Ride Short Bus
Ride Short Bus ?
Ride Short Bus ?..I haven’t been this amped in a very long time and I mean infuriated, frustrated and disgusted. If you don’t ever read another one of my blog posts in your lifetime REMEMBER THIS ONE. Ride Short Bus. As CPA’s we are practicing in and living through an unprecedented climate of accelerated change, convergence of accounting, tax practice and technology all in convergence. I have enjoyed reading the musings of “The Radical CPA” as she has sought to articulate her perspective on the evolution of professional practice. Many of her observations and insights are valid and offer helpful guidance. However, her recent post in CPA Trendlines Who’s Your Competition? EVERYONE is REALLY BAD ADVICE. Her follow up to my initial comment on her post
“Jody Padar sometimes you have good ideas…on this you are dead ass wrong….your firm and ours are in the same market. You don’t have horsepower for high complexity transactional work like the kind we for example with the hedge funds…..and having been an Andersen partner is experience you can’t get outside of Big 4 sorry.”
was MUCH WORSE….IT WAS ACTUALLY IRRESPONSIBLE AND DANGEROUS
Jody Padar if I need stronger technical help, I just reach out via social to a bigger/more technical firm…I have lots of friends in top 100 Firms or even you. Collaboration is the game I don’t need “formal partners” within in a firm. Also, Any CPA with whatever technical experience has access to reasonable priced software...it could be a Senior Manger from a Big 4 firm who is sick of the big firm. cloud levels the infrastructure playing field.
CPAs Don’t Ride The Short Bus – Technology DOES NOT LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD…technology provides leverage and in the hands of a knowledgable practitioner with the requisite expertise, experience, professional competence and judgment can be a force multiplier but NOT A SUBSTITUTE. The core values and professional standards of our profession mandate that we are entrusted with the lives and livelihoods of our clients, and that responsibility trumps EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING ELSE WHICH WE DO within the bounds of our ethical and professional responsibilities. AICPA Professional Standards state
“Responsibilities principle. In carrying out their responsibilities as professionals, members should exercise sensitive professional and moral judgments in all their activities.
As professionals, members perform an essential role in society. Consistent with that role, members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have responsibilities to all those who use their professional services. Members also have a continuing responsibility to cooperate with each other to improve the art of accounting, maintain the public’s confidence, and carry out the profession’s special responsibilities for self-governance. The collective efforts of all members are required to maintain and enhance the traditions of the profession.
Those who rely on members expect them to discharge their responsibilities with integrity, objectivity, due professional care, and a genuine interest in serving the public. They are expected to provide quality services, enter into fee arrangements, and offer a range of services—all in a manner that demonstrates a level of professionalism consistent with these Principles of the Code of Professional Conduct.
Due care principle. A member should observe the profession’s technical and ethical standards, strive continually to improve competence and the quality of services, and discharge professional responsibility to the best of the member’s ability
The quest for excellence is the essence of due care. Due care requires a member to discharge professional responsibilities with competence and diligence. It imposes the obligation to perform professional services to the best of a member’s ability, with concern for the best interest of those for whom the services are performed, and consistent with the profession’s responsibility to the public.
Competence represents the attainment and maintenance of a level of understanding and knowledge that enables a member to render services with facility and acumen.It also establishes the limitations of a member’s capabilities by dictating that consultation or referral may be required
when a professional engagement exceeds the personal competence of a member or a member’s firm.
Each member is responsible for assessing his or her own competence of evaluating whether education, experience, and judgment are adequate for the responsibility to be assumed.
Members should be diligent in discharging responsibilities to clients, employers, and the public. Diligence imposes the responsibility to render services promptly and carefully, to be thorough, and to observe applicable technical and ethical standards.
Due care requires a member to plan and supervise adequately any professional activity for which he or she is responsible.”
AICPA Professional Standards 1.300.001 General Standards Rule states:
” .01 A member shall comply with the following standards and with any interpretations thereof by bodies designated by Council:
a. Professional Competence. Undertake only those professional services that the member or the member’s firm can reasonably expect to be completed with professional competence.
b. Due Professional Care. Exercise due professional care in the performance of professional services.
c. Planning and Supervision. Adequately plan and supervise the performance of professional services.
d. Sufficient Relevant Data. Obtain sufficient relevant data to afford a reasonable basis for conclusions or recommendations in relation to any professional services performed.”
We included an extended amount of direct text from the AICPA Professional Standards because SHOCKINGLY many of the newer members of the profession are either unfamiliar with the Professional Standards or seem to view “cloud practice” as something different. HELLO! there is nothing different about the application of professional standards to a CPA’s practice ANYWHERE.
The bottom line here is that if YOU OR YOUR FIRM doesn’t meet the Professional Standards with respect to the professional competence to service a potential client’s needs, you have an obligation to decline that work, and direct the potential client to a CPA or CPA firm that does. You can’t use a social media relationship or something connected a piece of wire to substitute.There is difference between seeking outside assistance for a unique issue that arises with a client that you have an existing relationship with and accepting a new client and assuming primary professional responsibility as their advisor. Technology and social media DON’T NOT LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD HERE. A CPA [or their firm] needs to DIRECTLY have the expertise and experience to do the work.
Ride The Short Bus CPAs Don’t Do It
The ability to make the evaluation of scope of individual and firm competence is a CRITICAL part of practice risk management and professional judgment which is acquired through direct personal involvement with and training by more experienced professionals. The value of the years spent with a Big 4 Firm, and in my case with Arthur Andersen over enough time to become a Tax Partner with oversight responsibility for a practice segment. YOU CAN’T GET THAT FROM SOFTWARE.
The advice, guidance and mentoring that permit newer members of the profession to acquire those skills has to come from experienced members of the profession.
- Doug Sleeter and Joe Woodard aren’t professionals or CPA’s, as such, they are absolutely UNQUALIFIED TO ADVISE a CPA on subject of how they meet their obligations under the Professional Standards. They might be viewed as entertainment.
- Jody Padar CPA, Jason Blumer CPA, and Bruce Phillips, CPA ARE SUBJECT to the AICPA Professional Standards and have an obligation to THINK CAREFULLY about how they run their practices, broadcast advice to newer members of the profession about running their practices, and the advice they offer. They are singled out here as being visible in the cloud practice space, and while some of what they communicate is valid and valuable, there are other aspects of it where they could do a better job. [I have certainly offered my opinions about specifics, but this post isn’t the place to expand on that.
It will be interesting to see how they react to this commentary. We are hopeful that everyone will collectively remember the framework of our chosen profession includes everything in the cloud and related technology.