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  • Writer's picturePaula Field, CPA, CFE

FEAR or POWER, which do you choose?

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Last night I was lying in bed trying to unwind my mind from the day and fall asleep when I was startled to hear a low flying helicopter overhead. It instantly took me back to 911. Can you believe it? I often wonder how many people have the same response or is it just me…feel free to leave a comment if you go back to that day when you hear a plane flying over your house?

The events of the day were so traumatic, I don’t need to tell you, but the long-lasting after-effect for me was FEAR. Fear when I was lying in bed hearing planes overhead that they would somehow fly into my house like they flew into the towers.

Why is Fear in an accounting blog, you might be asking yourself? And what about Power? (I’ll get to the Power part in a minute.) You might be asking, who is afraid of accounting, taxes, profit, and tax planning? There actually is a lot of fear associated with my industry of profession, accounting and tax. Just think about the fear that hits you and the dread you feel when you receive a letter in the mail from the IRS. Would it surprise you that some people are so fearful that they never open the letters?

Or maybe you’re nodding your head in agreement because you have that fear. Well, I understand, I really do. Most people are afraid of the IRS. I am not an attorney, but I suspect most attorneys are afraid their IOLTA account won’t pass a state bar review… Why wouldn’t you be afraid? They can take your license to practice law for not handling your IOLTA account properly. That is a very valid reason for Fear.

Some people are afraid to find out how much money they owe the IRS every year. Another valid Fear! If you’re having a good year, it could be a lot of money! If your organizational structure isn’t set up properly, it could be even more! Have you saved enough? If you don’t know, you don’t know. If your accounting is behind, then you really don’t know. Maybe fear of the number is keeping you from even getting started or perhaps from finishing your accounting.

Maybe FEAR isn’t your deal. Maybe it doesn’t matter that you bought the lake house before you paid your taxes because you can just make more money, right? Well of course you can. But wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve done all you can to minimize that amount? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all that taken care of for your firm automatically, so the question is answered, and you don’t have to wonder?

I prefer to act and turn FEAR into POWER! How do you do that? Information is Power. When your accounting is current and up to date, you have the Power to make moves that can reduce the amount of taxes you will owe before the year is over. Without the information you are Powerless.

Every good business owner should be what I call Cash Powerful. – That’s a subject for another day, but the premise is the same. Power comes from information…and that’s all accounting is – financial information on the health of the business. When the information is timely it makes all the difference.

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