This past week, someone lamented to me about a fundraiser that started with the best of intentions but somehow went off the rails. There were plenty of stories from the chief fundraiser, some of which didn’t make any sense.
One fact was clear, though. The money was gone.
Years ago, I started a joint venture with another tax practitioner. There was nothing too big, yet, because I’d learned from a prior partnership that ended disastrously with a lot of ill will. Start small. Don’t commit too fast to a partnership. It’s more than just contracts, you need to make sure you have the same vision, the same work ethic, appreciation for each other’s unique abilities and the same commitment to working through challenges.
Because there always will be challenges.
Even though my new partner and I were both in the financial sector, accounting was tough to get right from the start. That was my part of my partner’s role and there was always something that seemed to get in the way. Or, if there were records, they never were quite finished.
And then one evening an email came through, late at night.
The financial statements came through, at long last, attached to the email after some pretty tense conversations. And the email said that there was a little over $22,000missing.
Not only that, but my partner couldn’t continue. There just wasn’t enough money in the venture.
Well, probably there would be, if $22,000+ hadn’t been stolen after less than 5 months work, on top of fair salaries being paid.
Still, the money was gone and my partner was too. Like vanished.
A big chunk of the money had been in form of advances that our clients had paid for work to be done.
So I worked for free.
Most of the clients were mad and unappreciative.
They had been pushed aside and ignored by my partner, unbeknownst to me.
I fixed the problems for each and everyone of them. I can only remember one or two who even said “thank you”. I do remember the angry, rude and insulting commentsfrom many of the others though. They hurt to this day.
But I did the work anyway.
And I did it for free.
For me, it was more important that I did what we had said we were going to do. Even though it was unappreciated and I was unpaid for my work.
For me, that’s what it meant to be ethical. Doing what you said you would. No matter what.
All that history came flooding back when I was asked what was going on with this fundraiser. The records could be a mess. Or there could be money missing.
Right now, I don’t know which or if both are the case. But, I do know something.
Never put a broke person in charge of the money.
I’d done it before with a partner who would have made double or triple their salary from any previous year, if the work was done as promised. Instead, they took the money and I did the work.
In this case, a broke person was in charge of the fund raiser. The warning signs were all there.
Accounting is simply being accountable. A person who has no money could be someone who hit a bad patch and is recovering or it could be someone who has a history of bad relationships with money.
If a person isn’t accountable with their own personal finances, they aren’t going to be accountable with anyone else’s.
That was the lesson I learned then.
There is something else I’ve learned. Anyone can change if they want to, at any time.
Money doesn’t solve money problems.
But a new money mindset will. Stepping up and doing what’s right and being accountable for your actions, past, present and future, will.
And since we’re talking about business, investments and money, the accountability means accounting.
Are you ready to change your own accountability? Do you want to make changes that will take you, your family and your community to another level?
Or are you comfortable with where you are and just looking for someone else who has that same level of commitment to ethics and excellence to take advantage of?
Either way, maybe we’d be a good fit.
I have a special offer if you’re reading this before the 10 spots are taken. We have a new CPA working with us. For the next 10 clients, JoAnne and I will both be your CPAs. No extra fee. No hidden costs.
We are going to work together because it’s the only way I know to ease an experienced CPA into our way of working. JoAnne has a lot of experience already. We just need to work together a bit.
If this is of interest to you, give Richard a call at 888-592-4769. Please note that there will only be 10 spots. Once they are taken, they are taken.
You can also email Richard at Richard@USTaxAid.com.