John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Everyone in BV has the same question: What am I worth? It’s clear that there’s a premium for BV experience, relative to standard public accounting, anyway. But, how much is that?
Most everyone goes looking for some data to demonstrate value. How much do others make in the same position?
Could it be that’s the wrong place to look? What if you looked at it from the point of view of your employer?
The smaller the practice, the more it’s true: Your boss looks at your compensation from a different set of lenses. The paycheck he – or she – draws is a direct function of the firm’s profitability. That’s the context for how your boss sees you. It’s easier to make the case for more pay if you begin by making the case for your contribution to profitability.
There are lots of places to look, no matter where you are in the hierarchy. Start with document production, for example. Are there more efficient ways to put your written reports together? Do you seem to be running out of supplies at the most inopportune moments? Would a more carefully managed inventory make a difference? Suggest something.
When it comes to research, there’s always another angle to try in getting just a little more information about a company, or its industry. Push yourself to bring something new to the process. Something that supports – or rebuts – a particular approach. The quicker you can move to stitching the parts into the whole report, the more profitable you can be.
The name of the game is to deliberately look for “what’s next?” What is the next thing that inches you up the ladder. Climbing the ladder at your practice isn’t necessarily a rung-by-rung proposition. As a practical matter, it really is a game of inches. Taking on this task. Taking on that project.
Initiative like this gets the boss’s attention every time. And helps you make the case for better pay.
Initiative like this, ironically, may also be what’s required to assure yourself that this might not be the place for you, after all. Only an all-out effort will let you satisfy yourself that you’ve given it your best shot, and justify moving on.