Two weeks ago my office had a beach party and I met a bunch of new staff and interns. To engage them in conversation, I asked what they would be working on and why they decided to become an accountant. I got them to start talking, but they had more questions than answers, so I responded and also added some of my “two cents” to provide insights into what CPAs do.
Some of what I spoke about was how I learned to be an auditor from watching a ballet and how working with a Carvel ice cream store made me into a consultant. I also told them how some very important work is often given to an entry-level person instead of a much more experienced accountant, such as reviewing a client’s minutes, internal controls and cash balances. I also explained to a staff person who was working on some restaurants the differences between being an auditor, tax specialist or consultant for a restaurant.
A lot of what I spoke about was included in a memo I sent to my students last semester when I was asked if I liked auditing or taxes better. I also included some stories about obtaining the right foundation in accounting and providing outsourced accounting services and advisory services to clients, what clients really need and want (regardless of what they say) and how I provided it and became a “trusted advisor” to my clients. I touched it up a bit and included an article I wrote for The CPA Journal on the future of accounting that included a listing of 30 nontraditional advisory services that are now being done by CPA firms. I was going to send this memo to the people I spoke with but decided instead to send it to everyone in our office since I think it has something in it for everyone. I also decided I would send it to my loyal readers. It is 20 pages and has a lot of “meat” in it. Email your request to GoodiesFromEd@withum.com and just put “Audit or Tax” as the subject. No messages necessary.
I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your practice management questions or about engagements you might not be able to perform.
Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is on the Accounting Today Top 100 Influential People list. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition.” He also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at www.partners-network.com along with the Pay-Less-Tax Man blog for Bottom Line. He is an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University teaching end user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where he shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. He welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 743-4582 or email@example.com.