Mark Lee looks at the “boring accountant” stereotype and explores ways in which they can banish the tag.
Why do so many people think accountants are boring? And does it matter?
Let’s take that second question first.
Do clients prefer boring accountants?
Boring people are assumed to be methodical, detail-focused, punctilious and tend to be cautious and predictable. Many clients don’t like even the idea of doing their accounts and tax returns and wouldn’t choose to do them even if they could. All that bookkeeping, accounts and tax return work is pretty boring so far as they are concerned. Anyone who enjoys doing that stuff must be boring. It goes with the territory.
So I conclude that many clients do at least expect their accountants to be boring and some may even prefer this.
Is it easier to trust a boring accountant?
We tend to down play our personalities to win trust. We tend not to be entertaining. I know I did when I was in practice. Despite being a long time member of The Magic Circle I always held back from doing magic tricks at new client meetings. Indeed at any client meetings. No one wants their accountant to spring cute surprises on them. Certainly not until they trust their accountant.
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Mark Lee is Consultant Practice Editor of AccountingWEB and writes the BookMarkLee blog to help accountants build more successful practices more enjoyably. He is also chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax consultants.