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Proactive (New) Accounting vs. Reactive (Old) Accounting

If you’re a current client or someone who’s been keeping an eye on what we’re doing, you’ve heard us use the phrase “proactive accounting” more than once. But what is it, and why is this method so much better? That’s what we are here to talk about.


Taking the proactive accounting approach, rather than the traditional, reactive method establishes you as a leader in your industry. When we put ourselves in a position to contribute to a situation or conversation, rather than react to it, we can deliver more value. It demonstrates that you are experienced and prepared, in addition to being a competent accounting professional. It also provides you the opportunity to proactively connect with your dream clients, instead of waiting around for referrals.

Let’s dive into the simple three-step process on how you can become a more proactive accounting, bookkeeping, or tax professional:

What Is Proactive Accounting?

PROACTIVE
pro·ac·tive
/prōˈaktiv/
adjective
  1. (of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.

Proactive accounting is simply taking the principles of proactive behavior and applying them to the accounting profession. Proactive accountants are in control of their firms, and they incite action rather than react to it. They aren’t waiting around for referrals or the “right time” to do something. Proactive accountants seek out opportunities and take advantage of them. And as a result, a proactive accountant will always be one step ahead of a reactive one. 

Part I: Formulate & Create

accounting work life balance

The first step to being a proactive accountant is to formulate and create. Take inventory of your systems and processes and look for areas you can improve. How can your onboarding process improve? Do you have a way to get something to market right now? Do you have a standard process for implementing a new practice?

Taking inventory is the easy part. Where people most often get caught up is the actual “formulate & create” portion.  Being busy critiquing can often draw time and resources away from the creating. Once you discover an opportunity to improve, create a process to fix and address it. 

Part II: Elevate

The second step in this process is to elevate. The development of a process or an idea versus the actual execution can yield big differences. The elevation step is for revisions, both internally and from your external market. You won’t know what needs to be examined further until you being to execute your idea and receive feedback.

This process of elevating can be applied to anything. Maybe you were workshopping your website headline or explaining your services, only to realize that it wasn’t resounding with your audience. Take the feedback, make the changes, and try again. The pursuit of perfection is always noble, but you’ll never get there without trying and getting feedback.  

Even internal processes like onboarding a new employee or your service delivery method will benefit from an elevation stage. You can’t make something better until it’s been evaluated and validated. You have to be proactive about pushing things out into the market. Create and then elevate. 

Part III: Delegate

how to get an accounting work life balance

The last and final stage of becoming a proactive accountant is to remove yourself from established and efficient low-level processes. The entire point of becoming a proactive accountant is to work on you getting your best offer in front of your dream clients. You need to have time to work on your business instead of for it. And that means turning your focus from basic processes to high-level ones like growth and marketing strategies. 

To accomplish this, you need to delegate. Having a competent and trustworthy team in place is key to enacting this step. We cover prime hiring practices to help you expand your team in our Create Your Dream Firm program if you need help working through the hiring process. 

Every part of the proactive accounting process relies on you, the firm owner. Although at first, delegating tasks might seem like a struggle or loss of power, when you have a team you trust, you’ll be shocked at how good it feels to get things off your plate. When you things like daily tasks off your plate, you’re creating room for your dream clients.

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