The Art of Accounting: Being Known

The Art of Accounting: Being Known

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It has become quite standard for most people to go online to check out the professionals they are considering using. For this purpose, it is important to have adequate information, and especially a website, that people can access.

I was recently asked to refer an accountant for a project, and while I knew the managing partner of the firm I was recommending, I didn’t know the person who would be doing the job. I checked it out and found a very impressive biography. She was very active and a board member of her CPA society, participated in industry groups and charity boards, and had written several articles and presented CPE programs. I then felt confident in her recommendation; she was well known in our profession and community.

At the same time, I was also asked by two accountants who wanted to take on small practices for some ideas on where to find potential vendors. I suggested contacting some older practitioners who might have met them at Association meetings, and they told me they never went to those meetings. One didn’t even belong to the state society (which I told her to join immediately). I presented them with a gloomy picture. They were unknown in this profession. I told them to start attending general meetings, join a committee and also take some of the CPE programs they offered in person. In this way they would meet people and become known.

I recently published an article about Bill Hagaman, the recently retired CEO of Withum, on the CPA Journal. One of the things he said was that early on, when Withum was founded and continuously afterwards, the partners felt it was important to become known in the local communities where they practised. They did it royally and today our 180 partners serve on 312 boards. Also, now the president of the New Jersey Society of CPAs is Withum’s third partner to serve as president. Withum also works hard to be recognized. One of the creative things the firm does is impressive state of the firm videos. Here is one link to this year’s 50th anniversary video.

I remember when Phil Politziner and Al Mattia started Amper Politziner and Mattia (now part of EisnerAmper) and the high profile participation of Phil and Al and their entire staff to become known locally and at the NJCPA. When I was building my career and firm as well, I became very active in my professional societies and several local charities. I know from experience that being active in the CPA community and societies pays big dividends with new business referrals, in addition to the friendships that are made and the collaboration opportunities that are created. Plus, it’s personally satisfying to be able to give back professionally and to the community.

As I was writing this, I received two emails from CPAs I didn’t know asking for help. I was able to provide what they wanted by email and I didn’t talk to them, but out of curiosity I checked out their websites. One of them did not provide any biographical information or community or professional society participation or a photo. The other featured a very prominent, involved person with a photo that made it hard not to feel a personal connection. In my opinion, she is an “in-the-know” person that clients would be proud to associate with and also refer to. Its website is here. Check this out. I don’t know her, but she’s someone I’d like to know. Compare this to your website and your “return” activities.

Here is another example of being popular. A friend’s firm, Bernath & Rosenberg, produced a short video explaining its philosophy of integrated client wealth management services. Here is one RELATED. This is an extra creative way to establish your presence and get known.

There are many other ways you can get to know each other. Watch how you present yourself. Maybe gather some ideas from the above.

Being known is important. Become known!

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with your practice management questions or about commitments you may not be able to meet.

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