Top 5 Phrases of an Incompetent Accountant


 For many entrepreneurs, the head of their financial, economic, or accounting service (hereinafter, for simplicity, we will use the term "accountant") is the right hand, the main assistant, and adviser in business.

Indeed, it can be quite difficult to find a good accountant. So if you believe that your business could benefit more from the accounting service and want to know how to achieve this without repeating the mistakes of others and without relying on certified charlatans, keep reading this article.

1. "Everything's wrong here"

Have you ever heard from your accountant emotional, often unfounded, accusations against the previous accountant, colleagues, or employees of counterparty companies? As a rule, the purpose of such statements is to anticipate criticism from management for omissions in work, to shift responsibility to others, and to hide one's own incompetence.

Insignificant, sometimes far-fetched, shortcomings are inflated to the scale of a global problem. At the same time, the real problems go into the shadows. But they, indeed, don't go anywhere, but simply wait in the wings to turn into trouble for the company. Such a manipulative accountant, at the first sign of impending disaster, will rush to leave the company, leaving its management alone with problems, and go to fool a new gullible employer.

2. "I don't have time for anything"

Indeed, in the work of an accountant, rush jobs are not uncommon, and often they occur due to objective reasons. As a rule, these reasons are well known to the management of the company. These may be, for example, recent changes in tax legislation, made at the last moment or retroactively, the illness of a key employee, or program failure resulting in data loss.

But what if the accountant constantly, for no apparent external reason, complains about the workload and lack of time? A common response from executives (and, to be blunt, many accountants are actively pushing them towards this decision) is to add one more employee, two, three. But this doesn't usually solve a problem.

3. "The program counts this way"

Many novices, and sometimes quite experienced (but not very competent) accountants mistakenly believe that the developers of the accounting program have already taken care of everything and provided for all possible situations. Allegedly, it is enough to carefully enter the data, and the computer will do the rest. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this is not the case.

You should understand that a computer program is only a tool for automating data storage and performing complex calculations, such as a super-calculator, coupled with a super-notebook. A computer program doesn't know how to think like an accountant or how to find and correct errors on its own. If the program is operated by an unskilled user, then the results will be unreliable. However, you may not realize that your credentials are wrong until the very moment when these errors turn into serious trouble.

4. "I haven't completed a month yet"

Have you ever contacted your accountant on, say, the 10th with a question about the results of the previous month, and heard this phrase in response? It is possible to accurately calculate many indicators, such as production costs, costs, profits, and taxes payable, only when all documents are received and all expenses related to the reporting period are taken into account. And it can't always be done quickly.

For example, accounts for communication services, rent, utility bills, and many other accountants will receive, at best, in a week - one and a half after the end of the month. And sometimes much later. But these data still need to be entered into the computer, and a lot of manipulations must be done in order to finally get the coveted numbers.

5. "You can't do that"

There are also accountants who react to any initiative of the head with similar phrases: "It's impossible/You can't do this/We will be penalized/What the tax authorities will say/Etc". Indeed, accounting is hardly a place for bold experiments. But this doesn't mean that the business owner should put an end to new, possibly risky, projects for the sake of the peace of mind of their accountant.

Often such statements indicate incompetence - the accountant simply does not know the legal norms governing new relationships for them, or disloyalty - the accountant is satisfied with the current situation and doesn't want to waste their time and effort on helping to develop the company's business. Is this what you wanted from them? Such behavior may also be dictated by the fear that future changes in the company's business will lead to the loss of the accountant's position, and reduce their influence on decision-making.

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Thursday, 25 July 2024