Perspective and Opportunities

Not seeing the forest for the trees. A timeworn expression to be sure, but just as failing to see the big picture in consultant-speak, the result is the same: a missed opportunity or opportunities. Firm partners or business owners who are too internally focused on the bottom line, will do so at the consequence of the top line.

Consider an aerial view of your town or city. You see how the infrastructure – the highways, roads, bridges and tunnels work (or at least in theory) in harmony. From the street level you cannot get the same feel for the inter-connectivity. The same holds true for your business. No one division or function is more important than the other.

If you do not have a well-constructed plan for developing new business because you believe that your existing client base serves your needs, consider what can happen when family-owned businesses change hands or new legislation from Washington or your state’s own capital is passed that can either mean more business for your practice or clients leaving for other service providers because you failed to anticipate how important it would be to update your service offerings.

Consider the areas of state and local tax credits and exit planning services for the first generation business owner.

If you own a business with a supply chain covering multiple states you may be paying taxes that under normal circumstances based on local laws would be excluded. Do you have the knowledge or can you acquire the necessary knowledge to save your client taxes. Do you have a client that is looking to expand across state lines to buy or a build facility? Do the necessary research to see where tax savings can be achieved, such as with government incentives, enterprise tax zone credits, manufacturing credits job creation credits? If you don’t look for tax service extensions for your clients, they may meet a CPA who is aware of this and off goes your client to the new firm.

Consider the family-owned business owner for whom you have done financial reporting and tax filing. Have you discussed succession planning to ensure the continuity of the business? Did you closely follow the workplace dynamics to determine that an outsider would better serve the long-term interests of the business? The Baby Boomer generation is retiring in droves. Have you discussed this with your client? If you have not, you better have a hear-to-heart conversation before the client has a talk with another CPA.

It all comes down to perspective and converting it to new opportunities.

Do you want to become more valuable to your client? Then remove the blinders.