This has been my week for great news (more about that soon).
It’s also been my week for a quarterly check-up at the doctors. And as I was sitting there in the waiting room (why can’t doctors see you on time?). I thought about being a doctor and the parallels between being a doctor and being an Accountant in Public Practice.
There are two that I thought of. First, a sign I saw in a medical practice several years ago. It read, “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” Interesting thought. Because how often are Accountants doing less than that? How often are we recommending actions without really understanding the underlying symptoms?
And we’re doing that because, in a sense, we force ourselves to. We do that by not getting involved with clients on other than a yearly basis. And that happens because some in the profession find it hard to communicate the value we bring. (One great thing about VAT or GST-based Tax regimes is that at least they force more frequent visitation!)
The second parallel I saw this week was that of the oath the doctors take — the so-called Hippocratic Oath. While I never learned it, I understand it has something to do with always doing the best you can to preserve life.
And as I sat in the waiting room I wondered what would happen if the profession had such an oath (maybe it would be called the Paciolian Oath) — an oath that said we always has to preserve business life. Wouldn’t that mean that many in the profession would essentially be forced to do a much more rigorous analysis of their clients affairs?
And that leads me to the good news. This week it really has come in a flood from around the world — story after story about how Accountants are helping their clients in wonderful ways. Like the amusement park in England where the Bank was about to appoint receivers.
The bank wisely recommended a change of Accountants. The newly appointed firm analyzed things (based on a technique called ‘the 4 ways to grow the business’). They found that people only came to the park once on their holiday. So they upped the prices and included a “come as often as you want in your seven day holiday, the second and subsequent visits are free” ticket. It turned the park’s financial performance completely around. A huge loss became a huge profit — the cancer was in remission.
Then there was the story of the Dry Cleaner whose Accountant noticed long lines developing in the morning rush hour — long lines that clearly upset loyal customers. So, with the Accountants help they introduced a pre-paid bag system. For a small down payment you get a canvas bag and a list (much like when you get cleaning done at a hotel). In a city of less than a million, they’ve sold 400,000 bags!
Ethics such as the doctor’s oath make sense in this environment. No other profession has the power to influence the financial heath of the communities of which we’re apart. It simply needs a different mindset of what our responsibilities actually are.
Results Accountants’ Systems
Results Accountants' Systems improves the profitability and performance of Accounting Firms around the world. Beginning with its revolutionary Accountants Boot Camp experience, RAS enables CPA firms to develop and deliver practice-proven consulting and advisory services while creating dynamic, stimulating professional environments. RAS systems and support provide firms with the products and the people that differentiate them from the competition.
From its inception in Western Australia in 1992, RAS has been a leading force for changing the accounting profession, moving firms from compliance work into value-added consulting services. In the process, RAS has grown into a multinational organization, launching successful operations in North America and Europe. Nearly 3500 firms worldwide have taken advantage of the RAS systems and the Results Accountants' Network to increase profits and invigorate their practices. For information on the latest tools and resources to improve your firm's performance, call Results Accountants' Systems at 1 800 800 5601, or visit the RAS website at www.ras-net.com .