I recently received one of those letters in the mail that all business owners occasionally get, yet no business owner likes: a notice of an audit for employment insurance. Not a big deal, but it did contain the words “government” and “audit”, so as an entrepreneur, my natural reaction is not a happy smile and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
As a dyslexic, especially when it comes to numbers – for example, in college, I struggled through Accounting 401 just to earn a ‘D’ – I have been obligated to find great people to delegate my bookwork and government compliance to. Otherwise, I would have been shut down a long time ago. On a regular basis, I regularly contract work with a decent-sized team of individuals, none of whom are employees. They are all contractors, perform their tasks virtually, share my values, and are badasses at what they do. It really is the direction many small businesses are moving toward, and I believe, the likely structure for service-based businesses in the future.
My business model is not a traditional structure. In fact, the people on my team literally live all over the world. I did have a reason for heartburn when I read this notice…and the old me probably would have gotten wrapped around the axle and worried about it non-stop.
Fortunately, I am practicing what I preach. The first thing I said aloud to myself after opening the notice is my favorite saying from the special forces, “Don’t endure any pain until it happens.” I scanned a picture of the letter and sent it Tricia, my accountant. She emailed back telling me not worry about it, and that she would coordinate with Jen and Sondra (my bookkeepers) to handle it.
Okay, I won’t worry about it.
About two weeks later, I received a single clarifying question that I was able to quickly answer. After three more days, I got a note from Tricia indicating we were all done. In the thread from the auditor, it said:
The 2017 UI Tax audit has been completed.
I did not find any problems or issues with 2017 as it relates to UI Tax.
The records were very good, and your quick responses enabled me to complete the audit in a short amount of time.
I am glad I did not worry about anything.
I clicked ‘Reply All’ and expressed my gratitude for each member of that team, how we had great systems and processes in place, and how we demonstrated a high amount of mutual trust.
This is a basic example, but helped me to realize the importance of having these three things:
- The right people in the right seats
- Clear process and accountabilities
- A high degree of trust
When this happens, the world becomes an incredibly happy place for the members of the senior team.
I want to say a heartfelt and humble ‘Thank You’ to all the members of my team. Without you, we would not be nearly as effective. As a team, we are making a difference.
As a leader, do you have a team that you trust? Are you interested in learning more about getting the right people in the right seats? We can help with that! Contact us today to find out how to get started.