Excel Formula To Determine Day Of Week Based On Date Build a Better Team

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The following story is true. The name has been changed to protect the innocent. If you think this story is about you… you’re probably right.

Martyrs and terrorists

Leslie owns a roofing company, a business she inherited from her father. Back in the day, his father managed a small team and operated with handshake-deals and stacks of cash. Now that her father has retired, ambitious Leslie sees a different future. She wants to grow her company so she can make a fortune…and provide career opportunities for her beloved team. And she wants to build on her (and her father’s) reputation for taking good care of her customers.

Leslie called me one day after reading one of my articles. He explained the vision he had for his company and his intention to build an empire. In response to my question, he shared that…

  • He knew how much he had in accounts receivable, but only saw the financial statements once a year…at tax time.
  • She didn’t understand how the financial statements related to what she did every day… sales, payroll, materials… so she ignored the reports a lot.
  • She knew she was in debt… but wasn’t sure how much. She recently secured another line of credit to keep the cash flowing.

breath I confronted Leslie about her lack of financial literacy. “This is your company and your assets are on the line. You need to know. Tell me who is in charge of accounting in your company.”

His mother has been a bookkeeper for the past fifteen years. The mother books Leslie as “a favor”. She works more than 40 hours a week but nothing is actually finished or ready for Leslie to see, so Les has stopped asking for daily financial information. Everyone in the office ignores Mom, who seems to have a different set of rules than the rest of the team. When Mom is responsible for paying the bills, who she pays and when is a mystery. Once, when Stan questioned the warehouseman about his salary, Mom stormed out of the office crying, “And the thanks I got?” It took three apologetic phone calls to get Leslie back.

At the end of the year, Mom hands over whatever she collects for financial information to a friend named Art. Art is an accountant who files tax returns. Leslie asks Art for help understanding the balance sheet and income statement she will prepare for the return. He called and set up an appointment to meet with her. His secretary fixed a date to meet in six weeks. At that meeting, Art leaned over his large mahogany desk and patted Leslie’s hand. “You worry about running the business. I’m a professional. I take care of the accounting,” he said dismissively … then led her to the door. To treat him like this for money? He’s tearing her apart!

Martyr mother holding Leslie. Art the Intimidator has taken her hostage. I advised Leslie to fire them both.

“But then what?” Leslie clapped in response to my suggestion. “Where do I find another accountant? Who else do I trust with my money? Where do I start? And, by the way, my mother disowns me.”

Leslie asked me to help her manage her finances.

“I can do that. I can help you get to a known financial position. I can create a clean, accurate financial set for you. However, to build an empire, you have to learn to do it yourself. You have to build a team. You have to, in time, With the right data…in a format you understand…you can make better business decisions.

“And, Leslie, your mother will get over it.”

Here’s what I shared with Leslie about developing her financial team… Start by defining it WHO is responsible for what. Create financial statements. Here is a list of basic responsibilities for each of these positions.

Bookkeeper The bookkeeper is responsible for the day-to-day data entry into the accounting system.

  • Invoice/Accounts Receivable
  • deposits
  • Bill Payable / Accounts Payable

Note:

  • Bookkeeping should be done in-house. It’s not hard to do! 90% of accounting is entering invoices, collecting and paying bills. Perform these tasks in real time in your accounting system. There is no point in doing them and having an outside bookkeeper do them again.
  • Bookkeeping is a part-time position unless your company is very large. Come on! How many calls does your company make per day? How long does it take to enter 10 invoices? Apply 10 payments and collect a deposit? Five or six bills to pay?
  • Bookkeeping should be up to date. At a minimum, all information for the previous week must be entered and correct by the following Wednesday.
  • A customer service representative (CSR) or dispatcher can help with bookkeeping duties. For example, a dispatcher may be responsible for entering payables. CSR can enter invoices. It also adds system security, as not just one person is responsible for all accounting or all money transactions.

Controller The controller is responsible for compiling financial reports on a weekly basis.

  • Compiles financial reports.
    • balance sheet
    • Income statement
    • Request any other financial reports you need or need to help you make better management decisions.
  • Collects payroll information.
    • Calculates commissions and bonuses.
  • Verify balance sheet accounts – monthly.
  • Bank statement balances – monthly.
  • Checks for and corrects bookkeeping errors.

Note:

  • This is a very part-time position. Maybe just a few hours a week. This person may be in-house, or a subcontractor who comes to your shop once a week.
  • Use a payroll service like ADP or Paychex. They do a great job. Then, the controller can make journal entries from the payroll service reports.
  • Controller duties are often neglected in small shops. These responsibilities do not fall anywhere. Take responsibility for these actions if they are not done well. Then, you can delegate duties. Handle controller responsibilities and notice how your decision making improves!

