I hear it all the time, “my accountant or bookkeeper made a huge mistake and I don’t know what to do!” So many of my new clients are put into this terrible predicament. Guess what, they’re not alone. Even former Presidents make the same mistakes when hiring a bookkeeping or accounting professional.
Just this month, former President Bill Clinton blamed his accountant for the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donor scandal. President Clinton said that PricewaterhouseCoopers is at fault for filling the wrong forms that made his foundation appear to be hiding funds. “The guy that filled out the forms made an error,” he said. Adding, “I can’t explain why they didn’t do it – all I can do is fix it.”
If you’re looking for ways to make sure your accountant or bookkeeper is doing what he or she is supposed to do, follow these simple tips:
• PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT- Know your numbers. The key to a financially successful small business is keeping track of your profit and loss. Make sure your bookkeeper or accountant is providing a weekly, or at least monthly, P & L Statement to keep you up to date on the health of your business.
• REVIEW– Even if you have a bookkeeper to keep track of your business transactions and finances, you should be reviewing your numbers frequently. At Brigade Bookkeeping, we hold a weekly or daily phone conference call with our clients and check in periodically. Make sure you are doing the same thing or something similar.
• DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS – My teacher always said “there’s no such things as a dumb question.” I agree especially when it comes to the financial health of your company. Don’t be afraid to question an irregular expense or charge.
• CONDUCT AN EXTERNAL REVIEW – If you have any doubt about what your accountant or bookkeeper is doing, then have another company conduct an external review. We do it all the time. An external review is similar to a second doctor’s opinion. If you thought something was wrong with your health, you wouldn’t think twice about getting a second opinion. Treat your company the same way.
Former President Bill Clinton and his Clinton Foundation are in a lot of hot water over the donation scandal. It’s had to stop accepting donations from certain foreign countries. In order to avoid a problem with your accounting or bookkeeping, make sure your bookkeeping or tax professional knows what he or she is doing. Remember to ask questions and review everything.
Enjoy your week!