit in …
Professional individuals tend to think in their own professional terms. That is to say, plumbers plumb, attorneys practice law, and so on. But CPAs, the really good ones, adjust their thinking to the financial needs of their clients or employers.
That means we want to tie everything we know about a client’s business financial portfolio into ways it can perform better financially and see more profit.
It would behoove anyone interested in an accounting career to look long and hard at their existing network of friends and business contact sand adopt some of these concepts into the way they approach their career.