Having Fun, Enjoying the Process and Achieving Success

April 22, 2014 By Kent Thomas


I have a habit of scanning several electronic newsletters and an app that gathers news and events that I want to know about every morning as I prepare for my day. This morning information in two articles caught my attention: the first from “Accounting Today” screamed out the following headline, “Reactive CPAs Lose Clients, Survey Says” and indicates that 72% (an astonishing number) of small-business owners have changed their CPA or accounting firm at least in part because the firm only gave them “reactive service,” instead of proactive advice. I’m not mentioning this in order to “dis” CPA’s, I am a CPA and take great pride in my profession but obviously a lot of CPA’s are not paying attention to their clients needs! This is not just an issue facing CPA’s, is a matter that everyone needs to think about carefully. The concept applies to all business, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, and governmental entities. It even applies to employees, teachers, professionals and anyone else who hopes to be compensated for providing something of value to someone else. If we don’t understand and anticipate client (or employer) needs, we won’t be “needed” (or valued) any longer.

The second and somewhat related article I found on LinkedIn Pulse is “The Core Beliefs of the Delightfully Successful” written by Dharmesh Shah, the founder of HubSpot. Dharmesh provides great insights about how people who are successful actually believe, surmising that “success is based on action, but actions are the result of beliefs”.  I like what he has to say. We learned long ago that in order to be truly successful and truly happy, we had to align our actions with our beliefs and values (I call that having integrity). As we applied that principal, it became second nature to make decisions in the best interest of our clients (or employees) rather than our own – it only seemed right and fair since they trust (and compensate) us to help them. This process brought another discovery that we weren’t exactly expecting: that our clients so appreciated and needed someone trust worthy that they became fiercely loyal and willingly referred their friends to us for assistance.

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Today Advanced CFO Solutions’ core philosophy is still to make decisions in the best interest of our clients and the vast majority of our new clients come as a result of a referral from an existing or prior client. That said, being trustworthy is only part of the equation of success – it must be accompanied by competent service and a commitment to meeting client needs and expectations.

These two articles provide thought provoking statistics and questions along with great ideas on how to succeed, develop deep relationships and enjoy the process – who does not want to be “Delightfully Successful” after all? After over 18 years serving more than 700 clients, I can honestly say that I’m still having fun, I still love what I do and I love becoming good friends with every client that I serve.

Kent Thomas is the Founding Partner of Advanced CFO. In that role he has served as the outsourced CFO of over 75 different businesses.  Kent is a licensed CPA and recently served as the President of the Utah Association of CPA’s. He was a founding member of the Olympus Angel Investors and is active in the Utah entrepreneurial community where he advises companies, associations, and educational institutions and is a frequent speaker on finance, accounting and entrepreneurship. Kent is married to Kim Ericson – between them they have eight children and eight grandchildren. They enjoy running, hiking, water sports (especially Lake Powell) and international travel.

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