Art of Accounting: I Always Want to be "the Other Guy's Accountant"

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IMGCAP(1)]I once worked for someone who told me he lost clients that went into a partnership with the partner’s accountant. He said he then started working hard to be “the other guy’s accountant!” Me too!

One of the things I do is to let clients know about my and my firm’s abilities, capabilities, staff support, growth, specialties and network range. This is a continuous process. You cannot assume they know or will remember, and you must keep doing it so they also feel it. I do this a lot and it always amazes me when a client asks me if I could refer someone to do something that I have told them dozens of times that I do.

Just because you have told them what you do doesn’t mean you can assume they will recall it when they need that kind of work done.

Self-promotion with clients is an ongoing process that needs to be direct, but subtle, and must be related to the client’s current, future and potential needs. It needs to be constant, continuous and not be annoying. I do it and so can you. Now, I am always “the other guy’s accountant!”

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner in WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He has authored 20 books and has written hundreds of articles for business and professional journals and newsletters plus a Tax Loophole article for every issue of TaxHotline for 27 years. Ed also writes a blog twice a week that addresses issues his clients have at He is the winner of the Lawler Award for the best article published during 2001 in the Journal of Accountancy. He has also taught in the MBA graduate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. Ed welcomes practice management questions and he can be reached at WithumSmith+Brown, One Spring Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, (732) 964-9329,

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