If your firm has been serving businesses for a few years, it might be time to take a look at your vision, values and mission statements. What makes your firm unique and sets it apart from others? It’s possible that your overall values haven’t changed. Perhaps with growth, you’ve noticed some of the previous terms that were used to describe your accounting practice don’t hold quite the same meaning any longer. Maybe your vision statement works and only needs some minor adjustments. Overall, your company vision should state a lot about where you are as a practice – but, more importantly, where you’re going.
Company Vision and Mission Values – Do They Still Matter?
What is your firm’s current vision? When was it written? Have you ever revisited these vision statements? If you’ve been practicing for any length of time, your values have probably changed. The landscape of your practice, client needs, and other factors might have changed since the time when the firm developed its statement. Some of the values you gave importance to in the beginning might have seemed necessary, but have you been able to dedicate the actual attention they require? And how do you articulate your entire scope of values in such a way that it unifies the entire team?
Company vision and mission statement examples like Courage, Innovation, and Diversity are common throughout many sectors, including accounting. They’re lovely sentiments and look impressive on paper – but how are they achieved? How do you measure such values and know if you’ve met them? These values rely on the ability to accept other aspects of your practice that you probably didn’t take into account in the beginning – aspects such as:
So how do you revise your vision statement and really shake things up without disturbing the status quo? For starters, engage your staff and encourage them to speak up in such a way that they feel safe in doing so. This is part of how great company visions are made.
It also shouldn’t pose any inconvenience. Instead of a mandatory meeting at the end of the work day, how about just shooting out an email to all staff asking for their input? You might find that your staff’s values differ from the current statement, but their suggestions may be so great that you can’t believe they’re not already a part of your vision. Ask yourself questions, such as:
- What are you currently doing in respect to your firm’s values that could use some tweaking?
- How can you lift the veil and bring as much transparency to your firm’s inner workings as possible?
- Do you actively listen to your high-level staff? To your entire staff overall?
After you’ve contemplated those ideas, consider:
- Coming up with better questions to help identify your crucial values as well as which ones you should eliminate
- Brainstorming ideas that challenge you and your colleagues to bring these values to light
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Company’s Vision
Measuring the effectiveness of your current vision is rather easy when answering the following questions truthfully:
- Does your company vision paint a clear image of where your firm is heading? Does it take into account movements toward greater stability, innovation and market position?
- Does it focus on and describe a strategic plan to help your firm prepare for changes?
- Does it focus on providing your upper-level staff with direction? Does it present tools for decision-making and resource allocation?
- Does it allow room for growth? Does it incorporate language that provides flexibility for possible adjustments as you adapt to new markets and technologies?
How Often Should You Revisit Your Firm’s Vision Statement?
An accounting firm’s vision statement is not a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of your practice. It’s a good idea to reevaluate on an annual basis in order to ascertain whether or not the stated qualities still apply. When your firm is experiencing great success, revisit your statement to see how you can make it even better. Conversely, when your practice is at a low point, reevaluating your vision can help pinpoint exactly where you might need to make some adjustments. If your statement is incredibly well-written, you probably only need to change it once every three to five years.
What Makes a Good Company Vision for an Accounting Pro–And How to Write It
Determining the future of your firm is really only a picture-perfect snapshot of your ideal practice. Regardless of the size of your firm, the personal core values are indispensable when creating a masterpiece of a vision statement. To begin, consider:
- What is important to you, personally? Your family and friends? Communication? It’s very likely your clients share many of the same core values.
- What experiences have made the biggest, most positive impact on your life? Why do you think so? What made them important?
- Which experiences in your life negatively impacted you? What would you change, if you could? Which of your core values did you ignore during the experience?
And, maybe one of the most important:
- What makes you happy?
Your answers to these questions will provide you with a list of maybe 20 values. With these in mind, you can become your own company vision statement generator. Pick them out and rewrite them on a separate piece of paper. Do you notice a correlation between some of the words? Create columns in which you place like values. For example, family and traditional could fit under the same column.
Analyzing The Difference Between Company Vision and Mission Ideals
When you’ve finished your column groupings, think of the central theme of each value column. Honesty and doing what’s right could fit under a heading of Integrity or Reliability. Place the central theme as a heading above each column.
From each column of central themes you’ve created, look at each of your column headings. Which of these appear most important to you, and to your firm? You might find that this part of fleshing out a company vision statement takes a while, as some values are equally important to you. The basic thing to remember is that there isn’t any right or wrong answer. Take a break, if needed, and revisit your list with a fresh eye. When you’re ready, choose five to 10 values.
For each of your central themes, write a sentence next to it that describes its meaning for you personally. For instance, one of your core values could be something like Never Stop Learning, with a descriptive sentence of: “We learn together – you learn the meaning of your books and records, and we make sure your accounting reflects the best practices of your business.”
Next, reflect on these value statements. Your firm’s vision is going to evolve out of these value statements. Examining the statements, where do you envision yourself and your firm 10 years down the line? These value statements become the forward direction for your firm. Use them to communicate the type of clients you’re seeking, the level of communication they can expect, and what is unique to your firm among the other firms they could choose.
By taking time to really dig deep and develop your core value statement, decision-making within your firm becomes second-nature. The value statement attracts the clients you want and illustrates how your firm is their best choice. You can only see what’s up ahead when you take the time to truly know your own values. Ready? QuickBooks Online Accountant helps you manage projects, tasks and clients together. Sign up for free.