How I “wowed” a small business accounting client today

I don’t think that small business accountants have many opportunities to “wow” a client. Marketers would probably say I am short-selling myself on this opportunity and that I could find more ways to impress if I really looked for these opportunities. I get it. But the reality is that daily life of a small business accountant is so demanding and hectic that I’m happy just to get the work done on time, as expected without any errors. In other words, just doing what is expected is enough of a challenge in most of my work.

Today I finished a complex online accounting system setup that culminated in a bank account reconciliation of 18 accounts where the last recorded reconciliation was in 2012. We didn’t know what to expect. It was the most complex piece of bookkeeping that I have ever taken on for a client. I was careful to document my steps and observations throughout the process. It took more than 25 hours over more than a month and I feel good about having completed the job. I expect the client will also be impressed with the work. The job was done on time and on the budget I proposed. The two financial managers who hired me were skeptical that I could get it done under those terms when we entered the engagement two months ago. The client sent two messages of praise last week based on progress at that point. I expect to get a “wow” response tomorrow when they learn that the work is done.

I was most pleased with the brief report provided to management this evening that summarized the results and focused on the areas of internal control that we can easily improve as the next logical step. The ability to summarize and clearly communicate important financial ideas in writing to business managers is invaluable and, in my opinion, not so common among accountants.

It feels good to do so well on a difficult job. I hope to find more of these projects in my work life ahead.


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