Seth Godin wrote a post a few days back about having “no choice” and how it is really a mask for “the short-term benefit/satisfaction/risk avoidance was a lot higher than anything else, so I chose to do what I did.”
It got me thinking about how many entrepreneurs I’ve come across that have mentioned they felt like there are no better options when it comes to their accounting initiatives. That they even know what they have is broken (and that they don’t enjoy a minute more of it). But, they felt that they have no choice but to stick with the status quo.
After all, it isn’t their job to reinvent the accounting industry and how it is being practiced. And sadly, the typical bean-counter type is not going to be much help here either. Too bad. I am no typical bean-counter type. So I thought I’d outline some choices out there for entrepreneurs who is left wondering, “there has got to be a better way to do this,” for all those years. 2 old. 1 new.
Some better accounting solutions
Have a bookkeeper and hire a senior role to review
Hire a bookkeeper who’ll be responsible for most of the work done – this person can be a full or part-time employee or contractor – makes no difference. Then hire someone else (your tax CPA / a CPA firm / a part-time CFO or controller) to review the bookkeeper’s work on a regular basis, making changes/fixes/adjustments as needed.
Your expert is doing their work after-the-fact and may spend a ton of time on correcting/fixing things. The biggest downside here is delays and double (and sometimes triple work) is being done over the same transactions.
Hire a controller to do basic works and review at a time
Hire a controller that is willing to dip below and do some day-to-day bookkeeping/accounting work as well. Best case scenario that they know what they are doing and are able to start establishing controls and policies for you as they help you identify and hire on additional team members to build out your accounting department.
Too many accountants lack the knowledge to build an effective modern-day accounting department. They’ve learned everything they know from their previous supervisors who’ve learned the methodologies from their supervisors and so on. Things have changed since hotdogs were 5 cents a piece.
Outsourced your accounting department
Find and buy into the system of a well designed and established accounting department. Collaborate and work with the accounting department to align business operations/goals with accounting initiatives/deliverables to help achieve those goals.
The concept is old but it isn’t until recent years that technology enabled us to be effective enough to carry it out fully – so very few companies do it well. Entrepreneur must understand that you are buying into a well designed/built system and processes – not hiring outside labors to carry out tasks that you’ve outlined for them – they should already know what need to be done.
It’s like buying a new customized Porsche – you know the results you seek and the options you want – but you shouldn’t be telling the lead engineer how to put the engines together. Yes. There are choices. You just have to decide that the long-term benefit and satisfaction outweighs the risks and pain of change. But what am I thinking, you are an entrepreneur, you are familiar with change.