If you’re a freshly minted CPA or a veteran Accountant transitioning into a client-facing role, there’s no need to develop cold feet because Provision CPA has got you covered as you settle into your new role.
With increased economic activities generated by entrepreneurs, who are the main drivers of Canada’s economy, comes a heightened demand for accountants who are entrepreneurial in their approach to their clients and are able to match the energy that their entrepreneur clients bring to the table.
The demand for Entrepreneurial Accountants, now more than ever, is at an all-time high. And, there will be a time as an Accountant when you’ll be asked to offer real-life solutions to the challenges your clients deal with.
Here at Provision CPA, we’ve been interacting with Canadian entrepreneurs across various sectors for more than two decades. We understand the fears accountants and CPAs face when getting into client-facing roles. Moreover, we have outlined proven strategies and time-tested principles to address these fears and bring out the best in our team.
1. FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Accountants are known to embrace a life of structured tasks and technical routines. It is a different experience, however, for Entrepreneurial Accountants who often wake up to new challenges each time they face their clients.
This fear of not having it all planned out is perhaps the greatest fear of accountants getting into new client-facing roles. This isn’t unexpected, especially for a CPA who has spent years in a predictable and routine audit-focused role. Nevertheless, the seeming “disruptions” in the peace and quiet of a monotonous work schedule are part of the thrills and joys of entrepreneurial accounting.
Yes, you will continue to have a weekly rhythm of meetings and tasks that need to be done, but you will also need to get comfortable with the idea that your daily schedule may be thrown out the window, and you’ve got to embrace the chaos! Try blocking out sections of your day for “responsive time” where you address on-the-fly needs. That way, it’s in your calendar while also allowing you to be flexible.
2. FEAR OF BEING WRONG
Apart from not having a structured work life, another common fear of CPAs entering new client-facing roles is their palpable fear of being wrong.
Fresh CPAs usually shy away from opportunities to face clients because they dread the unfounded fear of saying something that will botch up the whole situation with their clients. Little do they know that their clients don’t expect them to have all the answers to their questions or possess a magic wand to solve all their problems in one fell swoop. Rather, they seek an interested mind and listening ears that show that they’re deeply valued and that their concerns and pains resonate deeply with their financial advisor, that is, you.
Worried about being wrong? Heck, entrepreneurs are wrong all the time and constantly make mistakes, then learn from them.
Our advice to accountants that are entering client-facing roles is to share your thoughts in the meeting – if what you’re saying is off-base, don’t fret – we’ve got your back in front of the client and will help you to look good and support you with coaching afterwards. You can’t go wrong with demonstrating your empathy for the client’s situation.
By practicing the act of speaking up, you build confidence and intuition, which are two important skills needed for you to match your clients’ fierce passion and unbridled determination. Over time, it will get easier, we promise!
3. FEAR OF COMPENSATION BEING HINGED ON THE NUMBER OF CLIENTS BROUGHT TO THE FIRM
While this may be the case in other firms, it doesn’t occur at Provision CPA. We don’t task our CPAs with the duty of bringing new clients into the firm, nor do we compensate them based on that benchmark.
Our Tax Accountants and CPAs only have to concern themselves with creating a world of meaning and impact for our existing clients by providing them with cardinal accounting, tax, and financial strategy as they navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship in Canada.
4. FEAR OF CONSTANT SOCIAL OUTINGS
For an extrovert, this may not come off as a big deal, but it’s a big issue for many Accountants who generally fall into the introverted category. Again, this fear is largely misplaced.
Entering a client-facing role does not translate into having to show up at the latest party in the city with your clients or having to go from one dinner to the other every other day. As a Vancouver-based accounting and taxation firm, we don’t demand this of our team members.
Instead, being an Entrepreneurial Tax Accountant or CPA entails you caring a little more, understanding the pains of your entrepreneur clients, and showing empathy toward their cause. These qualities lie at the heart of a successful entrepreneurial accounting practice, and being able to communicate and embody them at every session with your clients will do both parties a world of good.
A CULTURE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The journey to becoming a CPA or tax accountant is long and winding but becoming an entrepreneurial CPA is less complex – it requires you to step out of your “technical” shell and comfort zone and embrace the vistas of opportunities thrown open before you each day.
It is far easier to break through the accountant’s stereotypes and thrive as an entrepreneurial CPA when you’re in the midst of people who share and embrace the same values as you. At Provision CPA, we have successfully created a culture of entrepreneurship and infused the entrepreneurial gene in every fibre of our being as tax accountants and CPAs.
Not only do we provide bespoke accounting, tax, and financial strategy to our clients, but we also prioritize mentorship and leadership philosophies, and over the years, we have consistently provided opportunities and platforms for growth for our accountants to have a rich and fulfilling entrepreneurial accounting career.
We strongly believe that you can have a successful career without succumbing to the fears that cripple many CPAs on their paths, and we are committed to ensuring that.
Image credit: Mikhail Nilov from Pexels