Guest Blog By:
Adam Blitz, CPA, Manager
Wiebe Hinton Hambalek, LLP
I am continuously amazed by how often I hear the following complaints – not just from CPAs but from the accounting profession’s leadership. The future is glum! Our new associates are worthless! My clients give me a headache! The new standards that are coming down from the leadership levels are overwhelmingly creating more problems than resolutions.
What if we changed our story? What if we said, “I can’t wait until tomorrow!” Our younger staff members have an incredible amount of promise, coupled with impressive experiences. My clients challenge me! Without a doubt, the new standards create dynamic opportunities to provide niche services to our clients.
By taking a negative tone to those outside issues that are beyond our control, we are doing a disservice to our clients, staff and profession. By focusing on the positive, and working to discover solutions to those problems that are under our control, we’re able to better deliver solutions that possess the potential to make a difference.
Let me give you a couple of examples–
Negative Outlook: My client gives me horrible information at the end of the year. Not only is the information unusable, but the client is constantly traveling and is never able to speak. Our realization stinks – and the staff gets royally annoyed with the client. How should we fix this?
Positive Outlook: My client travels a lot and their books are in horrendous shape. Let’s strategize a solution together so that our staff doesn’t burn out, our client gets better service – and we meet our realization goals.
Negative Outlook: My staff can’t figure anything out. The work they give me looks like a toddler completed it. Why do I have to fix everything for them? What a waste of time!
Positive Outlook: I think we need to focus on the training of our staff. It seems that the program we have been providing over the last few years has not been working. Going forward, let’s collaborate with the staff to resolve the issue.
And for your staff…
Negative Outlook: The partners’ doors are always closed. I’m always looking for work because everything is sitting on their desks for review. Typically, a partner sends it back to me on Friday afternoon and then needs it to be done Monday morning. The stress is ridiculous.
Positive Outlook: I want to be challenged. And you know what, if you don’t have the time to challenge me, I’m going to ensure we provide great client service by communicating directly with the client. I would rather ask for forgiveness than permission.
In taking the positive outlook in every situation, we have the opportunity to provide a higher level of service for our clients, encourage communication, and discover new solutions. I challenge you as the leader (in whatever capacity you fill) to take on the positive outlook and discover just how it improves your work life and personal life.