I was called in to help a business whose owner had decided to call it quits. The owner was financially distressed as they didn’t have enough money to cover the operational costs of running the business nor that month’s payroll.
I walked into that company; a company that was in a very bad place and was shocked to find money – sat in a bank account that had not been touched since the business was set up.
There appeared to be an understanding that this money was not to be accessed and the bank was the one stopping them! My background in financial audit led me to question this – it did not add up – but this business had accepted this. Even their accountant was shocked that I was prepared to question the bank. Something nobody had done over the years – despite the serious situation they were in.
The business had had a team of in-house and outsourced accountants over the years and none had ever questioned the bank – was I wrong to challenge their bankers?
To cut a long story short, I was able to access the money, which was pumped back into the business – they didn’t have to close shop like they originally were planning to.
The owner was more than happy I had questioned the bank and wished she had brought me in years earlier!
Sometimes you just need to look at your business and its commitments with a fresh pair of eyes. Circumstances change, ideas change, solutions change and answers will also change.
On reflection, it was an unbelievable situation which reminded me that:
1. Bringing in fresh eyes on a business every few years is vital; especially the financial aspects. Work with the same people in the same way and you get the same results. If important fundamental things are missed at the beginning then they are very likely to keep missing it (for years) or worse still; cover up the fact that they missed it in the first place. These errors may cost you your business.
2. You really do get what you pay for and this is especially true when it comes to financial advice. Make sure you only take financial advice from the best. Acting on wrong, misleading or out-dated information is business suicide.
So why not make a decision to bring in that fresh pair of eyes – just imagine what they might find!