Why you should most definitely give a sh*t about accounting.
Updated: Jan 17, 2020
You don't know what you're doing.
There, I said it.
You don’t have a DaM clue what you’re doing.
But feel like you should do.
Yes, generally you’re an intelligent, driven, capable business owner! You’ve done it so far mostly ON YOUR OWN. You’ve been CEO, Marketing, Sales, Warehouse, Operations...
But, and it's a BIG but.. You don’t do the finances. The accounting. The numbers... (*cue scary music*)
But it's ok, because you can just pay an accountant, right? They make sure you don't get into trouble, you do what you're told, you pay them some money, and then some more money...
But, you don't really know WHY. or HOW. Or, well, anything. Because if you can't get the numbers, it means you must actually be sh*t at everything else too right? If you don’t get the numbers then, really, you’re not as clever as you thought you were. You’re faking it all! (Impostor syndrome in full flow here)
What's wrong with you? Why do you not understand the numbers?? Why do you find them so freaking scary???
BECAUSE YOU ARE NORMAL
Numbers are scary. I get it.
We are conditioned to think that numbers = maths, and, well, #maths is hard. The only people who like maths are geeks. Accountants are geeks. They are boring and have no people skills. They aren’t creative.
THEY ARE NOT LIKE YOU AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE THEM.
But you know what? It’s all a lie.
Well, mostly. Some accountants (*ahem, myself included*) are actually really creative and friendly and lovely and... oh wait. Sorry. The important point was about the accounting itself.
You see, the 'numbers' may seem like another language to you, but, really, that’s the point! Accounting IS another language! The ‘numbers’ are the language of business. It is a way to communicate with and understand a business.
So I'm here to be your interpreter / advisor / business conversation teacher! It's going to be ok!
So, why is accounting described as the language of business?
Well I define accounting as being "the art* of presenting financial information".
And, importantly, information is what we use (assuming it is useful, more on that later) to help us to make decisions.
Key idea: Accounting = information
As a small business owner / entrepreneur / solopreneur, or however you wish to define yourself, you are constantly making decisions. And, ok maybe I’m assuming here, but I reckon you will want to make the, well, ‘best’ decision that you can in any situation? And how do you do that? You want to have relevant, usable information on which to assess your choices and then base your ultimate decision.
Making decisions is you making choices, and to make choices you will often have to ask, and then answer questions.
How much should I make? How much can I sell? What price should I charge? Should I concentrate on offering A or offering B? Or maybe the simple, eternal "WTF am I doing?"
All. The. Questions.
Information can help you to answer questions in the best possible way.
Information is what will help you to become more profitable, more successful and more witty. OK, the last one is a bit of a stretch, but hey, let’s shoot for the stars right?
So you want to give a sh*t about accounting, because accounting is the information that helps you to make better decisions, and therefore to make more money.
Understanding the numbers, engaging with your business finances, is what will give you the power. The power to listen to your business. To understand your business on a deeper level. To make confident financial decisions. To own it. You lil asset you! (A bit early for an accounting joke?? OK. Noted. I’ll come back to this one)
Accounting will help you build a better business, one DaM thing at a time.
*“I am an artiste!” often gets a better reaction than I’m an accountant lol