Sword Fighting with no Arms

King Arthur: You are indeed brave, good Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.
Black Knight: Oohh, had enough, eh?
King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: Just a flesh wound.

– Monty Pythons.. the Holy Grail…

David’s indulgence in my story last week with Jack – his inept financial guy – is unfortunately relatively common in the SME sphere.

Jack is like the black knight. He has no arms and no clue when it comes to the arena of a due diligence or acquisition and what a buyer will demand of the company.

What I have found with many prospects and several clients is that the quality of their financial recordkeeping is poor to sometimes p*ss poor if I’m being honest.

What I mean by that is that is they have a professional business on the surface, but when it comes to their financial record keeping they become completely inept.

Often it’s because they do not want to spend the few dollars to upgrade or outsource their financial bookkeeping and statements.

For example, I had a client who we doubled the offer for her business to several million dollars, but who refused to replace her financial guy who couldn’t even produce proforma PNL statements. He was cheap but completely incompetent.

She got stuck in due diligence.

I had another client who insisted on doing the bookkeeping and financial reporting in his own proprietary excel spreadsheets. The problem is he spent so much time copying and pasting cells he neglected calling and visiting customers and prospects.

Luckily he listened and for the investment of a few hundred dollars to outsource the book keeping and financial record keeping he was able to free several hours a week which he invested in driving up revenues and profits by better attention to customers and prospects.

Look the biggest unforced error that kills many deals is poor financial recordkeeping and reporting.

And there is no excuse because it’s the one area in our business we control 100%.

Is it worth sacrificing multi-millions to save $235 a month?

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