Not all superheros wear capes.
Chris Morris is a man who wears many hats. He is a writer, father, CPA and Marvel superhero aficionado.
He runs Chris Morris, CPA LLC in the Northwest Valley in Phoenix.
Chris runs his practice entirely in the cloud, using the Xero platform so he can work from anywhere at anytime. He says working from home brings him another step closer to work-life integration.
Chris is just one of the growing number of accountants working from home. Accountingfly CEO, Jeff Phillips, shared an incredible statistic at Xerocon San Francisco: listings for remote positions on the company’s jobs board receive eight times more applicants than open positions at traditional firms.
The allure of remote work is understandable. Chris says he can be there for his kids in the morning when they are getting ready for school and spend more time with them in general.
Sometimes his working days involve the unconventional lunch break.
“I love my family, and enjoy spending time with them, so sometimes that means stepping away from the office for an hour to go swimming, and then jumping back into work afterwards,” Chris said.
Working on Xero gives him the flexibility to work when he wants to.
“I am my own boss. I set my own office hours,” Chris said. “It’s up to me whether I work 9-5 on Tuesday, or 6-3. I think the freedom that comes as I learn to walk in this is powerful,” he says.
“The key is to make sure that I am still meeting all the expectations of my clients, which I pride myself on doing.”
He says using Xero means he can maximize what would otherwise be downtime.
“My favorite aspect of using Xero and other cloud-based tools is that my work can go with me,” Chris said.
“I can literally work on a client matter while standing in line at the store, and redeem time that would otherwise be lost.”
Helping small businesses thrive
Chris specializes in providing tax and accounting support to creative entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Providing these advisory services to creative entrepreneurs is something that Chris relishes in, so much so that it has lead him to speak on the topic and even write a book discussing how they can manage their finances while growing a burgeoning business.
Chris says while these entrepreneurs have great ideas, sometimes they need to be steered in the right direction when it comes to their finances.
“Creative entrepreneurs and small business owners have one thing in common: they are fundamentally driven by passion,” Chris said.
“As a result, it is not uncommon for these passionate leaders to quickly find themselves over their head with the business side of things.”
When speaking to creative entrepreneurs, he takes great joy in witnessing the moment where everything clicks.
“I enjoy seeing the ‘light bulbs’ come on as the audience begins to understand how to combine their passion with some strong business and accounting tactics,” Chris said.
While Chris enjoys teaching through his various speaking engagements, he says there is a power in the written word that is simply not present when speaking. Chris likes capturing the imagination of the reader, whether that be through fiction or nonfiction writing.
“There are no mixed signals because of body language or tone of voice with a book,” Chris said.
“Instead, the words are there for the reader to interpret from their own experiences. Plus, there is a finality in holding a book in your hands and reading it.”
As a hero in his own right – helping creative entrepreneurs and small business owners – it’s easy to see why Chris takes an interest in Marvel super heroes: both him and these fictional heroes want to help people.
When questioned about his favorite superhero in the Marvel universe, Chris wasn’t able to choose just one. He said it’s a toss-up between Iron Man and Ant Man given there are more than a few similarities between the two.
“Both find their superpowers in a suit, both are deeply sarcastic, and both are trying to figure out how to mesh their power with their natural personality,” Chris says.
“Maybe I need a super powered suit to complete my destiny?”