Today I learned that a Partner that I used to work for died a couple of months ago.
There are many memories I have of my time working at this small firm. It was like a family. Anybody who has worked in public practice knows how many hours, days, nights, and weekends that you spend at work during tax season. It is a long haul to say the least.
With this Partner, the focus was audits. I remember it was my first time out of the office for fieldwork. I was a very Junior Accountant, and he was out in the field with me. He was patient, and took the time to teach me what I needed to look into at this audit, what the paperwork meant, but most importantly, how you needed to communicate with the client to get the whole story. I was so nervous, and wanted to make a good impression as I was the firm's first Co-Op student. What I remember most is that he never held the title of Partner over my head. He never treated me any different than he treated anybody else. From Admin staff, to Junior Accountant, to his fellow Partners, everybody was part of the same team. He was a leader who did not get stuck on his Title. Of all of the clients that I worked with over the years that were his client, they always spoke very highly of him, and appreciated his knowledge and skill.
The thing is, we as CPAs learn lots of information, spend many years in schooling and articling to gain our designation. However, if you don't know how to communicate that knowledge to the client, you are no further ahead of the game. The numbers are only half of the story. The other half is found in conversation with the client. It is a skill that you build over time, and for me, am trying to constantly improve.
So, to you RM, I say thank you for teaching me to be a better leader. To believe in myself, believe in my skills as a CPA, but most importantly, believe that we are all just people who are trying to get a job done.
Entrepreneur, bike spinner, and resident of beautiful Steveston, BC.