If you’re like most accounting professionals, you want to provide excellent accounting services to every client. If you don’t, you probably won’t be in business for long.
I once heard a speech by a man who I greatly admire. His name is Dallin H. Oaks and his talk was entitled “Good, Better, Best”. Although he was speaking of choosing the best activities when considering how to use our time, I feel the principle is appropriate here. Are you just a “good” accountant, a “better” accountant, or the “best” accountant for your clients?
Most people will answer, “I want to be the best accountant, but I only have so much time.” Certainly, time is important when evaluating what to do for a client. Yet, what if you could go from being a “good” accountant, to the “best” accountant in only ten minutes? Would it be worth it?
The key to providing excellent accounting services is to look forward, not just backward, with each client. When we do accounting, we are entering historical data to determine where our client’s been and what their present situation is. Most good accountants consider this their primary purpose and are satisfied simply handing over the financial statements and calling it finished.
Nevertheless, the most important thing we can do is assess where the client’s going, and warn of concerns, and share ideas for improvement even when the client’s business is doing well.
You can save time by limiting your assessment to the top three sources of income, and the top five expense categories. Run trend reports on each of these eight accounts for the past six accounting periods, and project those trends into the next two accounting periods to determine where they will be.
For the flat or dropping income accounts, consider geometric marketing ideas (see “In the Black”, Chapter 3) that will improve revenues. For any growing expense accounts, evaluate vendors and prices to make suggestions for decreasing expenses.
You will amaze yourself how easy and possible it is to go from good to your clients’ BEST accountant, in fact a Profit & Growth Expert.