Day 357: Meeting With Our Accountant.
We met with our accountant on our day off. It was a two-hour meeting, and it was incredibly helpful.
We asked if we were on the right track. The answer was, much to our relief, yes. We asked if we were doing okay. Yes. We asked why, if we were on the right track and we were doing okay, did we not have more money in the bank. We quickly learned that was something we had to answer. She pointed out that we give her financial information at the end of each month - she’s not involved in the day-to-day operation. She doesn’t see what’s going on in the kitchen each day. She doesn’t see the dining room. We have to start answering our own questions.
Our accountant pointed out that our labor percentage was well within industry standards. Our food costs, however, were high. That, she said, is something we have to figure out how to get under control. Is there too much waste? Are portion sizes the same on each plate? Are we updating our prices as food costs go up?
As far as the dining room: how many covers do we have each day? Do we base our estimations on customers, on table turnover, or on chair turnover? Joy and I just kind of looked at each other. We don’t have those answers. But we will.
Our accountant said we “must protect the corporation.” Everything we do should protect the corporation. Every move, every decision – everything. Joy and I got it.
The accountant brought up some other stuff. She told us in the future we may want to consider offering our employees simple IRA’s. She says there’s a tax benefit to it and it helps retain good workers. She said it appears Joy is the more emotional thinker than I am. I think I do have an easier time separating emotion from decision-making than Joy does.
We learned a lot. And in true Beth & Joy fashion, on my way out I saw the accountant had thrown away a bunch of old rubber bands. I reminded them of everything they just told me about watching every dollar and making sure I understood where each cent was going. Then, I reached down in the trash can and took the pile of rubber bands. It was undoubtably not a high point of my life, but I did need rubber bands so it probably saved me a couple bucks. I’m not proud.
One more thing…
Each time Joy and I head to the accountant’s office, we like to see how many of her promotional pens (the pens publicize who she is, what she does and has her phone number on them) we can walk out of there with. The answer was three. One time we got out of there with 8.
Next time I’m shooting for 10.