Sorry for the posting delay, but I’ve been doing lots of posting on The Learning Club’s Facebook site. You can find the posts @TravelingHomeEconomics. Let’s talk about the PA part of CPA. Public Accountant means that CPA’s are beholden to the public; we are trusted advisers. We should take that responsibility very seriously, and there should be transparency at all times. Pet Peeve #642 is when people set prices ending with 97. There is a lot of marketing advice that 97 is the new 99. If your product costs $100, marketers may tell you it’s better to price the product at $99 or $97 to make it seem like you aren’t paying as high of a price. Gas stations have always priced their gas with 9/10 after the prices. Marketers train businesses in tactics to get more customers buying. I get it, but when it relates to the accounting industry, trusted advisers have a greater responsibility to go to longer lengths to not be manipulative.
You’d never see that happening in the legal profession. I know attorneys who have outrageous hourly billing rates. Let’s say a lawyer’s rate is $600/hour. You don’t see them explaining that their hourly billing rate is $597. Accounting professionals should behave the same way. Discounting your prices means you are also discounting your value. Why should we argue with our potential clients on how valuable we are when we are discounting our own value?
When your intention is to deceive, you can’t be trusted. It’s a subtle thing, but the devil can be in the details. Accountants have to prove themselves to their clients; accountants work with very sensitive and confidential financial matters. Prudence and respect are mandates to establishing trust.
Accountants want people to be responsible with their money. Find someone to help you who is transparent in everything they do. When something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Most people can spot the sleazy salesman a mile away, but manipulation can take subtle forms that you might not be able to recognize. Accountants, let’s make sure we are being transparent and representing ourselves honestly.
It’s not what we do every once in awhile that matters, but the real value is what we do consistently. Just Google the morning habits of successful people, and you’ll find oodles of material on how consistent successful people are with their routines. Prioritize honesty as a value that you uphold at all times, and you will be rewarded for your transparency.