In response to 'Where have all the accountants gone?'
I was intrigued by your article and moved to respond. My name is Darrel Simpson and I am a 62-year-old accountant and owner of Beyond Accounting LLC in Ormond Beach.
I lost my job in 2004 when the resort I was controller for did away with my position. I tried to find a new job, but the openings were few and far between. So, in May of last year, I decided to start my own accounting and bookkeeping business. In the process of doing that I have developed a theory as to this decline in accounting professionals.
Since the advent of computers, the accounting industry has changed substantially. As I speak with business owners, I find many of them think that by buying accounting software, they can hire a data input person rather than an accountant and the software will spit out the financials for them to take to their CPA at year end to do their taxes and that is all they need. In fact, many of them only look at the cash balance and the net income and think they know how their business is doing.
If I go to the doctor and he does a number of tests like blood test, EKG and X-rays and he gives me the reports and sends me on my way, I would be very unhappy. The problem is I don't know what the tests mean. It takes a specialized education to interpret the results of the test. In accounting the same holds true. The financial statements can tell you what your business is doing that works and what does not work. It will tell you which products are profitable and which are not. It will tell you what employees are profitable and which are not. I can take a company from red to black in 90 days or less with the help of accurate financial data. I can benchmark that company and compare it to thousands of others about the same size in the same industry to see how it stacks up against other like companies.
Every business consists of three parts: marketing, production and accounting. Of those, the least understood is accounting and, with accounting software, business owners mistakenly think they have that covered. While I agree that bookkeeping is an expense; accounting is an investment. A good accountant can save a company multiples of what the company pays him.
This decline in accounting jobs has prompted me to reinvent myself and my niche in the marketplace. I now help small and medium-size companies outsource their accounting for a fraction of what it costs to hire even a part-time employee.
Darrel Simpson, Ormond Beach
Small business support depends on your vote
Patrick McCallister's article about local businessman Larry Curran's claim Volusia County isn't giving small businesses like his sufficient support smacks a bit of hypocrisy. I don't know whether Mr. Curran voted for the GOP this last go-round, but I suspect he did and he would be the first to claim he made his business on his own. The truth is, of course, support given businesses of all sizes from cities, counties, taxing authorities, the state and the national government are crucial to the success of local businesses. Keep this in mind when the next election rolls around.
James Williams, DeLand