This CPA Newsletter issue discusses a rather touchy subject of creativity in accounting. In technical terms it's a curse... but what about marketing - what's that but creativity?

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CPA - Accounting Firm Marketing Newsletter:
The mistake of dismissing creativity in accounting

Creativity has a bad name within the accounting industry for obvious reasons.

"Creative accounting" brings to mind the various huge scandals of yesteryear that took down mighty firms.

In accounting, we want to CONFORM with the regulations and adhere to generally accepted accounting procedures.

And although a great accounting professional IS quite creative WITHIN the legal and ethical boundaries of his profession — for like it or not, tax planning and financial acumen alike ARE creativity — we refrain from using the concept of "creativity" in our speech.

Which is all very well, of course. The foundation of the profession lies in those legal rudiments and ethical principles, no doubt about that.

But perhaps we've taken this abhorrence of creativity a touch too far in our business planning...


Accountancy client-acquisition is ALL creativity

There's no arguing the fact that the accounting industry is quite conformist in nature. We look at each other to see what to do. We seek advice from colleagues and various governing bodies within the accounting industry on what's what.

Again, this is as it should be when it comes to accounting regulations and practices.

But it's definitely NOT as it should be when we speak of marketing accounting services and competition in our local area.

You should NOT ask your colleagues what to do in competition, obvious as it may seem to say it out loud.

For one, it's likely they don't know.

For the other, why would they tell YOU if they did know?

It's one thing to share knowledge of accounting procedures and practices... and a whole another thing to give your hard-won marketing secrets to a competitor.

Now, obvious as this may seem reading it when put like that, the fact remains that most of us do not always discern the difference between accounting procedure and marketing plans.

We tend to confuse the two or work by the same principles in both areas.

But in marketing, you NEED creativity.

In fact, acquiring accounting clients is ALL about creativity.

It IS creativity in its purest form.

You CREATE new clients, as it were.

You CREATE your firm by adding to its clientele, its revenue, enlarging its network of people both externally (more clients) and internally (more employees or outsourcing resources).

Any aversion to creativity strikes directly at the HEART of your goal for healthy expansion of your accounting / CPA firm.

So, the degree to which you buy into this generalized "abhorrence of creativity" emanating from our brethren within the accounting industry, the tighter you tie yourself into NOT expanding your firm.

And the more you do that, the less you can influence the attainment of your GOAL... which translates into a sense of failure.

In other words, you begin to feel it is not possible to acquire new accounting clients or that there's no way to obtain BETTER clients.

Little by little, the very idea of expansion, marketing, selling, and other such expansion-producing activities becomes "suspect" or "ethically questionable."

Which brings us to present situation within the industry, really.

That's how your colleagues chat online, that's the attitude our governing bodies emanate from their learned forums.

Check it out for yourself.

Browse some accounting forums and look at what they say.

And see also what they DON'T say.

If you can find ANY discussion about marketing among practitioners, I bet anything that its message is "be careful, it sounds fishy, be sure it's ethical..."

And IF there's advice about marketing, it will be some ineffectual mumbling about "printing business cards" or "networking with your bank manager..." or "using reputable methods and providers of marketing..." (meaning using the same ineffectual traditional means that we KNOW produce nothing but expenses)...

...but NOTHING new, bright, creative or useful for SURE.

The end result of which is that you'll become careful about marketing. Your image of it becomes that it is but an expense, a costly way of shining one's own image with nothing to show for it in terms of results... new clients.

Little by little, the belief in your dies, replaced by a cynical acceptance of "realities of life."

The more you buy into the message of hopelessness, the less you can do to attain your goal.

You "learn your lesson..."

...but it's the WRONG lesson.


Those CPA firms that do and those who don't

There are two types of CPA firms and/or accounting practitioners when it comes to marketing, client-acquisition, and expansion.

There are those that DO marketing, WORK towards acquiring new clients START doing so. They do so because they're confident in their abilities, and want to help businesses to do better.

And there are those who don't because of reasons of their own.

Without self-confidence, without trusting their own services and that they can help people, they cannot face the idea of reaching out to the market with promotion, telemarketing or any form of communication apart from a listing in the local Yellow Pages.

The first group is what we are naturally when we START in public practice.

You simply cannot start in public practice without a good dollop of self-confidence and a definite intention of helping others.

The second group is what we BECOME IF WE AGREE with the message of hopelessness.

We become it merely because, when we agree that it's not good to be creative in marketing and it's dangerous to do anything fresh and new in client-acquisition, we essentially agree to making ourselves SMALLER.

Nothing and nobody in this universe remains THE SAME for any length of time. Your firm either expands or contracts. And so it is with your self-confidence, your sense of self-worth and your belief in the helpfulness of your own services.

It's really that elementary. YOUR actions define what you are — or, to be accurate, what you FEEL you are.

And let's not kid ourselves about this:

There are quite a few accounting practices and CPA firms in YOUR LOCAL AREA who would like nothing better than for you to agree that there's no point for you to market your services...

So do NOT agree with that.

BE creative when it comes to marketing your CPA services.

Flow outward, promote your services, go out of your way to recommend business owners to use your knowhow... and you'll FEEL a lot better.

Do it with a precise, proven set of tools and offer a service that's wanted bo 85% of businesses and you'll also DO a lot better in terms of obtaining RESULTS.

The good news is that no matter how much you've agreed with the message of hopelessness, you only have to DECIDE to go the other way and you'll feel a lot better immediately!

If you want to know more, why not read the article How to get an edge over other CPA firms in your area? elsewhere on our web site.

It will show how you can compete effectively without having to resort to ANYTHING underhanded or unethical... only don't ask your competitors' agreement to marketing your services!

Do well,

Best wishes,

Harry Kafka
HDK Consultants U.S.A. Inc.
PMB 211, 411 Cleveland
Clearwater, FL 33755
Phone (727) 474 1206
Calls from outside USA: +1 727 474 1206

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HDK Consultants USA Inc.
HDK Consultants U.S.A. Inc.
PMB 211
411 Cleveland
FL 33755
Phone (727) 474 1206
Calls from outside USA:
+1 727 474 1206

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