Recently, we were inspired by Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” to define the “why” behind our role as a CPA firm:

“We’re here because business owners and governments need solutions to their challenges — not a commodity product. Through our dedication to teamwork, development and relationships, we will help our clients thrive.”

The following is part of a series illustrating our “why.”

It’s fairly common business knowledge that if you neglect your books, they can quickly become a hot mess. But in 2012, we got a frantic call from a business owner who had perpetuated this problem for so long, his company was nearly under water. As he breathlessly ticked off the liabilities he had, we realized the situation was dire. We agreed to do whatever we could to help right the ship.

It didn’t take us long to uncover red flag #1: The company had a very complex structure of three entities. And to top it off, the books were so discombobulated they didn’t make any sense. Our first mission was damage control. The owner and his staff were using inappropriate accounting methods, which was creating a lot of extra work. We helped automate and streamline tasks as much as possible, and transitioned the company’s accounting from cash to accrual basis. This simplified a lot of the disarray right off the bat.

But it was by no means a fairytale ending. Change is difficult. The owner and his staff found it difficult to leave their old ways behind. It was like solving a Rubix cube every time we did their taxes. The company’s accounting assistant, fearing a devastating shipwreck, bailed. Finally, after several heart-to-hearts, the owner made a commitment to follow our advice no matter what.

It wasn’t long before we received an urgent call from him. This time our client was out of breath for a different reason. “My books are right, and I haven’t been able to say this in 10 years,” he exclaimed. It was a good day.

Previously, the owner and his staff had spent so much time trying to figure out their accounting. Now, with a streamlined system in place, they can focus on making money.

Things have already turned around for this once unstable company, and we’re proud to have been a part of the rescue.

Until next time,