When you have a product that has been proven over and over to save small business lives you are so passionate about it because well…. it could be like a doctor could feel when they save a patient’s life right? Small business is after all a life that supports families and pays the doctors’ bills.
A slight difference is that Doctors don't have to convince their customers to allow them to save their lives do they?
Another example perhaps is that vehicle mechanics don't have to convince people that they need to have their vehicles serviced regularly to avoid a huge cost when something breaks for good or because something could go so badly wrong that they could have an accident if they delay, do they?
Why then do so many small business owners wait for something to go so badly wrong to threaten their livelihoods that support their families and pay for their doctors and vehicle maintenance costs before they take accounting for their small business as a given?
I am reflecting on the past 12 months since today is the last day of the South African Income Tax year 28 Feb 2013.
It has been a bitter sweet year for us. It has been sweet because of fabulous small business customers who are using and loving the FIGG products for their simplicity and familiarity of being in Excel while at the same time delivering education and reporting to manage their businesses and eliminate the stress of last minute cramming for an accountant.
Bitter sweet because the past 12 months highlighted for us just how many small businesses do not do their accounting (or even keep their bank statements and details of the payments made) from day one. We have walked the stressful path with some of these small businesses who have reached out to us for help and who have paid a severe, totally unexpected and unnecessary cost and this is so sweet to have been honored to be called on to help and then bitter, knowing how many others like them are out there, “dying”.
On my mind today is small business owners who delayed doing their accounting for 2 to 5 years. The only reason that they did then begin to do the accounting is because they needed Financial Statements for their banks or investors or the Income Tax department "helped themselves" to hundreds of thousands from their bank accounts because they had failed to submit income tax returns.
Without fail, every customer who we helped through this stressful time told us that they never ever thought that accounting and filing was "this important" and failure to do it would cripple them.
Some customers assumed for 2 to 5 years that their accountants were doing "the necessary" and when the customer then called the accountant to either get their financial statements or ask why hundreds of thousands had been taken from their bank accounts, the accountant was either nowhere to be found or just didn't return calls or reply to e-mails.
So now, the customer is not only dealing with the horrific financial burden and shock but also has a mountain of work to get through to get up to date while the interest on funding is growing to the point of bankruptcy with sleepless nights. Plus the cost of having to catch up and sort out the arrears accounting work (copies of bank statements alone cost up to R25.00 per page and there is nothing stopping the bank from printing 3 transactions per page if you know what I mean!). Terribly sad.
I could write a fully-fledged 500 page small print novel but I am going to wind it down and just ask:
Please, if you are or have started a small business, don't delay with your accounting. The Small Business Accounting system at www.figg.co.za costs R199 – if you are not using an accounting system currently or doing any recording in Excel already this will be the biggest return on investment you will ever make. The system comes with video tutorials that supprt you completely especially if you are familiar with Excel and you certainly don't need to be an Excel expert.
It took 2 years to develop the FIGG Small business accounting system to make it simple for you to use giving you powerful but beautiful and easy to understand results. You are guaranteed to appreciate the beauty of being able to see your very own business results in black and white with a click of a mouse. The system was first developed for the South African and Namibian market and then demand required us to develop for the USA and UK market so we have the 4 now and can develop for other countries also at your request.
One more thing; if your accountant is not communicating with you directly at least twice a year and not irritating you just slightly with requests for documentation, then they are not doing the work required.
Time flies so make a note in your diary in January and July that your accountant should be contacting you or time will run away from you and when you look again it will be 2 years later and very costly for you.
If you are not sure what your accountant is meant to be asking you for and what you must get in from your accountant in the event of them disappearing, please e-mail me on email@example.com and I will send you a list for free.
Yours in accounting discipline and support of small business,