Finance horror stories — cover
Caution: keep on reading at your own peril

The Terrifying Tales of Small Businesses. Part 2.

For our second instalment of this series, light the candles and take the time to read these truly terrifying tales of things that could go wrong with your small business — before it’s too late.

What you are about to read are documented true horror stories, and they are the stuff of nightmares; the kind of things that people never forget. They are horrible to live through, but in the long run, very useful — they teach you lessons that ensure the success of future projects.

These small business owners relive their tales of terror around the metaphorical campfire, so you don’t have to.

Warning: The following story may be relatable and cause nightmares.

Part Two: 10 Things That Scare Your Accountant

Have you ever wondered what gives your accountant spine-chilling nightmares?

We gathered a terrifying list of ten things that scare your accountant half-to-death. Many of these spooky situations are all too common with understaffed, overworked small businesses; fortunately, there are some easy fixes you can implement to keep your accountant from running away screaming.

  1. The Lone Rider: If one person is responsible for everything in your finance department (depositing checks, reconciling bank accounts, approving bills), your company is at high risk for fraudulent activity. Always separate accounting functions between multiple people.
  2. Account Graveyards: Has it been a while since you’ve reconciled your bank and credit card accounts? Accounts should be reconciled monthly to catch mistakes and ensure your financial records are up to date. Try using Airbank for this.
  3. Ghosts of Expenses Past: Do you really want to give your accountant a fright? Just drop a pile of crumpled, coffee-stained receipts on their desk! If you’re struggling to keep track of credit card receipts, consider using Airbank’s new invoice upload feature.
  4. A Mysterious Phenomenon: The only thing worse than a messy pile of receipts is no receipts at all. Expenses should always be documented with receipts, invoices, purchase orders, and/or copies of cancelled checks.
  5. The Paper Monster: Paper files can quickly grow into an unwieldy beast. They can also be easily lost, destroyed, misfiled, or difficult to locate when your accountant needs them. Try having your files accessible digitally, so your important documentations are at your fingertips at all times.
  6. Phantom Approvals: What is your organisation’s approval process for purchases? If you’re not sure, it’s time to set up a clear chain of approval to avoid any unauthorised expenses. A digital bill payment system such as BillDesk can make it easy to obtain approval before payment is released.
  7. Zombie Workers: Is your finance manager always at their desk, day in and day out, never taking a sick day or a vacation? They might be a zombie, a workaholic…or a potential risk for fraud. Accounting personnel should always be required to cross-train other staff and take time off from work. If any fraud is occurring, this will provide an opportunity for it to be exposed.
  8. Haunted By Emails: Email is a very useful method of communication, but it’s not the best way to share documents with your accountant. Plus, we all know that one person who never remembers to “Reply All!” Uploading your files to a digital document portal such as DocPortal is much more secure and helps to prevent confusion and miscommunications about important documents.
  9. The Unseen Menace: Closing your eyes during scary scenes might work for horror movies, but it doesn’t help anything when it comes to finance. Your accounting department should regularly undergo review from an outside party, whether that’s an audit, a financial statement review, or oversight from a finance committee.

Avoid getting yourself into a finance horror maze — with no way out — by making sure your accountant and finance team are not worked to the bone, and are adequately trained. Alternatively, you can use a finance management software like Airbank.

That’s it for today. Tune back in tomorrow for the grande finale in our exclusive Halloween series — The Terrifying Tales of Small Businesses

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