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How Someone From Accounting Can Kill Your Business

Yes — Accounting Can Kill Your Business

As seen on Forbes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love accounting. And I love people in accounting. In my mind, businesses cannot live without bookkeepers, accountants, and all the smart teams who work in this important area. As entrepreneurs, we need these people. Brilliant people. Amazing work. All good.

Okay, is that enough of a butter job? Did I lay it on thick enough? I hope so. My aim is not to ruffle feathers.

However, as a business owner and entrepreneur, you need to know something. Something important. A something that could be killing your company and you don’t even know it.

What is this “something”?

Read on and pray this is not happening in your business…

Pull out of my drive the other day, cell phone starts ringing. Glance at the number and it’s from Chicago. Well, since Chicago’s a big town with lots of influential people, I grab the call.

“Hi, this is Eric.”

First thing I hear goes something like this:

“This is so-and-so in accounting. We want to know when you’re going to pay your invoice. It’s past due. Are you gonna pay it?”

Taken a wee bit off guard, I ask the slightly annoyed caller what company she is calling from and exactly how late we are. She names the company, and then drops this bombshell:

“It’s due tomorrow.”

Huh? Am I really having this conversation? I mean seriously.

Feeling slightly agitated myself, I point out the invoice is really not even past due yet.  Goodness, as a customer who has purchased thousands of dollars worth of “stuff” over many years, can you please check the mail tomorrow? Maybe the check truly is in the mail.

And say, while we’re at it, how did you get my direct number? Did you even check with our bookkeeper first? She’s the best one to have an answer anyway.

After going round and round with her for about 10 minutes, I hung up the phone. First thought to jump in my brain? Well, quite frankly, tons of thoughts jumped in there. But here is the one that really popped:

This person really doesn’t get it.

I am the customer for goodness sake. Does she realize this? Does she realize how important I am to her company? (Well, not me per se, but you know, me as the “customer”.)

At the end of the day folks, customers sign the checks. Rent checks. Electricity checks. And by golly — payroll checks: yours, mine, everyone’s.

So with that in mind — and only in my humble opinion; this person should absolutely not be allowed to make contact with customers. No way; no how.

And please understand, I am not trying to be hard on her. She is probably top-notch in accounting. Off-the-chart smart. But does that automatically make her great at talking to customers on the phone?

Um… I would venture to say no.

Okay, so what if your accounting team is allowed to contact customers right now? How do you solve this dilemma?

Here’s your easy answer:

Let your highly-skilled, well-trained customer service team handle all contact with customers.

Your customer service team is trained to do this, right? Handle the tough issues. Speak with the customer. So let them do the handling. Let them take care of it.

In this day and age, you and I cannot afford to lose face with any customer. The competition is fierce. So we must put our best foot forward. Every time. With every customer.

Can a cranky little phone call from a well meaning, but untrained person in accounting damage your business? Yes. It can. And it will… unless you stop it today.

NOTE: If you don’t know me, I’m Eric. Husband, father & life-long entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur, let’s you and I connect right here.

Seriously. Here’s a killer formula:

Your Wisdom + My Wisdom = More Success

My email is: eric at mightywisemedia dot com.

(You can also find me hanging out on Google+, Facebook or Twitter @MightyWiseMedia.)

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About the Author: Eric T. Wagner is a husband, father and life-long entrepreneur. After starting multiple businesses, Eric is now focused on helping other entrepreneurs find the path to success in business and life. You can also catch his gig on Forbes or connect with him on Google+.

Comments

  1. Trent Hand says:

    Great post Eric. Setting up dedicated people to speak with customers EXCLUSIVELY is so key in any business. We all have areas of strength and it’s very rare that someone who is great with numbers and bookkeeping is also a “people person.” Separating these two jobs so that each person does what they are best at is top-notch leadership advice. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    Trent

  2. Eric T. Wagner says:

    Thanks Trent. Yes — it’s really important for entrepreneurial leaders to understand this. I run into a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t get it; and it ends up hurting their businesses.

    Appreciate you sharing my friend…

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