[IMGCAP(1)]Recently I was asked if I could provide some reasons for my success.

This gave me an opportunity to think about it and I came up with a list of 10 reasons, which I am presenting here. I hope you take away some ideas from this. If you have your own list, I would appreciate it if you would share it with me.

1. Exceptional client service: Making myself user friendly by anticipating clients’ concerns and trying to deal with them before the client brings them up. I try to put myself in my client’s shoes to see what they want.

2. Being prepared: Never wanting to be unprepared for a meeting.

3. Continuous learning: Desire to learn new things and seeking out what’s new.

4. Learning from others: Listening, recognizing and grabbing ideas presented by others.

5. Giving and paying back: Desire to give back and pay back by sharing with colleagues. I learned and grew from others who helped me without any underlying motive, and by helping others I am paying them back. I had great role models and was fortunate and grateful for that. I also try to have everyone I interact with learn something from me, and I eagerly look for opportunities to mentor younger colleagues.

6. Doing great work: I try to always do great work. What I do is not specifically client driven, but by my ego that causes me to try to excel in whatever I do.

7. Following the rules: Cutting corners is not a sustainable strategy. But I also try to use whatever I can to help my clients within the established structure. When the rules don’t work, I try to change them, if possible. And be completely honest at all times.

8. Not kicking aside opportunities: I always tried to take advantage of opportunities that came my way.

9. Smart and nice people: I surrounded myself with great, smart and nice people. Life is too short to do otherwise.

10. A supportive family: My parents showed me what kind of person I could become. My wife Ronnie helped me become that person with her great loving support.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner emeritus at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz (published by CPATrendlines) and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition” (published by the AICPA). Ed also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at www.partners-network.com. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where Ed shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. Ed welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 964-9329 or emendlowitz@withum.com.