The Interim Controller

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The Monday Morning Memo

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WISDOM TO HELP START THE WEEK

The Monday Morning Memo has been produced as sage business advice for over 13 years.  These are some of the favorites.  If you would like to receive the Monday Morning Memo, you can sign up by clicking here and typing "MMM" in the subject line.  You can cancel at any time.  Our mailing list is confidential.

 
 

 
 
Chance favors the prepared mind
—  Louis Pasteur

BELIEVE IN YOUR SYSTEM

Believe in your system, stick with it, make improvements to it, and then, make it work for you.  It is important to improve processes and systems to become more productive, more cost effective and more efficient; however, it is equally important to determine if the proposed change or changes will achieve the desired results and at what cost.

It sounds pretty simple, even basic, but I have seen many recent changes that simply did not work.  So, evaluate as well as you can all suggestions that come to you that are designed to improve what you do.  Be sure they “fit” into your blueprint, into your existing methods, capabilities and processes.  To the extent possible, be sure the required changes will, indeed, produce the desired improvements. Implement them, then, and monitor their impact.

CLOSING THOUGHT
 It all boils down to knowing what works for you or for your company.

THANKS … HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 JERRY


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.
— Charles Darwin

 GLASS HALF FULL?

Thomas Edison’s laboratory burned to the ground one day in 1914. Walking among the ashes the next morning, he said: “All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

Edison was, clearly, an optimist. Being a pessimist or an optimist is largely a matter of choice. We can change the way we feel and the way we approach our work.

There have been many books written about optimism and how powerful a force it has been, but where I see it most vividly is in the lives of those who have suffered and overcome tremendous setbacks to accomplish great things … the thread that runs through all of these stories is the strength of mind to maintain optimism.

 CLOSING THOUGHT

The people I admire most are those who have come back from failure and know they can do it again, if they have to.  What a great attitude!

THANKS … HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 JERRY

 
 

If you let conditions stop you from working, they’ll always stop you.
— James T. Farrell
 
 

 THE ONE TRUE BENEFIT OF A GOOD ACCOUNTING SYSTEM

I had the great good fortune in my career to work for companies that valued their ability to account and report well. I was also fortunate to have worked for several truly great accounting professionals.

Based on my experiences at those companies with those people, I have concluded that the one true benefit of a good accounting system is that everyone using the reports generated by the system understands exactly how the company is performing.

As a result, they are able to make informed decisions concerning the company. This group of people who need the timely, understandable and accurate reports that a good accounting system produces includes the company management, the company advisers, the company owners, those who review or audit the company, those who prepare the tax returns and reports for the company, those who loan money to the company, those who invest in the company and those who are charged with producing those reports.

In public companies, particularly as a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, either these good systems exist already or will exist soon. For other reasons, the same holds true for most privately held large companies.

For many reasons, for small to mid-size companies and for startup companies, getting to “good” is almost always a struggle.  This does not need to be the case, and I believe it is even more important for these companies to have a good system that provides them with day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month current, accurate and easy to understand financial reports.

With today’s technology, today’s accounting systems, the ability to reconcile bank accounts and credit card accounts on a daily basis and the availability of reasonably priced expert help and training, getting to “good” is well within the reach of almost everyone.

 CLOSING THOUGHT

Over the thirty-five years that The Interim Controller has been in existence, well over half of our clients have been start-ups or small to mid-size companies. For many of these companies, the accounting function was viewed as a means to pay payroll, pay bills, produce invoices, collect money, make deposits, provide a periodic cash status, provide information for the outside accounting/CPA firm to produce the income tax returns and/or financial statements to a lending institution for the purpose of securing a line of credit or a loan.

In most cases, the companies that did well were the ones that changed the primary focus of their accounting system to providing timely, accurate and understandable management reports.

If this memo sounds a wee bit like an advertisement, then, perhaps it is. I just want to spread the word that a good accounting and reporting system is an essential part of a well-run company.

 THANKS … HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

JERRY


The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
— Ben Stein
 
 

TEN TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME

  1.  Prioritize
  2.  Be ruthless with E-Mail
  3.  Restrict your use of the telephone
  4.  If you don’t have time for something, just say so
  5.  Limit your availability
  6.  Protect your productive time
  7.  Plan your day the night before
  8.  Don’t get buried by paper
  9.  Group your appointments
  10.  Confirm appointments

 CLOSING THOUGHT

These ten tips from Megan Tough are especially helpful when a person just can’t shake that feeling of being overwhelmed.

THANKS … HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 JERRY


 
In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
— Robert Heinlein
 

YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN

And, you must have the ability to execute your plan. Without a plan, you are like a rudderless ship that only by chance will ever reach port. It’s pretty simple, really. A goal is where you want to get … a plan is the set of actions you take to get there. It applies to the many little goals that appear daily and to the large goals that define the important things – including your career and/or your business.

 Building something solid ... a home, a building, a business ... requires a plan.

 I’m not going to tell you how to write a business plan (there are hundreds of resources for that); rather, I’m going to tell you why you should:

1.   A plan will force you to operate out of reality, not out of emotion.

2.   A written plan provides the framework for making financial decisions based on real numbers and good decision-making.

3.   A plan creates believability. It gives substance to your dream. Others will see your vision more clearly.

4.   A plan will reveal a sequential process for growth. It connects action to money.

5.   A plan will challenge you to define what you really want.

6.   A written plan creates the opportunity, no matter where in the life stage an enterprise may be, for the owners and builders to optimize the value of a business.

 CLOSING THOUGHT

 And, you have to have a Plan B. No time like right now to prepare both … remember, clear and simple.

 THANKS … HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 JERRY