Be creative *inside* the box

Blogger ejwcpa at NFP Audit and Accounting challenges us accountants to help our organizations, clients, and staff in the field by being creative and developing helpful ideas while working inside the box. The post is be creative.

It’s not so tough to get wildly creative if there are no boundaries.

It’s much harder when there are federal tax laws, state tax laws, local zoning issues, unending streams of employment laws, accounting rules, reporting requirements, internal control issues, sales tax, regulators from dozens upon dozens of agencies watching us, and privacy rules that create steel-reinforced concrete walls to the box we work in.

Check out this comment:

I think accountants have the opportunity to be the most creative people in the organization (and in a good way, not the go-to-jail-for-fraud way) and this is why: Being creative in an open space is easy. It’s easy to “think outside the box” when there is no box to begin with. Therefore, people in marketing and art and design departments of organization often get the credit for creativity. In accounting and auditing, we are in a very constrained box. To develop a truly creative, innovative idea that fits within the box we must use, we must be really creative. We must think creatively inside the box. This higher level of creativity is what gives accountants the opportunity to be the most creative employees.

Why do we need to be creative?

If you are a CPA, your clients are seriously stretched delivering services to their constituency. If you are in the accounting office of an NPO, your fellow workers are stretched trying to meet the increasing needs of your clients.

If you are in the home office of an international organization, remember that your

..staff work in areas like South Sudan, and the DRC. They are working with child soldiers, starving families, AIDS orphans, and victims of water-born illnesses. In the midst of that they must also file expense reports, donor reports, grants reports, etc. The question I ask is, how do we make this easier for them? What can we do to help them have more time to concentrate on the program work they are doing?

I’ve actually been to DRC.  It is a very difficult place to do ministry.  The staff struggling with making change there will still get their reporting done.  How can you make it easier for them?

Think creatively *inside* the box.

How do we comply with the unending list of requirements and creatively reduce the burden of fully complying?  Check out the full article. It is a superb reminder of why accountants in the NPO world do what they do and a big challenge to all.

Thanks to ejwcpa for that great idea.

3 thoughts on “Be creative *inside* the box”

  1. Pingback: Try thinking inside the box because the major constraints you work with are not going away | Attestation Update - A&A for CPAs

  2. Pingback: Be creative and innovative inside the box | Nonprofit update

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