My 16 year-old daughter said, "Gee Dad! You look just like an accountant"
And she wasn't being complimentary.
Accountants are perceived to be boring, stodgy and conservative.
Over the years we've been the butt of many jokes. I've heard them all.
Why did the accountant cross the road? Because he looked up the file and that's what they did last year! Ha Ha!
What do accountants use as a contraceptive? Their personality! Ha Ha!"
Why do accountants become accountants? They don't have the charisma to be undertakers! Ha Ha!
What do they call an accountant at the bottom of the sea? A bloody good start! Ha Ha!
I think I am the exception.
That's why I've begun to call myself a business strategist and counselor. "You're still an accountant," says teenage daughter.
I am still an accountant and I'm still as passionate about it as the day I started. Because accountants have an impact on people's lives. The advice we give changes people's businesses which in turn changes their lives. I'm excited in my role of accountant.
Accounting is not stodgy. Accounting is exciting. Accounting is cool! My ambition is to become the "cool dude of accounting". (do they still say "dude", do they still say "cool". Remember that song: When I say, "cool, man, cool, I don't mean cool, man, cool, I mean you leave me cold, Jack")
We were throwing some ideas around with some of our clients as we do from time to time, looking for that unique benefit that our firm gives to our clients. That unique something that distinguishes us from other accounting practices.
One said, "You have helped me to improve my business. Not only am I making more profits and have more to spend, but I also have more time to spend away from the business. The more time I spend at home with my family the happier my life is. And the happier I am the happier my wife and children seem to be.
When my wife is happy all sorts of good things happen ? even our sex life improves. That's it! You can advertise that using Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates improves your sex life"
I don't think so!
Sorry, we haven't accepted his idea. You're completely on your own in that department, but we can help you improve your business and consequently your life. And your goal might not be extra profit but extra time for living! We know we can because we are doing it for others.
We repeat ourselves so often because the truth is the truth and there is only a limited number of ways to tell it. You've heard this before. If you are spending every waking moment in a hassle about your business, there must be a better way. There is!
Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years
In 1973 I attended a workshop for accountants at the Finance Management Research Center then headed by Dr Keith Cleland. The workshop was intended to drag participants into the 20th century.
"Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years", he told us. The 25 participants were shocked. These represented vibrant accounting firms from all around Australia, both large firms and small. They were at the cutting edge of the industry. Otherwise they would not have been at this kind of workshop.
To a person they resented that comment and one fellow wanted to punch him on the nose. (It wasn't me, but I would have held his coat).
By the week's end we discovered how we were charging high fees for things that our clients couldn't understand, couldn't use and didn't need. At the same time we were neglecting the information that they did need to increase their profits and safeguard their businesses.
20 Years Later what's Changed?
I attended a week long seminar hosted by CPA Australia in 1993 which was to train us in "client based accounting". Dr Cleland presented the initial module. He did not openly criticize accountants this time, after all, it was the CPA's hosting it, but he gave almost the same speech (same jokes, too) as he had 20 years before.
"These things aren't taught in Universities", he said, "so the accounting profession has mostly ignored them. They have let small business down but things are changing".
Know-it-all, Kelvyn Peters had to jump to his feet and say that the doctor had said exactly the same thing 20 years ago. Where were the signs of change? Universities were still not teaching accountants how to help their clients.
"This seminar with CPA Australia and the suggestion they might make client based accounting a speciality is a good sign", he replied.
10 Years Later?
Nothing has changed. Our hopes have withered on the vine and small business must look elsewhere for help.
Recently I was called in to assist an ailing restaurant. We were happy to work with their existing accountant. We'd rather do the fun stuff and let the accountant do the boring tax returns and compliance work.
In this case the client insisted we take over the whole of the accounting function.
The accountant was most unhappy. "They are difficult clients", he said, "I have kept the fee lower than it should be and I have done extra to help them".
Indeed, he had! The financial statements were beautiful to behold with colored graphs and key ratios compared against industry average. (most accountants still don't do that.
I had advised that both wages costs and cost of foodstuffs were too high. Our focus was to form tactics to reduce them.
"But I had already told them that", said the Accountant, "what do they need you for?'
I told him that the client knew the kitchen wages were too high and what he wanted was for someone to show them how to reduce the wages in the kitchen.
"I can't do that", he said, "I'm an accountant". I would have to camp down there in the restaurant to see what's going on. And they wouldn't pay the fee".
Yes they would. They were going to pay me.
