One of the very few things I personally dislike about being a CPA is a requirement known as “professional skepticism”. As much as my innate personality leads me to act in the role of an optimist, a cheerleader, supporter and an eternal promoter of general positive thoughts, the professional responsibility requires me to objectively weigh the risks and issue a fair and unbiased opinion.
Unfortunately that line of thinking leads me to conclude that there is a high level of risk in many areas of our lives and especially in small business today. Certainly this doesn’t mean that CPAs must be “downers” but it does mean that we can’t just “drink the feel-good kool aid” without considering additional data. A wide range of data sources – economic, political, environmental, etc. – indicates that small business operators are at especially high level of risk.
In far too many cases, I conclude, an analysis of the currently available available data indicates a path where events will not end well. Just yesterday, for example, I was put in the position of recommending a squash of an entrepreneur’s proposal to purchase a small business in his own best interest. That was difficult for me to do, and goes against my basic nature.
I envy people who make being eternally positive an integral part of your identity and business persona. We certainly need this now more than ever!
Yesterday I spent some time considering how the two concepts might work together:
How can I maintain the professional standard of professional skepticism while simultaneously maintaining a position of unyielding positivity that encourages a “know-like-trust” approach to business relationships?
This blog post is intended to simply say that this is a topic where I expect to invest some time and energy in the near future exploring and fine-tuning my personal approach.