The accountant is primarily responsible for state and federal tax compliance. A good accountant will provide appropriate tax advice, and help you manage your company for your best tax advantage.

  • Prepares tax returns.
  • Prepares monthly, quarterly, and annually-required tax reporting and payments.
  • Creates a depreciation schedule.
  • Helps manage accounts for assets, sale or purchase of assets.
  • Checks the controller’s reports for accuracy and tax implications.

Note:

  • Find an accountant who is passionate about helping you develop in-house accounting systems. He should be willing to help train your bookkeeper and controller or have someone on his team help in that capacity.
  • There is no room in your life for a bossy, arrogant, know-it-all, too-busy-for-you accountant.

Financial Planner A financial planner works with you to help you achieve your long-term financial goals.

  • Reviews your personal and company goals, financial reports and makes recommendations for asset management.
  • Helping you create end-game opportunities to sell or transfer ownership of your business.

These position statements briefly outline what needs to be done, responsibilities by you and your financial professionals. Now, that doesn’t mean you need four separate people. Here are some possible financial team rosters…

Option 1

  • A bookkeeper who performs controller duties.
  • An accountant who helps with financial planning.

Option 2

  • A bookkeeper.
  • An accountant who performs controller duties.
  • A financial planner.

Option 3

  • A bookkeeper
  • You perform controller duties.
  • an accountant.
  • A financial planner.

None of these professionals will relieve you of your company’s primary responsibility. Your assets are on the line. Pay attention. A good financial team can help you make better decisions. You direct them…they don’t direct you.

Be sure to have at least two people on the financial team. Be sure to document each process in writing. In this way you are imposing structure, accountability… and a system of checks and balances. You’ll protect your assets, and keep your company safe from fraudsters. And, you’ll keep your financial team safe from suspicion.

And you will never be held back or held hostage again.

Now, where to find them… Below are some ideas for finding your perfect bookkeeper! Or your perfect bookkeeper/controller. Of course, you will follow good HR processes for recruiting and hiring. This is an informal checklist of things I look for.

  • Winning Traits of a Bookkeeper/Controller…

    • She likes crossword puzzles.
    • He accidentally straightens objects on your desk.
    • She is impeccably clean. A messy bookkeeper is an oxymoron.
    • He is young at heart. I try not to be prejudiced, but I love children. Children are people younger than me.
    • She is Virgo or Libra. If you buy into astrology indicators.
    • He has good relationships…with family, friends, significant others. Multiple ex-wives and attendant emotional baggage are not good indicators.
    • He is a non-smoker. Always have a non-smoking office.
    • He takes it personally when the bank reconciliation does not balance. It will work like fleas on a dog until he knows it.
    • He loves Microsoft Excel.
    • He is a good cook. There are many similarities between cooking and accounting: the importance of measurement. Attention to order and process. Quick response to errors.
    • He was kind, enthusiastic and had a good voice. After all, this person should wear the CSR hat at least once.
    • When you ask, “Will you…,” he replies, “Yes, I can.”
    • She focuses on one task. He can enter a stack of payables without ever getting up.
    • His attention to detail drives people crazy. He will sometimes drive you crazy. You might say, “I understand that it would be more accurate to round the sales accounts to the fourth decimal place. I’m fine with whole numbers. That would be fine.” Better to “round off” the edges than to work with a different person.
  • Where to look…
    • Recruit new moms. An untapped source of valuable professional skills lies in women who choose to work part-time or from home because they have young children. These moms value flexibility more than money. Remember, all of these financial positions are part-time. Plus, new moms are great multi-taskers. It’s amazing what they can do in an hour.
    • Develop people skills that work for you. For bookkeeper and controller duties, you don’t need a degree-ed accountant. Does your team have someone with some of the characteristics listed above? Talk to him about expanding his role at your company by taking on accounting duties. You can learn accounting and financial management skills together.
    • Be non-discriminatory in your recruitment and hiring. Look for people that others may ignore. Physical disability is not a problem in these positions. I recently met a passionate bookkeeper for a large outdoor goods retailer. This woman was born with only two fingers. She loves her job and I bet she’s great at it!
    • Ask your accountant and/or financial planner to do the recruiting for you. They know people who know people. Put the word out.

I went through this process myself when I realized we weren’t making any money and no one was going to figure out how to fix it for me. It was my responsibility. I found a great finance team and I learned enough about finance and accounting to understand how good my team is!

Finding the right finance team to help build your empire can be a daunting task. Take heart and take my advice: don’t stick with a weak financial team. Fire them! Learn to do the duties yourself if necessary. Don’t take hostages. Know that there are people out there who love bookkeeping and accounting and decide to find them. After all, you are building an empire. What a great game to play! They will be honored to join your team.

Do you recognize yourself in this article? I thought.

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