Energizing a business’ customers is tough. Finding customers that are energized or self-energized can be likened to a Christmas miracle. Finding balanced accountants who are energized about being accountants regardless of their specific designation, and who are honest about their profession’s benefits and downfalls is a little more of a possibility. A problem that I have found as a potential customer of the accounting profession (*puts on her Critic hat again*) is that those members who are honest and truthful about the profession, are not listened to by the profession; the people they “feature” are those who are only say the positive things about the profession (and in some cases to the right ears).
Check out the ICAA‘s CApitalize information magazine. Of the articles I have been able to read through, all of the members only speak to the positive of being a CA, of how great the ICAA is, what types of benefits a person will attain by being a CA, etc. I am not saying that these are not good things, and I am sure that there was some pre-publishing editing that was done, but a little more transparency and honesty are needed in my opinion.
During my time through CA Fall Recruitment, I talked with many accountants and non-accountants about their firms, jobs, workload, and expectations of new recruits; only a very select few were honest about what I could expect if I joined their ranks. They showed me the drawbacks, but also explained that the drawbacks could be mitigated and eventually become non-existent. It is members like that, who in my humble opinion need to be the ambassadors of the accounting profession, they are the ones who are, to use an altered G-rated euphemism, not blowing sunshine up where it doesn’t shine. When someone spouts only the positive, my internal red flags immediately start waving like crazy; which is not to say that I am a pessimist, but I am hesitant to immediately take what I am told at face value (If I did that I would have listened to my mother, gone to post-secondary right out of high school, received my BA with a major in Sociology or Classics, been $45,000 in debt and have very small prospects for a career.).
Essentially, in order to assist in energizing the profession, the industry needs to stop muffling the voices of those who are honest, and let their feedback and constructive criticisms ring out clear into the night. I think by having these members as brand ambassadors, they can open the door for increasing the number of serious students actually interested in being an accountant, and this will definitely give excellent returns on investment in the future of the industry. By having more of these serious accountants, the profession can better justify its place of necessity in the business world. If a business can see the ROI of having a serious accountant working for them, then that ROI is shared across the whole profession.