Recently I have been meeting with accounting firms. I am encouraged by what I have observed. Deep-seated concerns of accounting firms with whom I have spoken is a genuine concern for the clients’ success.
The bottom line isn’t so black and white. Neither is accounting, evidently. And the numbers may never lie, but they sure don’t tell the whole story. That’s where Rehr Consulting can help.
To Be Human
My writing and research efforts in 2019 have been focused on personal ambition and the strategies of others. This remarkable trend in the local accounting industry I’ve witnessed comes down to one truer ambition than serving others, good relationships, or getting the most money back on a tax filing, etc.
Human interest in the good fortunes of others.
The expression is real. Pride even comes into play. Accounting firms want to see their small business clients
- Grow their business acumen.
- Become more resilient to industry threats and competitive deficiencies.
- [Re]Discover alignment with their personal ambition.
Success Is Material To Everyone Involved
Failing in one’s small business is grueling. The day-to-day is arguably worse than the ultimate death. Seemingly everyone in and out of the business knows there’s something wrong, families included. Odds are, the business cannot fix itself alone. Where’s the money, the resources, the knowledge and the systems to turn the thing around?
Beyond that, the business and its owner may be staples of the community. Jobs may be on the line. Clientele will need to find services elsewhere.
For the accounting firm that supports those small businesses, the impacts aren’t so obvious. Sure, the loss of a client is loss of revenue. Perhaps more stinging, and like foreboding music in a horror film or a tense buildup in a dramatic moment, the scene isn’t pleasant to watch from afar. These are not actors. Those are real lives being affected.
Many CPA and bookkeeping firms do not have organization development services to support their clients beyond receiving the numbers. Small business function goes beyond accounting, and accounting firms seem to be more and more cognizant.
Accounting firms can start early…before their clients exhibit problems. That way, there is a hand in providing solutions that may not otherwise present themselves.
Uncovering business leaders’ intrinsic motivation for starting and remaining in business gives a cardinal direction for respective business strategies.
In support of an accountant I met this week, I offered the following, suggestive correspondence.
As your tax accountant and/or accounting services provider, I see your financial picture. The numbers generated by your business are “lagging indicators,” or an exhibit of what’s already happened. What if there was a more proactive way to help your business solve problems?
In a 30-minute to 1-hour informational interview (in person, telephone call, Skype, etc.) I would get the answers to 3 basic questions:
- Why did you get in business in the first place?
- What are your Top 3 goals, and Top 3 risks?
- Is your business operating in alignment with your personal ambition?
From there, I would work with that client to figure goals, devise ways to achieve the desired business performance (strategy), and strengthen resilience.