I have been increasingly noticing lately that CPAs and doctors are very similar. The both have waiting rooms with brochures and magazines. One set of initials after their names is not enough and it is no longer fashionable to be a generalist. Both accountants and doctors are becoming specialists and many are developing subspecialties. I am also seeing CPAs making referrals to other CPAs, similar to what doctors have always done.
They both are concerned about the health of the people they serve--physical in the doctors' case, financial with regard to CPAs, and psychological with respect to both. Annual checkups are conducted in which there is an examination of the client's/patient's numbers, advice is provided--and which is rarely followed to the letter.
Their practices are being run more and more like businesses and there is increased reliance on technology and paraprofessionals. My favorite is that when CPAs and doctors attend professional conferences, they tend to go to the same locations: Las Vegas, Orlando, Scottsdale, and all places where it is easy to get a round of golf in between sessions. Malpractice insurance rates and claims are common concerns and the AMA and AICPA perform similar services for both of their constituencies. Merger mania has been experienced and the practitioner's book of business is often the measure of success.
Yes, CPAs and doctors have a lot in common, but there are some major and important differences. For example, unlike doctors, some CPAs still make house calls (if not actual, as least virtual).
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