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Thought Leadership from the Leaders in Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

Common Accounting Fears Among Business Owners

Let's talk fear. Fear of costs, fear of information, fear of change. Businesses are often held back by fear in one or more of these areas. Sometimes it isn't the fear itself but rather the unknown on the other side that keeps you from moving forward. So today we're going to address some common fears we encounter on a regular basis.

The Fear of Change

Often, our clients come to us after having their books done in the same way for many years. Sometimes it is a spouse or family member doing double duty and managing the books as best as possible when the business is in its infancy. For others, it may be a long tenured part-time bookkeeper spending a few hours a month on closing the books.

When a business arrives at our virtual doorstep with that kind of background, one of the biggest fears we see is the fear of change. While its often also the reason they came to us (needing change), the idea of actually moving away from what they’re used to can be overwhelming. Even something as simple as getting up and running with us can spark tremendous anxiety and trepidation—will making this change cause stress and strife? Is it really worth it?

While we’d like to believe we’re always “worth the change”, the answer to that really depends on your circumstances. For businesses that have truly outgrown their accounting, the fear of change should be less than the fear of insufficient accounting. But to help alleviate fear of change, we introduce our clients with a video from our Implementation Team, the first team a new client meets when they join us:


The Fear of Information

One of the most intriguing fears we encounter is the fear of information. Most often, this fear comes from deep within the business owner—the lurking suspicion that the books, or even the accounting in general, just isn’t accurate. As a result, mounting fears arise over what the numbers will reveal when the books are fixed and brought up-to-date. Sometimes you may even feel it’s better “not knowing”.

Except, of course, that’s not the case. Businesses can fail over inaccurate accounting and make disastrous decisions when based on the wrong information. Fearing information is setting your business up on a calamitous course—and demands rectification early and often. It can be very hard to face the reality of your information if it has been overlooked for a long time. But once your information is accurate and reliable, fear is replaced by certainty and assuredness that you can make data-driven decisions to grow your business. Our Senior Controllers discussed some of how they approach both our clients’ data as well as the partnership with our clients to help alleviate some of the fear of information:


The Fear of Cost

This is a very reasonable and very common concern. We often hear that we are “more expensive” than perceived competitor (though the alternate accounting options are rarely competitors in a comparison). Truth be told, we appreciate this distinction. Clients whose priority is truly having cheap or low cost accounting are better suited for other providers. But for many, the fear of the cost is attached more to the unknown than the actual fee for services. And most of that is directly connected to what you’re getting. We discuss price vs. value with every client, and the ones that are truly invested in having their accounting drive their business growth usually see the cost of good accounting as an investment in their future. But to help our prospective clients understand the value, we connect them with our current clients. Because sometimes offsetting the fear of cost just needs to be experienced.

What are your fears when it comes to hiring accounting services?

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