I’m always amazed at what people will share on social media. Distasteful comments, videos, and of course, good and bad financial “stuff.”
I’ve seen checks, contracts, key information about companies, you name it, but when it comes time to have a conversation about business financials with a professional, people don’t want to talk.
What’s most alarming isn’t that some people volunteer all this to the world on a social media update, but that many people don’t ask others how they keep all their financial ducks in a row by asking for help.
They’re more than happy to talk about advertising, or personnel, or operations, but they won’t ask others what they are doing to successfully manage the backside of the business – the books.
Why is that?
For some, it is too close to taboo – discussing how much people make has always been frowned upon in the workplace and sharing that information in the private sector strikes a chord that smacks of indecency.
WE HAVE TO GET OVER IT!
I’m not suggesting that you start grilling people for financial information about their company, but I will tell you, without a doubt, you need to do some networking about how they handle that information.
Simple. Respectfully ask – “how do you handle the books?”
What you’ll find, when you start asking, is dozens of ways that other companies handle their bookkeeping and from there, you’ll find new ways that can make you more efficient in managing your own books.
Sure, it’s nice to simply push all of the paper to a bookkeeper, but as an owner, you need to understand how the process works and if it is efficient or not. How can you tell? Ask the men and women who handle all the accounting – from payable to receivables to payroll, and everywhere the money flows from and to. They’ll give you valuable insight into where the time bottlenecks are and how they can avoid them.
Of course, if you’re still apprehensive about asking elsewhere, then reach out to us. Some of the little “hacks” we’ve recommended for years are:
- Set up google reminders for every task that needs to be done for your bookkeeper or CPA to their job properly.
- Hire a part-time assistant to the paper pushing. There’s plenty of finance/accounting students looking for internships or par time jobs to gain field experience.
- Don’t procrastinate, instead automate – we talked about these ideas right here
- Share the wealth! Speak to your associates in business to find out what they are doing and what is working for them as they conduct their business. They have many of the same challenges, so put their experience to work for you, too.
Approached Like This!
Everyone is always so reluctant to talk about their books. Don’t be, you don’t have to give random people your company snap shot. Just right a set of 5 questions you need answers to and ask them in a conversational manner.
In a pinch, you can even have this conversation via email – send out your questions to several other business owners you know, like, trust and solicit their answers on the things that are working for them. In our experience, they may be facing some of the same challenges you are and have handled it in a completely different manner than you are, with better success.
At the same time, if you find that your own inner circle is lacking in a particular area, why not be the leader and set up a conference call with them and someone on our team? Believe me, we handle hundreds of different clients in a myriad of different scenarios – chances are, we know how to take care of it.
"Don’t be afraid to ask, be afraid to keep accepting poor systems"!
By: Chris Groote
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