Did you miss the main stage presentation at Scaling New Heights by Geni Whitehouse? Well if you did, you certainly missed out on one of the best speakers in the accounting profession. She truly is in touch with what is going on in the profession. And, as always, her presentations are filled with great pictures, funny jokes, and Napa Valley wine stories.
Geni walked out on the stage and said, "Y'all, it is time for you to Get Your SHIFT Together!" That southern accent! Thankfully, "Get Your Shift Together" was actually on the slide on the screen behind her and we didn't have to worry that what we thought she said was what she actually said.
The profession - like the world around us - is shifting quickly, but that is exciting and we as bookkeepers and accountants need to change as well. One of the big issues we are facing is how we see ourselves as a profession and as professionals (and how much of the public sees us as well). We continue to be bookkeepers and accountants and we are not making the shift to advisory services.
We have been talking about the changes we need to make as accountants and bookkeepers for 20 years or more, but the shift has been so slow. Why is that?
First, we are all stuck in our own heads. We believe that our clients have expectations for us, including the fact that we are dull producers of numbers. According to Geni, "HECK NO!" We need to start talking to our clients. We need to ask questions about what they want for their businesses and for their lives, rather than ask what they need such as a copy of a tax return or a financial statement for the bank.
By truly listening to our clients, we can find out what they want and then provide services to transform them and their businesses. We CAN help them achieve what they desire.
There is another thing holding us back. We doubt ourselves. We hear voices that tell us that we are just a bookkeeper or just an accountant. have this belief that we cannot provide advisory services. BUT WHY NOT? We have the knowledge. We have tools that help us provide reports. We have experience in seeing problems and solving them, and those experiences repeat over the years and we even know how to avoid those problems.
So, what holds us back from making the shift to advisory work? Is it the fear of the terror wall? Does it go back to the fact that we see ourselves in a certain way.?
It truly doesn't matter what it is that is holding you back. Decide to do it. Embrace the change. Get coaching on how to advise clients. Make your accounting or bookkeeping fun and enjoyable.
Stop the grind. Stop being underappreciated and undervalued. When clients know that we truly want to help them improve their business results and ultimately their lives, it makes our lives fuller, our profession more fun, and they even will pay more for delivering what they actually want from us.