Could a CPA ever leave the risk adverse world of debits and credits and launch their own business? Unequivocally, the answer is yes. CPAs have specific skills that position them to be great entrepreneurs. To see whether or not the world of entrepreneurship might be a fit for you, read on.
Reason #1: Cash Flow and Credibility
For start-ups to be successful they need to show investors that the business idea is backed by sound financials. Financials compiled and presented by a CPA carry weight. And since a cash flow problem can be the death knell for any business, CPA’s are particularly well positioned to create financial models and projections to ensure that their organization flourishes. Whether it’s CRA filing, bookkeeping or payroll, there’s already someone on staff – you – who can keep the organization in check.
Reason #2: Need
If you plan to open your own consultancy business you won’t run into the challenge that many new entrepreneurs face – a lack of need in the marketplace. CPAs scale nicely from one company to the next, unlike many professions. CPAs can also generate income while funding their start-up. Take on a consulting project, or work with a CPA firm during the busy season – then use the revenue to fund your business concept.
Reason #3: Detail-oriented Within the Big Picture
Here’s the thing with entrepreneurs – most are ideas people. What does this mean? It means that entrepreneurs aren’t always process driven, or detail-oriented. And while a great idea can form the foundation of a fantastic company, someone needs to be able to plot a course to achieve the vision. This is where CPAs, particularly those who have become financial analysts, can excel. After all, the best entrepreneurs are strategists who can see the details within the big picture.
Reason #4: Risk Aversion
A CPA that excels as an entrepreneur is a calculated risk taker. CPAs are trained to identify risks and create strategies to mitigate them, while still capitalizing on potential opportunities. These skills position a CPA to be a great entrepreneur. And if your business idea does fail, there’s always your CPA designation to fall back on. This safety net can make a CPA more comfortable taking calculated risks to build his or her business.
Resource: Want to see if your business idea might be viable? Get tips on doing a SWOT analysis here.
Reason #5: Deadline Driven and Cross-Functional
Being an entrepreneur can be like a riding a roller coaster – moments of exhilaration coupled with moments of terror. It can also be challenging, with demanding deadlines. When you’re an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you. You may need to be sales rep, bookkeeper and administrative assistant all on the same day. CPAs, especially those who have worked for small businesses or cross-functionally, have the skills necessary to be successful entrepreneurs. The ability to set goals, stay focused and meet demanding, client-centered deadlines, isn’t anything new to the average CPA.
Resource: To see if you’re up to the challenge of wearing multiple hats as an entrepreneur, read this article.
CPAs make excellent entrepreneurs. With their core accounting skills, deadline driven nature and the ability to keep track of the details, CPAs can be natural business owners. And, if all else fails, CPAs have a designation that makes them marketable. With that kind of safety net, there’s no reason that a CPA can’t be a successful entrepreneur.
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