I had the pleasure of meeting with a potential new client last week, a referral from another CPA.  It was our first meeting, and I really did not know much about the organization or how they operate, but it did not take me long into the meeting to figure out that they were the typical small business trying to manage growth.

As the processes that makes up their accounting cycle began to surface through conversation, I said to myself “This is the same story I hear every time”. Because it’s the same story, lucky for them I have the same answer- Outsource your Accounting! 

I thought it might be helpful to share some of the specific characteristics and dialogue of this “same story” scenario.

So, let’s start with your current financial statements, can I see a copy?

Um, as they look at each other, we don’t have those? We get them sometimes for a month, but we never really look at them because they don’t make any sense.

Ok, so how about your revenue cycle.   Is someone reconciling the billing record reports of receipts to the amount that is showing as revenues in your general ledger and ultimately cash deposits in your bank account? 

Now I have total blank stares at me, and then at one another.

So, this bookkeeper that’s writing checks, do you review the bank statements or the checks written?  

They look very proud as they say “We have delegated all of that responsibility to her! She took it completely off our plates.  We ship the invoices to her, she pays them and even reconciles the bank for us each month. We don’t have to think about a thing.” 

Are you thinking the same thing I am at this point?

If there was something I was going to delegate regarding my business to one person, it would not be sole control of the bank account. That is merely a few sidesteps around a much bigger problem. Their accounting function was in complete disarray, nothing documented, somewhat managed by an external bookkeeper and the office staff, but no accountability to the owners.  That’s what I see, all too often, and then they are afraid of change as well.

Based on this “same story” scenario, the potential changes are all positive.  My team helps the business owners transition from the complete unknown to a system that is fully documented, laden with internal controls, and provides complete financial reporting and transparency at any given time.

Do you find yourself in similar situation to this “same story” scenario? If so, it’s time to change your story!