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The Proactive Accountant – Just a Dream?

on May 27, 2019 / by Tom Beswick

A Proactive Accountant. It’s what every Accountant is told they should be. But what does it mean?
The Proactive Accountant - Just a Dream?
To me it brings up an image of an Accountant sitting back in their chair and pondering their clients and what they might need; haphazardly opening client Xero files in order to hopefully find something useful to say.That doesn’t sound like a particularly great use of time. And I’m not sure that clients will necessary be happy to pay you to do that. Further, I doubt how many accountants really have time for that. You get busy enough doing deadline driven work and soft ‘value add’ time like that is the first casualty – despite what your marketing says.

For me proactivity doesn’t happen by accident. You must make time for it. The best thing you can do to be a proactive accountant that is valuable is to make sure you aren’t a reactive accountant first. I’ve listed 3 ways I use to make sure I’m not stuck in the reactive zone:

  1. I think about how often my clients need me to be involved in their business – and make regular time for them. I try to lock that in with calendar appointments and reminders.
  2. I keep a clean inbox – if I have more than 10 emails, I feel I’m getting behind and not being responsive enough. If I ever got a week behind in my emails I’m definitely stuck in the reactive zone.
  3. I make sure my team and systems are top notch so that I’m not fighting unnecessary fires. I can’t help clients move forward if I’m permanently behind on my own day to day.

So, while I aim to be a ‘proactive accountant’ to clients, the first thing I do is make sure I’m not being a ‘reactive accountant.’ I do this with careful planning and running a tight ship. Clients feel supported, and I know things don’t slip through the cracks because I got too busy to be ‘proactive.’