Accountants Must Stop the Shuffling, Here’s How
The Daily Grind, The Routine, The Same Old Thing, Business as Usual; you’ve likely used these phrases to refer to your work. If so, you may be “shuffling.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “to shuffle” as: “to move about, back and forth, or from one place to another.” As you might know, shuffling causes erosion. More importantly, your professional life should not be about what that daily stuff is but why it is so.
Not many would want to carry their potential to their grave; underutilized, or worse, unutilized. But as we all suspect, it happens to many people – their best was never delivered to the world. Again, the only question is why?
Before you think this is a philosophical article, stop right here and answer these two questions:
- As an accounting professional, exactly what are you just “shuffling” every day?
- Why are you just shuffling every day?
The Accounting and Tax “âShuffling”
Receipts from clients often shuffle into “books” of accounting. Income-expense information from clients shuffle into a tax return, and so on ...
As an accountant, you can easily make a list of things that you shuffle in your day-to-day work.
The Real Result of Shuffling
Most of the daily shuffling in the accounting and tax profession results in satisfying a “need.” For instance, filing a tax return on time, being compliant with the law, etc.
Need satisfaction is at best an “unwanted purchase.” It is kind of a “necessary evil,” and hence, it is prone to intense price negotiations. That restricts profitability in the accounting and tax profession.
Do This Instead
Yes, need satisfaction is definitely a must, but it will not build wealth for you unless you develop standardized processes for efficient “mass-production.” Economies of scale may make money for you, but it needs more investment in overhead first. As such, you may want to do this instead:
- A faster and more deeply satisfying way to more wealth will be to provide what clients want, not just what they need. Clients will pay more for their wants and save money on their needs. The iPhone, for example, showed that it was possible to create that mass “want” in people. Several clients will not be fully aware of the possibilities. You need to show the possibilities to your clients – possibilities relevant to their specific situations – and how you help them achieve better things, to create those “wants” in your clients’ minds. It could be as simple as this: filing a tax return on time is a need. How can I save on taxes is a “want.” A financial statement may be a need. How do I make my business more profitable is a “want.”
- Don’t know what your clients may really “want?” Just ask them, in every interaction. You might be surprised how much strategic and competitive intelligence your clients will give you, for free! Another way is to leverage social media. Find out the discussion forums, blogs, etc., that your clients – and your ideal prospects – frequent. Carefully note down their comments on such platforms. You can find a wealth of information about their “wants” – from their own comments.
- Watch your “shuffles.” And ask a question: “When this (whatever you are doing) is shuffled, what happens next?” If that “what” is not satisfying a genuine “want” for your client, ask the next question: “What can I create from this shuffle that the clients will want to know?”
This exercise can help you package and present some actionable intelligence to your clients, to create that “want.”