Are You an Intentional Accountant?

Psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer stated, “Our intention creates our reality.” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, which dovetails perfectly with another mantra from Dr. Stephen Covey that has had an enormous impact on my personal and professional life: “Begin with the end in mind.”

When I first started my own CPA firm, I didn’t really think about my intention for doing so and I had no real “end in mind,” as Covey would say. I simply felt the strong desire to build and create something of my own and to have the freedom that I believed came with owning my own business. It wasn’t until I was nearly a decade into owning my own practice, struggling to keep up with the workload and feeling trapped by a business that was solely dependent on my own talents, that I realized that I needed to find a better way of doing things.

After exploring what my true intention and vision was for my life and my work, and becoming more enlightened by studying Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I became intentional about creating a vision, a plan and an implementation strategy for my firm that would allow me to transition from a technician to an entrepreneur. As I began this transition personally, my accounting firm evolved, too, into a Next Generation Accounting Firm™.

To provide clarity on this concept, I offer the following formal definition of a Next Generation Accounting Firm:

A business built on focused intention and with unmitigated entrepreneurial spirit that enables you to have the life you want. It runs on a business model that supports an environment where you can be present in all aspects of your personal and professional lives to have the greatest impact on family, staff, clients and community. A business that operates independent of you; creates a better working culture for your firm; offers security through recurring revenue; fosters creative thinking; evokes excitement with each new stage of evolution; inspires the next generation of professionals; and is built for transition to support your legacy.

Helping firm owners transition their firms to align with this vision is what RootWorks, and my new book, The Intentional Accountant: Your Roadmap for Building a Next Generation Accounting Firm, are focused on. While the planning tools and practical education that both RootWorks and the book provide are critical to the process of transforming an accounting practice into one that supports a balance of both personal and professional goals, I believe that cultivating the habit of living and working with intention may well be the most important tool that is available to us, when it comes to achieving the vision that we have for ourselves and our firms.

So, as you move forward after busy season, consider these two questions:

  • Do you have a vision for your firm and your life?
  • Are your thoughts and actions intentional, bringing you closer to achieving your vision?

If you can’t answer these questions affirmatively, your current mode of operation may impede you from maximizing your personal talents and your professional pursuits. If this is the case for you, I encourage you to adopt the mindset of an Intentional Accountant—someone who starts with the end in mind, puts a plan in place to achieve their goals and realizes the highest potential of both themselves and their firm.