The idea that accountants and bookkeepers should no longer be labeled as such is not a new concept, but it does appear to be gaining some traction and relevance, particularly at this year’s QuickBooks Connect event.
Given all of the technological advancements in business and for the profession itself, coupled with the pressing need for accountants to “evolve,” it’s no wonder this conversation of rebranding has gained some steam.
A bit of history: The idea of accountants, or even credentialed ones, such as CPAs, changing their title to better reflect what they do and showcase value to potential clients can go back to when the term “Cognetor” was first bandied about. That didn’t really fly at the time, though “Trusted Advisor” has seen some traction. Within that, there’s been efforts to simply add credentials to showcase the value of what you do: CITP, CFP, and now CGMA. But do those brands tell the whole story of what you do?
At a predominantly small accounting and bookkeeping firm-focused event like QuickBooks Connect, where attendees are bombarded by tools and concepts to help them evolve and remain relevant, the idea of coming up with a new label doesn’t entirely fall on deaf ears.
Bookkeepers, for one, have been struggling to showcase their value and come out of the so-called dark ages they’ve been perceived in, and would much prefer being called accounting professionals or business advisors.
In a keynote, here at Intuit’s QuickBooks-centric event, Profit First author and entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz explained to accountants and bookkeepers just how and why their names need to change.
“It’s hard to argue with clients why as accountants and bookkeepers we’re different. It’s hard to argue that we’re better than they know our label to be,” said Michalowicz. “If we want to stand out to prospects and clients, we need to change our label. Don’t call yourselves accountants and bookkeepers. Why not profit advisor or something that reflects more of what you do and will do for them?”
The bottom line is, those professionals that are interested in surviving and even thriving may indeed need to entertain the idea or a rebrand; albeit subtle or over time. This is a conversation I’d love to see continue here and out in the public. As ever, your thoughts are what matter most and not just those of this site’s editor. Feel free to share.