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What The Holidays Can Teach Us About Accounting

Accounting? The holidays? You’ve got to be kidding me! 

Actually, as you’ll see, there are quite a few great lessons that accounting and finance professionals can learn from “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

It’s about priorities

The holidays are an incredible time to spend with family, friends, and those nearest and dearest to us. They’re a time when we’re away from work, and can focus on what’s really important in life. 

Whether it’s the smile of a new child or grandchild, the note from a dear friend, or a meaningful gift from a partner, nothing brings our overall priorities into focus than this special time.

So what can we learn from this, from an accounting perspective? In a word, priorities. Just like we have life priorities, we have work priorities, too. There’s a great parable where a young man visits an old, wise master, who asks him to fill a cup with dirt. The young man places small rocks into the cup until it’s full, and hands it to the old master. The master takes the cup and fills it with fine sand, which takes up the empty space between the rocks. “You see,” said the master, “You can always do more. But if you start with the little things, you’ll never have space for the big, valuable, important things. Know what the important things are.”

In your professional setting, know what your high-value, high-impact deliverables are, and prioritize these. Don’t let the sand, the little things, distract you from your big goals.  

Giving is special

Receiving a gift is a great feeling. But so is giving. The act of giving itself actually has numerous health benefits, both physical and mental.

Giving doesn’t need to be handing over a physical item. Some of the most important acts of giving can be completely non-physical.

In the workplace, this could be a word of encouragement, ongoing coaching conversations, or giving of your time in general to colleagues.

Take this spirit of giving into your work environment, beyond this holiday period, and share the cheer well into the new year.

Planning is critical

Ever experienced running around just before the holidays, trying to find meaningful gifts (that don’t cost an arm and a leg)? Around this time of year, planning ahead of time can save you tons of time, effort, money and stress.

It’s no different in accounting. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you’re prepared for any deadline or other eventuality that comes your way. No surprises, no worries, no stress. 

This is especially true when it comes to new accounting standards coming into effect, such as ASC 842. If you try to scramble to comply at the last minute, it likely won’t end well.

However if you plan ahead, and implement the correct processes and solutions ahead of time, you’re in for a smooth ride. 

Technology can save the day

A lot has changed over the past few years, with one of the most dramatic differences being in the way we shop. In the past, looking for the right gift was all about hitting as many malls and stores as possible, frantically comparing prices and hoping that you’d find that special something.

Today, you can do all your shopping from your mobile phone, effortlessly getting recommendations, and comparing products and prices. 

In your daily accounting life, technology also has the power to make things so much easier. Take leases for example. Without technology, you have to dig through heavy files and binders, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, then input all that information, create journal entries, ensure all calculations are correct manually, get your disclosure in order…and if you have to make a change somewhere, it’s a nightmare!

With technology like automated lease accounting software however, all this is done for you. Simply scan a document, PDF or spreadsheet, and the AI-powered software recognizes all the important information for you. It does the heavy lifting in terms of the calculations, creates audit-ready journal entries, takes care of the disclosures, and makes sure you’re constantly in compliance with the latest standards. 

It’s truly a game changer!

Happy holidays!

We hope you enjoy this special time, and come back refreshed, recharged, and raring to go. 

From our family to yours, we wish you the very best over the holidays, and we look forward to making your life a whole lot easier when you’re back at your desk!

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