Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of excerpts from Hitendra R. Patil's book, "Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant."
Tim (name changed), was in tears. His hands were trembling while he tried to find the relevant papers from the pile he had brought with him. He had a guilty feeling he let down his family that he dearly loved.
He was fighting an almost impossible to meet demand from the revenue department – of over $200,000.
The only option left for him was to sell of his only asset, the house, where he, his wife and two young children lived. He was already in deep debt due to a failed business.
Life was a bleak black hole, seemingly a vortex of enormous power that was sucking in Tim’s life towards an inevitable disaster.
But, thankfully, Tim’s accountant, also a tax resolution specialist, was a fearless, confident and experienced professional.
Accountants understand the intrinsic strength of business models, many a times even better than the business owners.
She fought the case tooth and nail, and brought down the demand from over $200,000 to about $5,000.
She knows the laws. She knows how to represent to IRS.
But her most important trait?
It is her innate belief that she must use her experience, expertise, and existence to create something worthwhile for her clients.
Yes. She genuinely believes that she exists to help mankind!
Accountants need to be Accountaneurs
In my book, "Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant," I have brought together actionable insights from my 12 years of working with accountants. I observed distinct traits that turn accountants into Accountaneurs.
The insights from the book will help you grow your practice success. But it is more important to understand the impact being an Accountaneur can have on your own life as an accountant.
Being an Accountaneur will enhance your own happiness!
Happiness comes from…..
Research in organizational psychology powerfully implies that people are more innovative and more successful when motivated by a desire to help other people.
Adam Grant, recognized as both the youngest tenured and most highly rated professor at the Wharton School, the author of "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success," argues that:
“The greatest untapped source of motivation is a sense of service to others”.
Accountants, by very nature of their work, have an innate sense of service to others.
And there is a special power accountants enjoy, which not many other professional services providers can imagine.
The sheer positive IMPACT accountants can make on people’s lives is phenomenal
Many other professions would "share the spoils" but not accountants and it is not because some laws prohibit accountants from doing so, but it is because accountants are people with the highest integrity. They are happy to live by the words they give in their "engagement letters."
Accountants are called the "Most Trusted Advisors" for some reason
I would urge people: if you haven't done so off late; speak with your accountant, heart to heart, and you will know why.
Accountants understand the intrinsic strength of business models, many a times even better than the business owners. And that helps accountants pull off miracles.
Example: A distressed business, which was up for sale for $ 5 million was allowed to continue operations, thanks to the accountant's relentless representations. The business flourished over the years, to finally get acquired at $ 5 billion. (that's billion, with a "b") years later.
It is not just the 'financial' impact that accountants can advise about
One of my clients, a restaurant accounting specialist, figured out why a particular restaurant was having a hard time maintaining profitability.
Not just because the accountant "understands" the financial statements, but it was because the accountant understood the "restaurant business and industry" so well that it was easy for the accountant to know that the "leakage" was "artificial," and the person stealing the inventory ran away within days after the accountant asked very uncomfortable questions.
It is not just the financials that accountants understand. Many-a-times the accountant is the true "north star" helping clients navigate their businesses; and lives.
The list of impacts accountants make can go on and on.
Most important action you can take now
Yes. You deliver financial statements, balance sheet, accounting reports, tax return and so on.
But beyond these usual things, focus on the “impact” on your clients’ businesses and lives. Be an Accountaneur.
Only for readers of Insightful Accountant:
Use special promo code "acc10p" for a special discount of $14.99
Hitendra R. Patil is COO of Pransform Inc., and author of "Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant."