3 reasons to refresh your accounting firm’s vision statement

When you launched your accounting practice, you had a dream with goals and a clear vision. Granted, your initial draft may have been scribbled on the back of a napkin.

A person sitting at the end of a jetty, looking out onto a lake with towering mountains on both sides. In the distance, there are snow-capped mountains, and the lake is reflecting the mountains and pale blue sky.

But at some point, you put time, energy and a fair amount of effort into crafting the perfect vision statement.

This vision is the compass that navigates your firm along a unified path. It keeps your people, processes and business goals aligned. But if that compass fails, things can start to unravel. You and your team may find yourselves lost, heading in different directions.

If it’s been a while since you’ve revisited your vision, it’s time to do so. This way, you can assess it before it fails you.

Your firm’s vision statement is core to the ‘why, what and how’, so it should be revisited when there’s a major change or shift in business priorities.

Your vision statement should always have a clear relationship to your firm’s goals and provide that additional ‘stretch’ to inspire your entire team beyond their day-to-day work.

Other than time, why should you update your firm’s vision statement?

There are several reasons why it may be time to revise your vision statement, but every reason is driven by one thing: change. Positive changes will accelerate the trajectory of your business, so it’s important your vision reflects them.

Based on the extent of the change, your vision statement may only need minor modifications or a few tweaks. On the other hand, it might need a complete revamp. Either way, it’s important to keep it up-to-date.

Here are 3 common reasons to revisit and refresh your firm’s vision statement:

  1. Your firm has undergone (or will undergo) major organizational restructure

  2. You have rethought your go-to-market strategy

  3. Your firm has been part of a merger or acquisition

If your accounting firm’s direction has changed and there’s a disconnect with your current vision statement, it’s time to take a closer look.

1. Major organizational restructure

No matter the size of your firm, your organizational structure needs to support your goals and objectives. How your firm is structured should adapt to the changing needs of the internal and external environment.

Whether the change is isolated to a specific department or something more wide-scale, revisiting your firm’s vision statement is warranted to ensure the restructure is aligned with the path you’re heading down. If there’s a shift because of these changes, it’s time to tweak your vision statement.

Even if the restructure is minor, it’s best practice to revisit your vision statement and refresh as needed.

2. Shift in business or go-to-market strategy

If you’re considering shifting your target audience, niche, or service offering, your vision statement needs to clearly reflect this change. 

Your firm’s vision should act as your guiding light to keep your strategic changes on track.

A change in strategy might be a response to a deepening competitive landscape or external factors, such as the complications associated with the pandemic. Either way, it’s time to update your vision statement.

3. Merger or acquisition

Your firm’s vision needs to account for your firm’s overall position. If you’re part of a merger or acquisition, your vision statement needs to reflect the changes this brings.

Sometimes you might be presented with a merger or acquisition opportunity that will cause your vision to change. For example, your firm’s niche might focus on advisory support for small retail businesses, but over the course of a year or two, you’ve been in the position to acquire several small boutique practices.

This is a strategic move that likely means a slight change in course for your firm’s journey, and therefore, an updated vision statement.

Don’t underestimate the power of your accounting firm’s vision statement

Your firm originated from passion and a vision. That vision might change, but (hopefully) that passion won’t.

So, it’s critical to revisit and adjust your vision statement often to keep your firm moving down the path to success. And as you make changes, ensure you have team-wide alignment (after all, it needs to be relevant to your whole team, not just you).

Your vision statement should be clear, easy to articulate, and every employee should be able to repeat it and believe in it. That’s why it needs to be accurate and reflective of your ambitions.