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Who’s Your Caddy?

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By Kevin McLaughlin, CPA

Senior Associate at Centri Business Consulting, LLC

Winter is officially here and the beautiful weather seems light years away. Playing a round of golf is a thought of the distant past and far-off future. Whether you are a casual golfer who likes to play a handful of times a year or a diehard who plays so often they practically live on the course, golf is a pleasant thought during the days of snow and below freezing temperatures. The thought of a round of golf during a nice crisp day can be energizing during these dismal winter months.

With the acceptance of winter, comes events of certainty such as the need to warm up your car in the morning or in many businesses cases, the preparation of yearend financial statements.  With this comes the responsibility that all financial reporting deadlines are met, internally and externally. For example, quarterly, semi-annual and annual financial reports all have specific deadlines, as well as some tax implications.

The financial reporting process of effectively and accurately producing statements that disclose an organization’s financial status to management, investors, and the public is very time-consuming and requires expertise. However, producing these statements is extremely important and vital in the growth of a company. The information included in financial statements help form better decisions, catch costly mistakes and provide tangible proof of success or areas of improvement for a business. Golf sounds pretty good right now, doesn’t it?

There are many aspects of golf to enjoy. It’s the only sport that acts as an activity that encourages full on socializing while playing. Win, lose, or draw, you can have a drink (or two) with your group during and after playing.  Every time out is an adventure and experience that cannot be replicated.

Finding the right caddy is an important aspect for many golfers. A caddy not only can help with general golf knowledge but also on the mental aspects of the game, playing the role of part valet, comedian, psychiatrist, friend, confessor and confidant. A caddy is an unusual mix of personalities who all the while stays in his player’s shadow, a modern day Don Quixote. A caddy can help with club selection, give a quick whited remark to lighten the mood or suggest a beverage to help the player and ease the tension of the round.

The right caddy can improve a golfer’s game both physically and mentally. The same comparison can be made for consultants and companies financial statements. Financial statements are vital in telling the story of a company. A company’s financial statements provide various financial information that investors and creditors use to evaluate a company’s financial performance. In many cases it is necessary to use consultants to help ensure the financial reporting process is operating effectively and efficiently. Consultants validate the financial reporting process and successively produce financial statements that are correct, accurate and timely. Consultants guide a company through a time that can be hectic in the similar way a caddy guides a player through a tough round.

Performing tasks like preparing year-end closing documents or properly accounting for an acquisition can feel as daunting as hitting a 30-foot putt to win a hole. However if you have a good caddy by your side with a good read, or consultant with the technical knowledge and experience to assist in the process, the task becomes much more obtainable. Consultants and caddies really do have some astonishing similarities. So while the heart of winter is here and financial statement deadlines are fast approaching take a deep breath and recognize that before you know it you’ll be on the first tee with a driver in your hand.

 

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