Smiling woman with caption "how CPAs can win their clients' appreciation"

There’s an old joke about accountants: How do you know when an accountant is on vacation?

He doesn't wear a tie and comes in after 8am!

As a CPA, you probably chuckled. It’s funny because it’s a little true, right? You’re busy. You know there’s a time to work, and then there is a time to break. The work doesn’t stop just because the clock hits 40 hours. No matter how much you want to fast-forward through tax season, you know you have to just ride it out and push through those 50, 60, 70-hour workweeks during the busy seasons.

Some say that after a while, a person can adapt to anything. You know that’s true, because you can adapt to any situation in just a few minutes—after a while working as a CPA and realizing that no two days are the same, you’re a veritable chameleon. Most people think that accountants perform the same actions every day, and you know that repetition builds experience—but as a CPA, your days have become more diverse as you become more and more skilled at intuiting your clients’ needs.

Still despite the fast-paced, deadline-oriented work, you’re required to be a consummate professional. You guard your clients’ sensitive personal information carefully and are held to a higher standard in relation to industry knowledge. You spend your free time going through your Flipboard or Feedly to stay updated on the financial industry and take continuing education through CPE classes to maintain your CPA status.

After all, you remember the hundreds of hours of careful, meticulous study to pass that exam. It required a lot of coffee, a lot of determination, and a lot of calculator batteries. You learned how to be a good CPA, but you also learned willpower.

You know more than you ever wanted to know about all the Excel tricks and email shortcuts after going through endless spreadsheets, doing endlessly complicated calculations and responding to dozens upon dozens of client queries weekly.

You know that your job’s reputation is one of pencil-pushing and solitude, but you know the truth: you can’t survive in this job without exceptional social skills. You meet with your clients, interface with them over email, and are in near-constant contact sometimes. Despite these relationships, you’re also required as a financial advisor to provide objective insight and financial advice, and you’re a seasoned pro at setting boundaries.

Elvis Presley once said, “I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.” You know your value, and you know the true realities of this exciting, difficult, complex job, and still you head to the office, day after day.

Still, you wish you could maybe receive a little more appreciation from your clients, and we understand. If your senior client is considering letting his life insurance policy lapse or expire, one way to win their gratitude is to talk to him about the possibility of selling the policy. We’ll do all the hard work, your client could get thousands of dollars he didn’t expect, and you’ll get all the respect!

Ashar + your client = appreciation. It’s a formula that’s sure to make cents.