I put the final touches on my first book, mirror mirror on the wall am i the most valued of them all?—The Ultimate Element of Differentiation is YOU, shortly after September 11, 2001. As I noted then, our lives would never be exactly the same. Here I sit nine years later, writing in the wake of arguably the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And it feels once more as if things won’t be the same again. But I believe that just as the country, the business world, and the CPA profession survived September 11, we will all once again emerge from this crisis.

Crises force us to reconsider our lives and the things that are most important to us. On the business side of your life, I think it’s critical to be aware at all times of what you bring to the table as a professional and how to tell other people what you have to offer in a consultative, respectful way. That’s what this book will help you do.

I’m sure that the CPAs reading this must feel like financial psychologists at times. I know you offer clients a sympathetic ear before you segue into discussions about the tax, accounting, and other great services you offer. But even though you remain your clients’ most trusted business advisor, your firm has probably been affected in some ways by a tough economy. Have you lost any of your valued clients? Has the communication with them changed? Is your firm under any economic duress? Are you? Or are you thriving because you take advantage of the opportunities present ...

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