SAMPLE SCENARIOS THAT ILLUSTRATE CHRISTINE’S GIFT FOR HOLISTIC ACCOUNTING
Her intuitive insight assists with successful changes in businesses.
According to Christine…
When working with clients, it is important to identify both the surface and root issues of a scenario. Surface issues can be readily identified, addressed and resolved. The root is often more difficult to recognize, yet if this issue remains unresolved, any recommendations made and implemented are band-aids and work only in the short term. The following are a few scenarios with clients who, while working with me, have identified the resurface and root issues, and have implemented the necessary changes to obtain the desired outcomes.
Take responsibility for your business
One of my clients had gone through an extensive audit with Revenue Canada, only to find that proper accounting policies had not been adhered to when his bookkeeping was completed. The price of this was devastating. After a couple of meetings, we identified surface issues. We installed up-to-date accounting software, and CLB assumed the bookkeeping duties. The client took the time to learn more about accounting policies and procedures – not to actually perform the bookkeeping function, but to have a better understanding, right up to the financial statements. Bookkeeping is timely, and time is not always available to a business owner, but as this client realized, when done correctly, it is an important indicator of how the business is performing.
With new systems in place, a few lessons in accounting 101 and changing tax-preparation providers, the business was able to ride through a very difficult time financially. The root of all of this is power. The owner regained control over the financial aspects of the business and found a new, more reliable associate. That owner now asks questions and takes responsibility for all aspects of the business. By handing over power to individuals who were not working in his best interest, the client was not aware of the problems occurring until Revenue Canada completed the random audit. Today, the company keeps current in its bookkeeping activity, the audit is complete, and the balance of power has been restored.
You CAN do it all, but why would you?
The second client represents an entirely different scenario. A successful small local company was approached and ultimately purchased by a multi-million-dollar US company. The business owner now faced an ever-changing list of requirements to set up the merger and grow the Canadian office. The owner and I met and identified systems and structures that were needed. Unlike the previous scenario, the owner was always very “in tune” with the financial function. As the demands of the US grew, however, time become a scarce commodity and he had to let go of the accounting function. Together we updated software, hired a payroll provider and established specific timetables and deadlines to ensure that all the bookkeeping was being completed in a timely and accurate manner.
The root issue with this client was/is communication/cooperation. In order for this constant expansion to be successful, the cooperation of the team and keeping the lines of communication open are paramount. Changes are immediately identified and relayed to the accounting function, so the owner still has the power, but also the confidence that policies and procedures are being adhered to. This company has gone through many changes in a short time period. Staff has doubled and office space is at a premium. There is an underlying agreement among the staff to be open with regard to communication. Each member of the team is kept up to date, everyone’s input is respected and as a result, the constant changes have been much more manageable for everyone.
If you want a new kitchen, get a new kitchen!
In 2009, I met with a new client who wanted to grow her business. I did a financial analysis for her and then heard nothing. In 2011, I contacted her and discovered that her business hadn’t progressed at all. We redid her numbers, and I said, “You don’t really want to do this. What do you want to do?” She said, “I want to remodel my kitchen.” I said, “Do it.” Growing her business would have meant taking on debt that would make the renovation unrealistic. I suggested that she upgrade her existing business to be more efficient. We found ways to do that, and she was able to get work going on the new kitchen.