Don’t treat your bookkeeper or accountant as a punching bag

Accountant punching bag JobKeeper,  decline in turnover tests, eligible employees, non eligible employees, cash boost, state government grants, unfair legislation, cash flow problems.

Somehow, it seems I am responsible for all the shit that has happened in the past 5 weeks.  But I am here to tell you I am not.

I actually have no involvement in the process of government decisions becoming legislation. I have no involvement in how the ATO interprets and applies Treasury information. Turnaround times for cash boost refunds are out of my control. And I have no scope to change what is fair and what isn’t fair right now.

Over the past 5 weeks, I have been burning the candle at both ends. Not because I want to, but because right now, my clients need me more than ever.  They need to understand what their future looks like. If I ditch my clients now because it all just got too hard, where does that leave them? Up the creek without a paddle is where it leaves them.

So yes, I am working constant 14-16 hour days. I am putting in so much effort that might not be rewarded financially due to a lot of my clients closing down.  They might never be able to pay me.  But again, if I leave them alone now, well they don’t have any chance of survival in the first place.

So yes, I am choosing to work long days. That is totally my choice and I am not complaining.  But the accountant and bookkeeper “bashing” needs to stop. I simply won’t tolerate it any more.

It is not my fault if the legislation is unfair, it is not my fault that some people are losing their jobs, it is not my fault some businesses have to close.  It sucks. It totally sucks, but using me as a virtual punching bag is not the answer.

People seem to think that all accountants and bookkeepers are booming right now, that for some reason we are rolling in the money. Well I am here to tell you that is not necessarily the case. Sure, some are charging for every single second of their time, and fair play to them. They have to survive – no hard feelings. But my conscious just won’t let me charge that way. I mean how can I charge for a JobKeeper registration for a client when I can see they have $12 in the bank account and their business is now closed?

Again, that is my choice, and I am not complaining. However, for people to assume that I must be rolling in the money when in fact , the harsh truth is that we have suffered a 37% decline in turnover in April alone and May might be even worse.

I am struggling to find the “spare cash” to pay my staff their JobKeeper topup allowance as the cost to me is around $4k extra per month that I just have to find from “somewhere”.  Trying to find that each month (and yes I know we get it reimbursed later) is going to be stressful for the next 5 months as I expect more and more of my clients to struggle financially.

Dealing with constant training updates to understand everything (I am talking about 10 hours per week constantly for the past 5 weeks), dealing with existing BAS deadlines and workflow, trying to answer all those “5 minute questions” which are never 5 minutes in duration, having difficult conversations with clients who have to make staff redundant.

We get updates on Friday night at 7pm to say that the JobKeeper rules have changed after we have already posted about 40+ topup payruns.  We are dealing with random business owners telling other random business owners the rules, when they don’t understand it themselves. We are having to unravel people who have already registered for JobKeeper but filled out the form wrong.

Then we cop the full brunt of all that frustration as who else can people complain to.  The ATO won’t listen, Treasury won’t listen.  And I am pretty sure business owners don’t have a direct line to Scott Morrison.

None of that is fun. No part of the past 5 weeks has been uplifting, or entertaining, or amusing. But I am a stubborn cow, and I won’t let people walk all over me for things that are not my fault.

So if you feel the need to use your accountant or bookkeeper as a virtual punching bag, then think again. We are here to help you. We are on your side. We too are suffering just as much as you. And we would really love your support right now.