Not all accountants are CPAs, but all CPAs are accountants. In fact, more than 50 percent of accountants fail the CPA exam their first time out. Pass or fail, all of these people have one thing in common: the professional know-how that can keep a business afloat. Anyone, regardless of profession, should follow the lead of these number-crunchers. Running your home like a business is not as difficult as you may think and is beneficial to your entire family.
1. Identify Your Top Priorities
Any good accountant knows that the most successful businesses are the ones that have clear priorities; do the same for your home and family. Sit down together and discuss your individual priorities and those that the family shares. Aim to accomplish one big thing over the course of the next few months. Once that goal has been accomplished, move on to another. This is a fantastic way to get the big things done.
2. Make It Clear
Once you’ve established your list of priorities, write them down. You don’t need to make a framed picture to hang on the wall, but you should place your list where it is easily visible. For example, write your priorities on a piece of notebook paper and stick it to the fridge. When you sit down to dinner, discuss what each member of the family has done most recently to move the family closer to their goal.
One of the best things that you can do for your family is to create a budget. You can use a spiral-bound notebook or a piece of software. No matter what you use, the budget should be something that the whole family can work within. Set up a list of your income and another of your expenses. If you have more income than expenses, decide as a family where the extra money will be best spent. Just like the employees of a company, when the whole family is invested, the budget is more closely followed.
4. Short-term Versus Long-term
Don’t confuse short-term issues with those that are long-term, and don’t try to handle both at the same time. CEOs of major companies don’t discuss the price of ball point pens in one breath and the idea of expanding in the next. If the kids need dealt with, set aside time to deal with them. If your relationship needs discussing, sit down and discuss it. Don’t decide how to discipline the kids in the 30 seconds that it takes to brush your teeth.
No matter your position in a company, you know what it’s like to need a vacation. Taking a vacation allows you to get a new focus on the tasks at hand. As parents, you need time away from the kids. As a partner, you need time away from your significant other. Don’t forget to take time out and relax; even if it’s for a 15 minute coffee break.
Running your home like a drill sergeant is never a good idea; running your home like an accountant is a fantastic one. Not only will your finances be handled better, but your entire family will run like a well-oiled machine. Use these tips to get your family organized immediately; they’ll thank you for it.
Author Brett Harris is a full-time finance blogger. Check out his recent article on Top 10 online accounting degree programs 2013.