Are you shaking your head, wondering how we could possibly claim that Fifty Shades of Grey and finance having anything in common?
If you read the wildly popular bestseller or saw the blockbuster of a movie this past Valentine’s Day weekend, you know the story: billionaire, sexy man meets beautiful innocent young woman. He teaches her about the world of bedroom bondage and she teaches him about being in an intimate human relationship.
Admittedly, zero to do with finance and accounting on the face of the story. But the work we have to do as people in intimate relationships actually quite closely resembles what we must do to have a good relationship with your accountant, especially if you want to take full advantage of her expertise.
The similarities are 3-fold:
- Control Issues. The first hurdle for many new relationships, even a financial advisor/accountant relationship, is control. It’s often quite challenging for a business owner to disclose the status of his books at tax time, or allow an accountant to work in his bookkeeping file without him present. Some individuals may not want their CPAs asking personal questions – even if the questions are to explore some financial areas where you might save on taxes or other expenses. Whatever the scenario, in order for you to take full advantage of your investment in your CPA’s services, you have to give up some portion of control to them. Show your cards a little, and your accountant can help you play a truly winning hand.
- Intimacy & Trust Issues. Authentic relationships – personal or professional – cannot exists without trust. Once trust is established, intimacy follows with time. In the final Fifty Shades book, ultimate relationship satisfaction is achieved when BOTH Ana & Christian trust each other. The same is true for your relationship with your accountant or advisor. Trust is essential – we’re not suggesting blind trust where whatever your CPA says goes. We’re suggesting a healthy trust – where dialogue is encouraged and both parties feel a certain confidential comfort in each other.
- Risk versus Reward. Finally, once control and trust issues are resolved, a good CPA or financial advisor can – and should – help you maneuver critical personal or business financial decisions. Should you buy a house? Should your business hire a new employee? What’s the best method for paying down debt? What tax issues may come up next year for which you should plan now? When you have an intimate, working relationship with a CPA, you can more quickly and confidently evaluate the risk v. reward of decisions like these. Do you think Mr. Grey made business decisions without his CFO in the room? Doubtful.
So don’t tie your accountant’s hands. (Leave that to Mr. Grey and his silk.) Trust your CPA, and allow her to introduce you to the exhilarating feeling of well-managed finance.