Lots of CPAs have never run a “real” business. I was able to gain a completely different perspective when I had to deal with the other side of the coin. I can’t think of any one thing that has impacted me more (in a positive way) when it comes to understanding clients and being able to see things from their perspective. In my opinion, there are very few CPAs who can say that…not because they are not smart, but because they have never had the opportunity to be out there in the “real world” running a “real” business.
Let’s face it, most CPAs have little to no experience negotiating large, complicated leases with the huge malls in Los Angeles. Most CPAs have never had to deal head-on with labor laws as they impact 120 employees! I also had to centralize and improve our purchasing system, saving the company over $490,000 the first year. I had to computerize the entire business and develop sophisticated tracking software so we could monitor the performance of each employee and office. This same software monitored our response rates from the various advertising media and allowed us to better allocate the $750,000 we spent annually. Our rate of return for our advertising dollars went up over 200%. I also had to take and coordinate the physical inventory counts in all the offices…quarterly (that took 8 hours per office for 2 people….long, hard, pain-in-the-rear hours)…as a “CPA” in a CPA firm, I only had to deal with the inventory on paper! Believe me when I tell you that I can really help a small business understand the importance of taking an inventory regularly…and can go even further because, unlike most CPAs, I have actually had to do the hard work!
Now, bear with me here. I realize that I am “tooting my own horn”. I apologize if it sounds arrogant or conceited. That is not my intention. I only want to give you a glimpse into the kind of experience I have had because it is what makes me able to say that my firm is definitely “Not Your Basic Bean Counter”.