Most accountants see their role as being the provider of financial statements, cash-flow projections and tax returns, and there's the rub.
Each of these is a tool not an end in itself. It's like giving the client a hammer and saw and telling him to go build a house. He needs more than the tools, he needs to be shown how to use them.
Of course the client will complain about fees whatever the level if all he receives are not useful to him.
Accountants generally are flat out preparing financial statements and tax returns. Meeting dead-lines. They haven't the time to 'smell the roses'. Anything that doesn't help meet a dead-line has to wait until later. Often its too late.
I may still look like an accountant, even the cool dude of accounting, but there is nothing I like more than talking with a business owner about his business. There's nothing a business owner likes more than discussing his business and planning to make more money. It's great fun and he loves to pay me for it.
Mostly, small business owners know what their problems are. And mostly they know the way to solve them. It's just that they need a little help to implement the changes necessary. Quite often their business only needs a bit of fine-tuning and at http://www.profitstrategies4business.com you'll find Kelvyn Peters and Associates. They'll give you the help you need.
Kelvyn is one of Australia's longest serving Tax Agents. Kelvyn was registered in February 1962. He is a director of Restaurant Catering Qld Inc the peak employer representative in Queensland, and has advised the hospitality industry for many years. His speciality is moving in to rescue ailing restaurants.
Kelvyn Peters CPA (The cool dude of accounting) has spent over 20 years experimenting and researching methods to help small business in meaningful ways that are affordable.
Kelvyn and his associates have perfected it with their local clients now they are going global: http://www.profitstrategies4business.com
What could Seinfeld possibly have to do with marketing a... Read More
1. Resolve to build a consistent network system.Since referrals are... Read More
What is a Family Business? A family business is basically... Read More
If you own a mobile truck washing, pressure washing or... Read More
I only have to point to the 555 plus failed... Read More
Why would you use an event pass?Event passes are often... Read More
A Brilliant Marketing Idea... sounds great but what is it?... Read More
Marketing is one of the four corner-posts of a solid... Read More
Canon City, Colorado is known for it's 6 Prisons; State... Read More
The less a business pays for goods and services the... Read More
1. Everyone Makes A Difference ? Despite not letting him... Read More
If you plan to upgrade your workshop into an Authorized... Read More
Auto detailers are often asked to clean boats and detail... Read More
Have you been searching for the perfect home-based business? I... Read More
Incorporation in Nevada has become an attractive option for savvy... Read More
Great question!Freeing your time is an indisputably key element in... Read More
You have spent considerable time pulling your business plan together,... Read More
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market... Read More
Most business owners know when they need an accountant, but... Read More
Who is responsible for maintaining the business relationship?Nurturing a business... Read More
Unfortunately for all buyers, each selling organization and their individual... Read More
Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform... Read More
Every business plan book tells you how the Executive Summary... Read More
Do You Really Need a Toll-Free Number for Your Business?... Read More
Financial Consultants are one of the fastest growing industries today.... Read More
The Franchise Group at the Federal Trade Commission in all... Read More
Here are some useful tips on what to consider before... Read More
Ask anyone trapped in a cubical about their entrepreneurial dream... Read More
There is much competition in the mobile auto detailing business.... Read More
As a Boat Detailing Specialist, you may want to offer... Read More
Administrative and clerical tasks are the bane of every industry.... Read More
Hi, Charles...here, Your Cap and t-shirt guy From Texas. How... Read More
Some of the greatest words of wisdom for any man... Read More
Q. I am a former pastor who left the ministry... Read More
When should you leverage the relationship?Leveraging sometimes brings a negative... Read More
If you are in the professional car care business you... Read More
Washing manufactured homes, mobile homes, can be a lucrative and... Read More
I am simply amazed at the problems some of my... Read More
The temporary staffing industry continues to expand, with yearly double-digit... Read More
A corporate shell could be liken to a house that... Read More
Expanding your business requires you to take a good hard... Read More
What is a Virtual Assistant?A Virtual Assistant is a person... Read More
One thing I have noticed in my travels to different... Read More
How do we keep track of our business deals?If you... Read More
We hear a lot of talk about junk mail nowadays.... Read More
I agree that knowledge should be free, but the next... Read More
Everyone is talking about small businesses. In 1993, when it... Read More
Service Cleaning Businesses must maintain their equipment in order to... Read More
This morning, I went to take a short walk outside.... Read More
As a specialist in getting restaurants open, it is surprising... Read More
Small Business Small Business