I have tremendous respect for those firms who develop mission and core value statements and then live by them. Some firms even develop taglines to their firm name to perform a similar function.

All are telling the world, their clients, potential clients, business partners, competitors and others what is unique, special, and different about the firm. In today's very competitive environment where software performs some of the functions that accountants performed years ago, the ability to distinguish is extremely important. The deciding criterion is increasingly becoming the perceived value that is seen by the client.

Mission and core value statements as well as tag lines, allow firms to identify the value that they offer. Stating them isn't enough. The firms that are really successful are the ones that actually deliver on these descriptions. Once these statements are put out there for all to see, they become the standard of measurement.

One firm's mission statement is as follows: "To Use Our Knowledge, Experience, and Innovation to Solve Problems and Enhance Opportunities for Our Clients"

The core values are:

  • Respect and Concern for Our Clients and for Each Other
  • Extraordinary Competence
  • Absolute Integrity
  • Continuous Innovation and Learning
  • High Expectations and Accountability
  • Commitment to a Balanced Quality of Life

Not bad! I know from my experiences with that firm, the awards it has received, its interaction with the communities that it serves, and the revenue it generates that it delivers. Their success should be no surprise as the underlying lynchpin to the professional relationship between CPAs and clients has always been trust. Clients don't have blind trust--that trust is earned--and that is based on actions, not talk.

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