Apple Growth Partners

Now More Than Ever, Clients Need Their Trusted Advisors to be Their Advocates

According to AICPA standards, the CPA can have many roles when working for a client. Often overlooked is that of ‘client advocate’, a capacity which definitely has its place and time for given situations. Aside from audit services, which must comply with independence in substance and form, other services we provide certainly can and should have an advocative flair. At Apple Growth Partners, we honor and amplify this tenet of our profession. And too often, CPAs shy away and minimize the ‘advocacy’ role we are supposed to play in our clients’ lives. But what is a ‘client advocate’? From our standpoint, it’s not just placing ourselves in our clients’ shoes, it’s about LIVING in our client’s shoes, day in and day out. It’s about giving advice like we are giving it to ourselves, as if our money was at stake. How would WE feel if we received this advice from our accountant?

I like to say often, “we are the consumers of our own supply.” In other words, if I’m a picky customer/client (and I believe most of us are), then I must supply that same pesky attention to detail for our clients, as if we were providing the service to ourselves or a family member. It’s true, there are other pillars to our profession which must be adhered to, including integrity, transparency, public interest, and honesty, to name a few. At AGP, those qualities are simply ‘cost of admission’, prerequisites, and they can be adhered to along with advocacy. Our job as advisors is not to tell you what you cannot do, there are plenty of people in your life for that. We want to tell what you can do, and how we are going to get there together.

Now, more than ever, clients need advocates. The waters of this economy and geopolitical environment are getting awfully choppy. For example, a year ago I wrote about what to expect when the national debt topples in on itself, you can read it here at: (1) Charting the Future Amidst a $31 Trillion (and Growing) Problem | LinkedIn. Two years ago, I wrote about how business leaders can navigate and thrive through inflation: (1) Thriving During Inflation: How Business Leaders Can Accept, Think Differently, and Get Ahead | LinkedIn. The pundits “out there” can be lazy at times, they give advice based on historical knowledge, but here’s the point: there is no historical playbook, not in the USA anyways, for when 100% of our country’s budget is used to pay interest expense. Congress’s inaction to curb deficit spending means the day is coming fast when our economy will be situated in an environment whereby the USA’s treasury either defaults, raises income taxes to over 50% rates, or simply prints more money. None of these alternatives work. I’m not here to be a negative nellie, but rather point out that advisors who give advice without acknowledging elephants in the room, have no place in your C Suite. On a positive note, technological advances with AI and Blockchain have the potential to make you and your business reach the greatest heights at maximum efficiency in the least amount of time. Only forward-thinking, proactive, advocative advisors need apply for the tasks at hand.

At Apple Growth Partners, we want you to put our service to the test. Lean on us for every goal and challenge us as advisors to help you design the route and execute. Yes, as accountants we will keep you compliant, and out of trouble (as they say). But we will do so as your advocate and confidante every step of the way. Here’s to advocacy, in all ways it presents itself.