CPAs – You Are In The Relationship Business

When most people think of accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs, they think of them as numbers-people.

Wrong. If you own or are employed by an accounting firm, especially a CPA firm – you are in the PEOPLE business. It’s all about you, your peers, your employees and your clients.

I read a lot of Tom Peters’ stuff. I read his books, his blogs, even his slide presentations. Peters’ has been saying it for a long, long time:

It’s always about relationships. Always was. Always will be. Only connect.

Connect with others!

In his book, The Little BIG Things, Peters tells a story about General Dwight D. Eisenhower and how he did the impossible. No, not the D-Day landing per se. It was keeping the Yanks and the Brits from annihilating each other long enough to hit the beach and get on with the real job at hand.

Turns out Eisenhower, most keep professional observers agree, had a secret, which he in fact understood:

“Allied commands depend on mutual confidence; this confidence is gained, above all, through the development of friendships.”

That’s Eisenhower’s Success Tip #1 – Aggressively make friends.

In my consulting work with CPA firm partners, I find that when they “skip” their regularly scheduled partner meetings, rarely eat lunch together, never go out for coffee or a beer, “things” begin to go down hill. Suspicion and distrust slowly creeps into the relationship. That’s why I think the most important part of a partner retreat is simply time away from the office (and families) to just talk, debate, discuss, confront, agree, renew optimism, be openly honest with each other and mix in some laughter.

“A passive approach to professional growth will leave you by the wayside.”

Tom Peters

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