My clients view me as their trusted advisora role I take seriously and with great pride. Clients come to their accounting professional for not only advice on the numbers, but to find answers to such questions as Can they handle an increase in work? or Should they move to a bigger location? What it boils down to is that they are looking for confirmation on big business decisions and a boost of confidence.
Even as a long-time trusted advisor to my clients, I find that its important to have my own source for advice. Who do I turn to when I have monumental decisions to make regarding my small business (my firm)? I am currently in a situation where I require some sound guidance.
Recently, one of my associates died suddenly. I am now in a position to purchase his practice, which would double the size of my firm. I had a huge decision that needed to be made quicklywith relatively no prep time. I needed advice! The question: Who is my trusted advisor? From a numbers side, I was okay, but in relation to the business confidence side I needed support and my own boost of confidence.
I reached out to a few CPAs who own their firms, and what I found was a wealth of information. More importantly, I was greeted with great generosity in terms of time and knowledge sharing. Im all about peer networking, but usually Im the one sharing the information. Those I talked to had immense experience managing their firms. One CPA spent about an hour with me (while in the middle of his own conference) helping me to think though the process. I had a phone conversation with another peer, introduced to me via Twitter, who reminded me that decisions are not final and that I can change course if needed.
So what was my decision? I put in a bid. If its meant to be it will happen (so you may see future blogs about acquiring a firm). More importantly, though, this experience showed me that there are many outstanding and helpful professionals out there willing to mentor if you just ask. So, when the trusted advisor finds him/herself in a position of needing advice look no further than your own back yard.
Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.