On accounting for wisdom

As they say, there are 3 types of accountant – those that can count and those that can’t.

A confession.

I come from a family of accountants.  My dad’s an accountant.  So are both my sisters.  I even did an accounting degree in the 1990s before becoming….a corporate lawyer.  What a rebel!

One of the many advantages of being surrounded by accountants at family gatherings is free advice – sometimes solicited.  Usually, it’s about the drudgery of small business management, e g. collecting late payments, using accounting software properly, or improving systems.

But, sometimes, the advice I get is more profound.  Wise, even.

With decades of experience as an accountant and senior executive, I asked my dad to distill some business lessons he’d learned (often the hard way).  Then I chose the 7 tips most relevant to speech pathologists in private practice:

1.  When setting prices for your services, make sure you include a full salary and the amount of your investment (including training) in working out your break even point.

2. Do not be afraid to charge for the value you are providing to others.  If you are going broke, do it lying on the beach rather than working until midnight.

3. If you find an error, look for two others.  This saves embarrassment.

4. Enjoy what you do.  The most boring tasks can be made interesting – even if the thing you enjoy the most most is crossing them off your to-do list.

5. Do not waste time complaining.  No one is interested and you will always perform better when you are positive.

6. Advice is often worth what you pay for it. (Except, of course, this advice!)

7. Don’t let yourself be exploited by friendship, a desire to please, or good intentions.  Assess projects and opportunities objectively as a professional, even if you are not planning to charge market rates for the work involved.

Speechies in Business Speechies in Business
Speechies in Business is owned and operated by David Kinnane, a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist, lawyer, writer and speaker in private practice in Sydney, Australia.  You can read more about David’s professional background, qualifications and experience here.David also co-owns and co-manages Banter Speech & Language, an independent private speech pathology clinic, and Bodkin Wood Legal & Advisory, a law firm specialising in allied health issues.
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