As accountants gain experience in a range of functions or a niche, some realize that they can do much better financially by striking it out on their own. That’s when they become an entrepreneur besides being an accountant.
The first reason why they wish to do so, is to attain financial freedom. However, it takes more than being just an accountant to be an entrepreneur; so, to be one and to empathize with its plight are two very different things, which sadly not all accountants achieve even though they desire to do so.
When you own a firm, your thinking process is just not limited to doing the job at hand, but also towards growth, managing the employees, taking care of the infrastructure, building reputation and reach, structuring offerings, marketing decisions, staffing challenges, and a host of other things. Even after they start off their own firms, not many accounting firm owners experience the freedom they desire; instead they feel overwhelmed, and are bound in their practice. This actually happens because of the accountants’ approach in adapting the mindset of an entrepreneur.
Here are a few things, we believe that every accountant must realize in the course of being an entrepreneurial accountant, and follow them for a push towards their goals.
- Focus on solutions: While most accountants typically give more emphasis on text-book procedures, entrepreneurs focus on solutions the world needs, and how they can deliver those solutions. As an entrepreneurial accountant, the focus should grow more towards the solution that drives customer experience and success. Therefore, it is important to invest more time into research, surveys, and studies so that one is always focused on higher customer engagement and expansions. Sometimes, even if an issue is not related to one of your own clients, it would still be advisable to prepare for every conceivable circumstance. That often leads to discovering your own unique solution, and make you stand a class apart.
- Introducing innovation: Developing new or improved business models, restructuring manpower and skill sets for achieving goals are entrepreneurs’ key characteristics, and the defining characteristics that separate the successful ones from ‘others’. While conventionally most accountants are more of old school thinking, and like to see the things only where they belong, entrepreneurs are more dedicated towards introducing innovation, and never stop themselves from experimenting with something new. In order to keep the risks in check, it can also be a series of small, incremental changes but in the long term, this approach pays its dividends of growth.
- More oriented towards growing business: If you look at things with spectrum of business, entrepreneurs can identify opportunities for business growth by adapting their services to the way their marketplace is changing. One who understands the markets, will always remain competitive. One way to stay ahead of the game is to offer something different to clients. Sometimes, all it takes is just a tiny element that sets you apart. People would often pay higher when they feel what they are getting in return is worth it all.
- Focused towards latest technology and updates: Introducing new technology, techniques, or better working practices — perhaps using better processes to give a more consistent quality of services is something all entrepreneurial accountants embrace better than most accountants. Improving or replacing business processes enable most practices to extend the range or quality of existing services, and also makes for an efficient workplace.
- Staying relevant is profitable: Entrepreneurial accountants emphasize on creating an excellent model for running their enterprise. This allows their firms to be organic, flexible, and ever-evolving for allowing changes in its environment. By virtue of that, entrepreneurs can remain relevant by accommodating the winds of change in the company. The ability to identify opportunities, for business growth by adapting to the way their marketplace is changing, is a key thing that helps them remain profitable, and in demand for longer term.
- Creating new services setting apart from competitions: Doing taxes and managing payroll is not enough anymore; the customer demands and needs are changing rapidly. Clients often need more assistance, even if, they just turn to you for accounting and taxes. Entrepreneurial accountants often think about their current client base, as well as other target clients: what kind of services do they need? In the past, have clients ever asked for help in other functions? Accordingly, more services can be added to lay new foundation for the strategic growth of your accounting firms. It is the need of the hour.
- Be Prouder of Your Work & Knowledge than Your Certification/Qualification: Of course your qualification sets you apart from others but professionally your knowledge and work accomplishments must be able to outshine your peers. Fortunately, if you wish to showcase your accomplishments and gain better recognition today, there are more means than ever. Linkedin and Facebook are perhaps the best ways to engage your target audience by building you online presence.
- Be an Optimist: It’s always easy to find mistakes in other’s work and audit it rather than doing things yourself. Here’s where an entrepreneurial accountant stands apart from an accountant. Typically Accountants are characterized as being skeptical and negative. They do not embrace the tides of change so easily. So any new technology and systems take time to sync in with most accountants. Even while new technology takes over, the business and accounting principles remain the same but it largely simplifies and organizes the work. Entrepreneurial accountants adopt the latest technology and gain from it but, for others, being averse to the latest technology and trends leads to going nowhere but getting obsolete.
With all the tools of innovation, technology, relevance, great services, a progressive accounting entrepreneur always tends to keep their clients well served, engaged, and well-informed about latest activities to give them a sense of belonging.
Accounting is a stable industry, so it can be tempting to sit on your laurels. But, if you want to grow your business, and broaden the value you bring to your small business clients, it’s time to adopt a paradigm shift. In this age, aspiring accountants must change their approach, and enhance their skills; more towards becoming entrepreneurial accountants than just being accountants.