In preparing for my 2016 blogging calendar, I sent a survey to my subscribers.
The last survey question was opened-ended: What one thing keeps you awake at night? Here are a few responses:
- Is it possible to narrow it down to just one? Malpractice issues primarily?
- Getting work done in a more efficient and timely manner.
- Litigation/being sued.
- The magnitude of what we need to know to operate as a sole practitioner.
- Ever changing standards and requirements, possibility of mistakes due to standards overload.
- Being able to maintain a thriving practice that I can receive a good return on in my retirement.
- Increasing burden put on our profession to be the “police” for tax agencies [e.g. Obamacare compliance, state use tax.]
- If I don’t wake up one morning, what happens to my clients?
- Delivering what we promised on time.
- Keeping up with the standards.
- Plan to retire in 8 to 10 years and need to create an exit path.
- Not having enough time to finish my work.
- Liability…the kind that arises from something that I did not anticipate.
- Ever changing regulatory environment and taking on too much work and not being able to deliver timely service.
- Have I forgotten to do something for a client that I should have done?
- Afraid of not meeting deadlines.
- Often feel that state board and AICPA are trying to run sole props out of business. Every time I turn around they want another big fee to access the basic tools and information I need to stay in business.
- Partners wanting to keep things the same. No growth.
- Always feeling “behind” (not having enough competent help).
- Not knowing what I don’t know.
- I worry that I will be physically or mentally unable to complete the work I have taken on.
- Staff retention.
The survey revealed the following top concerns:
The top concerns include:
- Getting all my work done
- Findings answers to difficult questions
- Picking up new clients
It’s interesting to me that a top concern is getting work done and picking up new clients — are we saying, “We can’t get everything done, but we want more”?
Answering Difficult Questions
The survey respondents said they answer difficult questions in the following ways:
Survey says: CPAs often perform their own research using published sources (45%) and others call an outside CPA (24%).
Change One Thing
These CPAs said the top thing they would change is getting work done efficiently — interestingly, this ranked higher than making more money (almost twice as high).
First, let me thank those of you who participated in the survey (which I sent to all my subscribers with an email).
You can still participate in the survey here.
Your participation will enable me to provide more relevant content to you during 2016. Thanks and happy new year.
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