Here are twenty mistakes that CPAs make:
Since 1984, I have worked in public accounting, a profession I dearly love. One thing I’ve noticed about CPAs is we are too immersed in our work–to a point of blindness. We don’t step back and evaluate what or how we do things. Would we be better off if we intentionally removed certain responsibilities? Might we not be even more profitable and happier?
Two things–more than anything else–will sap your energy and productivity: (1) difficult clients and (2) unproductive or difficult employees.
The 80/20 rule is applicable in our profession. We make 80% of our money from 20% of our work. And 80% of our headaches come from 20% of our clients and employees. (Were you awake last night thinking about one of these?) While the exact percentages may not be true for you, the concept is highly relevant.
I’ve given you twenty mistakes that CPAs make. Are there others you would add?
If you found this article of interest, see my post What Keeps CPAs Awake at Night. Also, here are Forty Mistakes Auditors Make.
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Charles Hall is a practicing CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner. For the last thirty years, he has primarily audited governments, nonprofits, and small businesses. He is the author of The Little Book of Local Government Fraud Prevention and Preparation of Financial Statements & Compilation Engagements. He frequently speaks at continuing education events. Charles is the quality control partner for McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. where he provides daily audit and accounting assistance to over 65 CPAs. In addition, he consults with other CPA firms, assisting them with auditing and accounting issues.
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20 mistakes, you hit the nail on the head.
Cynthia, I only know these things because I have done them myself (in many cases). 🙂
Charles, you are awesome and on point as usual!
OK. You just hit me between the eyes. I really need to consider some of these every time I’m on the phone with a client.
I would love to respond to your article and perhaps add a few additional items but I am too busy!!!
Dwight, I am sure we could add to the list–maybe after tax season!
Come on now, only 20. If was wasn’t so busy with my 20% I would add to your list. But than again who has time to read them.
Yes Jim. I think these are pretty common to all firms.
Gee Charles, I thought the things I told you about my practice were in confidence. Just kidding! Spot on as always. If I were to add anything, I would say that we are often admonished that we need to run our firms “like a business”. OK, I get it, but let’s not forget that the word “professional” means something beyond business. We have a higher calling with duties to our professional standards and our clients.
And I would also say that fixing the 2o mistakes Charles has identified would be totally in line with improving our commitment to professionalism.