Written by Ryan Mathews, MAcc, CPA, CFE
For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed team sports. Personally, one of the most enjoyable parts of team sports is watching individual team members work together toward a common, shared objective. I often catch myself likening sport concepts to situations that I face in my career as a CPA.
I have a quote hanging in my office attributed to Bud Wilkinson who was the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1947 to 1963. During his time at Oklahoma, Wilkinson's teams won 3 national championships, 14 conference titles, and won 47 straight games (which is a record that still stands to this day). The quote by Coach Wilkinson says, "If a team is to reach its potential, each player must be willing to subordinate his personal goals to the good of the team."
I recently concluded a season of helping coach my son's seventh grade football team. Like in many businesses, we started with a series of goals and objectives. We then worked toward those objectives. Individuals were assigned positions within the team. At times, these positions were very comfortable and familiar for the respective team member. In other instances, team members were asked to play positions that were unfamiliar to them causing them to experience a little discomfort.
As coaches, we would remind each player of their individual responsibilities and assignments. We knew our team success depended on individual players understanding how their contributions would help the team succeed on each play. Our season ultimately ended in a playoff loss, which was short of one of our original goals. However, as we reflected on the growth and accomplishments of the team we felt that the overall season was a success.
As I have been involved in the CPA profession and the Idaho Society of CPAs, I have realized that I am a member of another dynamic team of CPAs. Some team members are in public accounting, other are business owners, others work in industry or education. As a profession, we are presented with opportunities to network and collaborate. As we each keep our focus on our individual contributions to the CPA profession, we will be able to experience the benefits of being on a successful team and enhancing the CPA brand.