By John Peterson, May 2012

The Issues Raised by Accountants

Having personally met with and consulted privately to more than 850 firms in the past 5 years, it is quite remarkable just how consistently the same issues are continually raised and expressed by Accountants.

The Inner Voice of Conflict

Being a highly ethical and service orientated profession, Accountants tend to experience inner conflicts and turmoil (which can be significant) when it comes to what they want to provide their clients compared to what Accountants actually want for themselves.

The Accountants Mantras of Frustration

1. I want my clients to experience a high-quality service, but I also want them to appreciate my efforts
2. I want to add value & meet client needs, and I want to be paid & respected for my efforts
3. I want employees to appreciate my knowledge, be enthusiastic, and learn from me so they can grow
4. I want to earn a decent living, acquire some assets, and build wealth for my family
5. I want to leave a legacy that’s meaningful, and have my family speak highly of me, and not “die at the desk”

The Problem

The problem is, there is no-one lying awake at night on your behalf worrying about how to resolve these inner conflicts for you. They’re all (as you might expect) only concerned about what you are currently doing for them now, and what you might be able to do for them in the future!

Time

You don’t EVER have enough of this to spare/spend on yourself or your family as they’d like

Staff

NEVER take the reigns, send you on a holiday and improve things whilst you are away

Profits

There is NEVER enough money in it to really reward your family for your efforts

Customers

They always want more from you which is nice, but bloody exhausting

Succession

Oh, that’s right, you certainly don’t have the time or energy to get this right!

The Solution

As sorry as reality as the above might seem, all is not lost. Typically there is only one answer, and that is for you to go on the offensive and start to challenge your original thinking that it’s not possible to master all five (5) of the above (i.e. Time, Staff, Profits, Customers, & Succession) in one lifetime, BECAUSE IT IS POSSIBLE.
But if mastering all five is possible then why is it that less than 5% of the accounting profession’s business owners actually achieve this?
This question (immediately above) is the reason why I wrote this paper.
Having worked as a consultant with one of the world’s leading Management Consulting firms of two decades (80’s & 90’s) Zenger Miller, I learned first-hand how important genuine expertise is (in all 5 of these hot topics) to get your practice really working for you rather than finding yourself working for your practice!

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