As the year draws to a close, most accountants are surely giving some level of thought and planning to the New Year – from an accounting perspective. We, as a profession, have proven for centuries to be fairly good at recording past business activity through vehicles such as balance sheets and income statements. And many in the CPA profession have added special skills, niches and expert levels of reporting to our accounting tool kit. Today’s technology has replaced most of the tools of yester-year, but the basics of much of this profession are still the same.
Since accounting is the language of business, I would ask you to reflect upon two long established scientific instruments that exist in your home as well as your office. These basic items are a thermometer and a thermostat. The thermometer measures the temperature of the surrounding area. A thermostat contains within its structure a thermometer. A thermostat takes the process of measurement to a higher level. While a thermometer will tell you how cold or hot it may be, the thermostat not only measures the temperature, but takes action based on the reading. It will either turn on or off the heater or air conditioner. A thermostat will symbolically add a log to the fire or open a window to allow a cool breeze.
As 2011 introduces itself, I would ask my fellow CPAs, “Which would you prefer to be; a thermometer or a thermostat?” As you complete your accounting tasks, will you simply prepare a photograph of the past (thermometer), or will you help your employer and/or clients respond (thermostat) to current financial events in order to be successful in their business pursuits? Will you hand a client their tax return and go on to the next one in line (thermometer), or will you advise your clients on ways to reduce their tax burden (thermostat).
As 2011 introduces itself, will you place your name on a SCACPA committee and assist when you can (thermostat) or will you step forward, sharing your vision for the profession in South Carolina (thermostat)? Will you serve in as a Key Person Contact? Will you join the challenge to be a team member of 1,000 Points of Green? Will you assist your local chapter with your attendance and sincere contribution of professional offerings? Will you participate in the Financial Literacy program that is active across our entire state?
I would challenge each and every CPA in South Carolina to measure the language of business in a precise and complete way. And I would add to that challenge for each of us to make a difference and be a thermostat in 2011!
Blogger: Charles ‘Eddie’ Brown, CPA