Why does every small business owner hate Accounting?
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
June 25, 2019.
Alright, let’s be honest... as Business Owners, the only thing we truly care about in our Business is our product, our service, what we do daily to serve our customers. We somewhat wish that everything else did not matter, and sometimes we either run away from the tasks we don’t like or we procrastinate heavily.
One of those duties most of us hate with a passion is bookkeeping/accounting, and honestly, it’s understandable. Accounting is not the sexiest discipline in the world. Most Entrepreneurs are Go-Getters, they love being on the move, ready to tackle the next thing that can increase their revenues, but the idea of sitting behind the computer and crunching numbers for hours can be horrifying. According to Entrepreneur.com, in a survey conducted by TD Bank, in which they asked 508 small-business owners what they loved about owning their own business, almost half of the owners surveyed said that bookkeeping was their least favorite task to handle.
Oh, and it gets worse! Accounting forces us to face the reality of our Business. Seeing the numbers can quickly remind you of the areas where you excel, as well as those where you “suck”. A wise man once said, “numbers don’t lie”. In fact, your financials are a vivid picture of everything that has happened in the business, and sometimes, when it’s bad news, this reality is hard to face. We prefer to ignore it and assume that watching our bank account is enough to run the business.
The truth is, operating a Business without keeping an updated set of books, is a huge mistake. Not only because it makes the Company’s year end process a nightmare, and can cost quite a bit of money to pay at once to reconcile everything during tax season, but also because without proper accounting, the financial health of the Company is unknown.
One of the most common misconceptions about Accounting among small business owners is that it is only needed for taxes at the end of the year, and with that mindset, many business owners don’t give it enough attention until it is too late, and that is dangerous.
But as Accountants, can we blame them? Is this the result of us making it too complicated for the average business owner to understand? Do we take enough time to learn each Company and Business Owner we work with, to find the right format that is appealing enough for them to care about their numbers? Do we scare them off with high hourly rates, leading to business owners avoiding Accountants as long as they possibly can?
I’m not sure that I have all the answers but after being a Controller for several years for a group of million dollar Companies, and working with savvy entrepreneurs, I witnessed firsthand how important keeping track and understanding financials can be for any business, and the more experience I gained, the more shocked I was to see the lack of proper financial accounting in the small business world.
It led me to think outside the box and find ways to simplify what was once complex for most, to help every business, regardless of size, learn how to use that information at all times to properly run their business and grow. In addition, my Team and I came up with a pricing structure that is less intimidating by tying what we charge every client to their specific revenues, giving the smaller guy the opportunity to virtually get the same treatment as the large companies while paying only what their business can truly afford. I believe that every Accounting firm can do the same, but time will tell...
In the meantime, next time you are meeting with your Accountant and you feel like he or she is speaking Chinese, just ask: “Could you please simplify my numbers”?