“Proactive Accountant” is a catch-cry for many firms
but find out what that really means

Recently I have engaged in an interesting experiment – I listed on several accounting LinkedIn Groups the questions “What is a Proactive Accountant?” – it wasn’t too scientific, but interesting none-the-less.
With only one exception all the 26 responses fell into one of two categories. Either:

  1. proactive accountants are those who contacts their client more than once a year
  2. proactive accountants are those who undertake marketing and update their internal systems and procedures regularly

Unfortunately, the focus of both these approaches is not about their clients; it is not about building trusted relationships and providing practical, relevant advice.
These answers are accountants protecting their patch, making sure they survive to see another day – ONLY 4% were focusing on anticipating client needs – YOUR NEEDS!
And as the sample was only based on accountants proactive enough to respond in a LinkedIn discussion, it is probably much lower in the actual everyday accounting population.

Where did the servant/leadership, coaching/mentoring aspects go?

Consider your own accountants’ way of working with you…

  • Are they “pushing” information to you more than listening?
  • Are they open to co-training or co-coaching or mentoring you and your business?
  • Do they make it a point of investing in junior staff training?

Now, I understand that running a practice is not cheap, in fact the training alone needed to stay current with legislative changes requires a massive committment. So I am certainly not advocating accounting becomes a charity, or work and knowledge is done for free. BUT it would be good to see a shift away from this introspective compliance driven approach to a more long-sighted interactive focus on business growth and personal wealth accumulation.
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Help your accountants be more proactive by using these questions to lead them into considering ways your business can grow.

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