How My Mums Advice Is Scarily Applicable to Trust Accounting

May is the month for Mums. So in light all things mothers, we thought we’d ask our staff what annoying things their Mums used to say when they were growing up. Susan was quick to respond with ‘Don’t pull faces or the wind will change’. Well we guess she took that advice on board! Jessica’s mum’s favourite was if she ate all her carrots her hair would turn curly. She on the other hand clearly didn’t eat enough because he hair is dead straight.

We got the standard ‘Ask your father’ from Jerome and Veronique’s mum. Jo’s mum’s advice was “It’s ok to go to the line, just never cross it”. and even better she wasn’t kidding. Tracy’s mum, who was an actual bookkeeper was ‘You can’t account for stupid”. A clear frontrunner at this point we believe.

Now we’re getting closer and one of my mums clangers (she had many) was “Start out how you intend to finish”. Now growing up, I never knew what that meant. But I realise now how scarily accurate that advice is with most things, especially in business.

Getting off to a Good Trust Accounting Start

It is an unfortunate reality that most agencies starting from scratch will incur trust account breaches within their first 12 months of business. Any business in its first year is bound to run into some obstacles. So much so, that 60% of small businesses in Australia close their doors within the first three years. Whether it be from cashflow issues, expanding too quickly or inexperience. What steps fo you need to take to avoid the same peril?

As a new agency, your focus tends to be on just making it on your own with emphasis and energy placed on keeping the doors open with money flowing in. So you focus on new Sales and Property Management listings and tend to overlook those nitty gritty, tedious administrative tasks that keep the cogs of the business moving.

In our haste to succeed and flourish, we cannot overlook the compliance side of the business. Whilst we need sales and listings to bring the money in, compliance is going to keep those doors open.

How Mum’s Advice Comes in Handy

Mums have an incredible skillset. We all know that. From kid-wrangling to chef to project manager to financial wizard. These skills are frighteningly similar to the skills needed for running a successful trust account.

So how can we apply these motherly principles to our trust accounting practices and avoid future breaches?

  1. Multiskilling
  2. Blocking time for good time management
  3. Regular self-audits
  4. Maintain data integrity
  5. Process driven not outcome driven

Is this you? Have you been on a growth mission these past 11 months and neglected your trust account? Never fear. It is never too late to get things in order before your annual audit. We have some useful guides for you to assist.

  1. Free audit prep checklist
  2. Surviving Fair Trading checklist to ensure you survive a random inspection

So take a leaf from Edna’s book (yes my mums name is actually Edna) and “Start out how you intend to finish” for the next financial period.

Start adopting some of those ‘mum’ skills and pay more attention to your trust accounting practices and keep those doors open for years to come.

– Jane Morgan is the Director of End of Month Angels, a consultancy firm specialising in Trust Accounting. Jane knows the legislative requirements of running a successful Real Estate office through her 22 years industry experience. Don’t trust just anyone with your trust accounting. Book an appointment with an End of Month Angel today.