How Do Successful Accountants and Bookkeepers Think?

strategies for accountants Mar 13, 2023


What makes a successful accountant or bookkeeper? The key is in the way that they think. They think like an entrepreneur, rather than a technician.


The technician is somebody who focuses on the technical work: the bookkeeper that just focuses on doing the bookkeeping, the accountant that just focuses on doing tax returns. The entrepreneur builds a business. If we want to build a more successful business, we have to think like the entrepreneur.


In this blog post, I want to share with you seven key things that the entrepreneur thinks about that the technician doesn’t.


Check out the full video on this topic by clicking here.


#1 – Vision, Goals and Plan


The first thing that entrepreneurs must have is a crystal clear vision, goal and plan.


The entrepreneur is building a business, so they must know exactly what they are trying to build.


What’s it going to look like when it’s finally done? Where will it be based? What sort of clients do you want to serve? How big do you want it to be? When do you want to retire?


You have to have a vision for your business. Then, from that vision, you have to break it down into goals along the way. You need to have a plan in writing that you can revisit every single year to ensure you are always moving towards that vision.


So think about, do you have that crystal clear vision? And if not, that’s the very first thing you need to do to start building a more successful business.


#2 – Strategy


The second thing that entrepreneurs do is spend most of their time thinking about strategy, whereas the technician is thinking about the technical work.


Part of this means developing a pricing strategy. There are so many different pricing strategies you can use. You need to be clear on what exactly your pricing strategy is.


Another aspect of strategy that’s really important is marketing strategy. Do you have a marketing strategy? Is it in writing? Does everybody in your firm know what the marketing strategy is?


The entrepreneur has a very clear picture in their mind of exactly how they’re going to price and how they’re going to be different from everybody else. They recognise that it’s about the right clients, not trying to serve every client. In contrast, the technician just wants to do the work, and any client will do.


#3 – Holistic Thinking


The third thing that really separates the successful entrepreneur from the technician, is the entrepreneur focuses on working on the business whereas the technician works in the business.


In other words, the entrepreneur is taking a step back and thinking holistically about the business. They’re thinking about strategy, vision, goals, systems, developing a team of people, leadership etc.


#4 – Learning


The next key way that successful people think differently is they are obsessed with learning non-technical skills. Yes, we have to know the technical skills as well, but the entrepreneur realises that our focus should be on learning skills beyond this.


We need to build our marketing skills and our sales skills. We have to know how to use our words to convert the right people into clients. We have to understand how to price. We have to create a strategy. We have to develop leadership skills. This is critically important.


The most important thing we need to learn is communication. Whether that’s because we want to influence people or motivate them. Or perhaps as part of your marketing, you want to start doing live streams and webinars or speaking on stage. Communication is crucial to learn.


#5 – Costs and Investments


The fifth thing is the entrepreneur has a different view on costs.


What I mean by that is, the technician views everything that they might buy as a cost, therefore their mindset is to minimise costs because they’re going to take away from their profit. The entrepreneur has a very different mindset. They understand the difference between something that is a cost and something that’s an investment.


Now, some things are costs. If you have premises, you’ve got to pay the rent, the light, the heat etc. Those are costs, and yes, we want to minimise those.


But there are other things that we can spend money on that give us a return on investment, such as training and software.


Because very often we are focused on the costs, we have to think, ‘what will it give me?’ Because training and software can change our lives. Sometimes we have to invest some money upfront because that investment is going to give us a return later on.


#6 – Willingness to Take Risks


Number six is a willingness to take risks. Profit comes from risks, and the entrepreneur recognises that sometimes we have to take risks in life. We have to pursue different opportunities and take the risk of going in different directions from the other accountants and bookkeepers.


If we want to build something different, we have to try out some new technologies, new ways of marketing, and new ways to structure an accounting firm. If we just follow everybody else, then we’re not going to differentiate ourselves.


#7 – Act Like You’re Already Successful


The final key to being successful in business is to act like you are already successful.


What does that mean? You need to think about what success means to you. Have your vision in mind and think, ‘How would I act?’


Think about successful entrepreneurs. How do you think they spend their days? It’s going to be very different to how the technicians spend their days.


You have to recognise the value of your time and the value that you can provide people. What is the best way that you could be spending your time in order to achieve your vision and goals?


Those are the 7 key ways that successful accountants and bookkeepers think differently. If you want to watch the full video on this topic, check it out here.



If you found this valuable and would like to learn more about value pricing, I run a free live online training session every month with a topic chosen by you. Attend live and you can ask me any questions you have. Click here to register and I will send you an invitation to the next session.


Wishing you every success on your pricing journey


Mark Wickersham


Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Author of Amazon No.1 Best Seller “Effective Pricing for Accountants”