Indeed on successive days you may have to be Clark Kent, Sigmund Freud and
George Soros to your client base and all at no extra charge. Or, at least, no
significant extra cost.
Yes, the demands on the accountant are going to be, shall we say, varied.
Clients will get themselves in a mess and then expect you to wade in and sort it
out. If you are currently an auditor you may have to turn your hand to working
capital analysis, business recovery strategy or the reconstruction of your
clients’ business model.
There could be no end to the demands placed upon you as the economic morass
we appear to be in plays havoc with small and large businessmen everywhere.
There’s a quote that goes: economists are people who work with numbers, but
don’t have the personality of accountants. Expect to add ‘character’ to that,
because you are going have to be tough to manage runaway expectations, profound
denial and perhaps substantial, and frequent, loss of composure, as the
pressures take their toll.
It’s odd but nobody trained you for this. No one offered the course
component: ‘Audit and rescue from economic and emotional melt down’ but it
looks like it will be a key element of your CV after what is likely to follow.
There’s a positive in that. While it looks like bad news all round for the
accountant a downturn could be an opportunity. Put in a good performance now,
see your clients through the worst and they will love you, and buy services from
Sadly, it won’t stop them wanting you to work miracles.
Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy
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