When I start a new coaching relationship, I ask my coachees to tell me their story and how they chose a career in accounting. Recently, one of my new coachees asked me why I have spent 23 years working with accountants in public accounting. I don’t have an accounting degree. I’ve never worked in a firm. But my entire career has been supporting, educating, enabling, and coaching accounting professionals, and I could not be more fulfilled.
Out of college, I started with a technology company that developed solutions for the public accounting profession. Some people perceive the profession is antiquated and slow to adopt anything new. I disagree. The accounting profession is not slower to adopt technology than other industries. In fact, when you compare the profession to other professional service segments, I’ve observed accountants leaning into technology and adapting faster than others. This is not to say all accountants are technology forward, but over the last two decades, I have witnessed tremendous advancement and innovation taking place in firms.
Early on, I learned that if a technology innovation enabled practitioners to better serve their clients, they were far more open to the discussion. I really admire the commitment and integrity practitioners have for their client work.
I also admire the skills and knowledge accounting professionals have. They speak the language of business – a language that many of us struggle to understand, and so many of them are patient teachers and advisors to their clients. But what I also observed is that too many practitioners lack the confidence to price what they are worth, and invest in their business model so they wouldn’t have to work as hard. This is where my skills came into play, enabling them to evolve their business strategies and services.
I want to use my skills to help leaders build their practices. Educate and encourage them to continue leveraging emerging technology to gain efficiency and more efficiently perform transactional work, and coach them to be confident, influential leaders that build practices offering future-focused, relevant services.
Though I don’t have the same skills that my accounting clients have, I feel I’m contributing to the impact accountants make in the lives of their clients. My "Why", as Simon Sinek has phrased it, is to share knowledge and develop others so they can reach their goals. I have found my Why by serving this profession, and the humble professionals within it.
How did you choose a career in accounting? Share your story.
Thank you for what you do,