The 21st Century Accountant

You get your financial reports from your accountant. You ask him what they mean and they use a bunch of accounting terms you don’t understand. You just pay the invoice for the services because you are busy and you trust your accountant.

The real reason your accountant does not talk to you about your small business is because they are a reactive accountant. He is the quintessential accountant like you see on T.V. and movies. He is your father’s accountant. They are used to taking orders like preparing financial reports or tax returns. They give you too much detail and confuse you even more. They are the 100-meter dash runner in track and field. Unfortunately, there are too many accountants that continue to practice that way. The needs of small business owners have changed since the digital age.

The solution to the issue is working with the proactive accountant or the 21st century accountant. They give you a 30,000-foot view of your business. The 21st century accountant is technology driven but stil has the fundamental foundation of your father’s accountant. They use strategies and put them in place to help your business grow throughout the year. They use the marathon runner approach to business.

There are many benefits to working with the 21st century accountant. The first benefit is communication. They are used to using multiple modes of communication and they can give you a response sooner than later. The reactive accountant will come back with typical responses like “after tax season” or “I am busy” to name some. They think that you want them to drop everything for you. What they don’t get is that you just want a simple update and consistent communication.

Another benefit working with the 21st century accountant is that they are not afraid of risk. They understand that there is an element of risk in everything. They have the experience of working with many types of clients and understand each industry. What works in one industry may not work in another industry. The reactive accountant will use works like “we’ve always done it that way” or “it is a red flag” when in most cases it is not. They are not willing to think outside the box and they will not look for the big savings that the client expects them to get.

The 21st century accountant is team-oriented vs the jack-of-all-trades methodology. He is the leader of the company and delegates responsibilities to his team. He surrounds himself with a support staff, trusting their expertise which is in the best interest of clients. They collaborate together and use each other’s strengths to keep the clients informed. The reactive accountant wants to be good at many things but usually falls behind. They try to do too much at one time and it causes their productivity to decrease. The best example is the law of diminishing returns. You might know it as too many cooks in the kitchen. The cooks will bump into each other causing frustration and lost productivity. The reactive accountant will do the same thing. He is too busy trying to do everything at once that he provides sub-standard service.

The accounting industry has seen a lot of change over the years. The days of pencil and paper being the modern technology are in the past. Not to say that they are not relevant in today’s world, rather the computer does much of the heavy lifting. It is another tool in the accountant’s tool box. You will still need an experienced professional who can help you manage your small business. Please consider the 21st century accountant. It may just elevate your small business to the next level.

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