When launching and running a business there is a lot to do. Major and minor things overlap and all take valuable time. The question is, which time-consuming thing is important. Or, at least important enough to require the time and attention of key decisionmakers.

One area that is important is the accounting function. All stakeholders want to know what is going on with the numbers. And management / founders want to know things are under control.

Many founders decide to do accounting functions themselves. Although reasons will vary, the most common one seems to be a practical expedient. They were there when it needed to be done. They are the conduit for all of the information. And a natural control for the finances. While they are certainly closest to the business and have the most vested interest in getting things right, accounting is probably not the best use of a founder’s time. As the business grows time will be consumed by other activity, diminishing any ability to provide control by doing it yourself.

There are other things founders could be doing. Striking a strategic deal. Raising capital. Developing high level strategies. Developing the related business plans. These are all important things. Probably, more important than getting the essential but rote bookkeeping activities completed.

For example, business plans at an early stage business are always in a state of flux. The initial thoughts about market approach, timing to market, channels, costs all need to be adjusted as business plans are executed. This requires focus. Focus to understand what is happening. And why. And then to develop your reactions to those changes.

At the end of a marathon session working through these matters, imagine sitting down to … pay a few bills. Or reconcile the bank accounts. Usually there are any number of other things that are better way to reset than getting down to the clerical tasks.

Imagine those accounting tasks being complete. Ready for a review if you want. But not an absolute necessity because you know they are done and done right. Just pick them up and lay them into the next iteration of your forecast.

That is why you don’t want to do the accounting yourself. As good an accountant as you are, you don’t have the time. Or, if you do, should be spending it on something else.

Learn here how Edward Thomas Associates can help.

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