Why We’re Here: Helping Our Clients Communicate
Recently, we were inspired by Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” to define the “why” behind our role as a CPA firm:
“We’re here because business owners and governments need solutions to their challenges — not a commodity product. Through our dedication to teamwork, development and relationships, we will help our clients thrive.”
The following is part of a series illustrating our “why.”
If you’ve worked within an organization, you’ve probably experienced the silo effect—i.e., a lack of communication between departments. When we recognized this was happening to one of our local government clients, we knew we had to act.
In this particular case, the city’s in-house accountant had been left out of project-related discussions involving the budget. We saw evidence of this while preparing the city’s audit; several line items on the financial reports were open or incomplete, which meant the data wasn’t accurate. Needless to say, the city’s accountant was very frustrated.
When we met with city staff members during the summer, they mentioned their communication woes went beyond financial matters. Although we were hired only to do the audit, we proposed a solution that had worked well within our firm: a monthly meeting of the department heads, including the accountant.
These monthly meetings would give each department a chance to share critical information—financial and operational—and improve communication. We agreed to facilitate and began designing an agenda right away.
We held the first meeting the following month, and it was a huge success! Although it’s only been five months, the city has already been able to drastically streamline processes such as payroll and financial reporting. We also helped to usher in a collaborative project documentation system, identify strategic financial principles, and create a scorecard of financial metrics.
The city administrator told us these meetings have been one of the best initiatives the city has ever put into place. (And yes, the accountant is much happier.)
It’s been an honor to help this organization break free of its silos and better serve its citizens.
Until next time,