Come this July, I will have spent fifty years in the accounting profession with Capaldi Reynolds & Pelosi. Since my retirement in September of 2018, I have been serving as an advisor to the Firm. As we approach that time of year (tax filing season) when many clients are interacting with their accounting professionals, we wanted to share some insights on the types of skills and resources accounting professionals bring to the table, as well as provide some tips as to how to maximize those resources in achieving your financial goals.
In New Jersey, today’s C.P.A. has successfully earned between 120 and 150 college credit hours and has passed a rigorous nationally administered multi-day examination covering accounting, taxation, auditing, finance, economics, business law, information technology, operations management and ethics. C.P.A.s are required to take 40 hours a year of continuing professional education. In addition, many of our partners and staff invest hundreds of hours in research and developing training programs for use in-house, as well as for accounting professionals outside our Firm. When you combine their education, training and practical hands on experience, it is clear that your accounting professional can be a valuable resource. How you tap into and maximize the resources of your accounting professional will depend on your needs and your goals. There is no one size fits all program and this is not a pass or fail situation. It is about what works for you.
During my career, I have seen clients take advantage of these resources with results that met or exceeded their expectations. When I look back on these positive outcomes, I identified three characteristics that these clients adopted that enabled them to maximize the skills and resources of their accounting professionals. These characteristics are essential no matter what your needs or goals might be. These characteristics are what I refer to as the three “C’s”.
– It is critical that you communicate to your accounting professional your needs and goals and your expectations with regard to costs, expenditure of your time resources, completion time and benefits. You need to confirm that your accounting professional has an accurate and clear understanding of your goals and expectations.
– You need to hold yourself and, where applicable, your accounting professional, accountable for the implementation of whatever you have agreed to do, and
– The centuries-old adage “the only constant in life is change” could not be truer in today’s world. Change requires three things 1) that you be aware of at least any basic financial, legal, political, environmental and social changes that could impact your goals, 2) that you inquire of your accounting professional how these changes could impact achieving your goals, and 3) that when appropriate, you modify your plan to address the impact of those changes on achieving your goals.
If there is a financial goal that you have been considering or trying to achieve but are not progressing as you would like, or you have a business problem or issue that you have been trying to address, then I would encourage you to consult with your accounting professional to see if they have resources or could refer you to someone with the appropriate resources to assist.
Article Submitted by Frank Pelosi, CPA, CVA, MBA