The accounting firm's mistake teaches us important basic accounting lessons that go beyond crunching numbers. Here are a just of few to keep in mind:
After crunching your numbers, have a solid plan for delivering the results to your accountants and shareholders - or millions of people watching on TV. The Best Picture presenters got the wrong results envelope partially due to challenges with organizational flow. Make sure all relevant staff know and understand the plan.
Stay focused on the task at hand
Accounting requires strong attention and focus skills, and it appears one of the accountants made errors due to distraction. Instead of focusing on the Best Picture award, one accountant admits he was tweeting pictures of Best Actress winner Emma Stone backstage. Take structured breaks, only after your task is done.
Know it's not over until it's over
By the end of the Oscars, the accountants were likely tired after a long, full night, adding to the likelihood of making errors. During busy periods like tax season, it's important to have a plan to ensure you get the rest and support required to work accurately.
Correct mistakes as quickly as possible
When the presenters announced the wrong Best Picture winner, the accountants immediately let staff know so they could handle the error. While embarrassing, it's always better to correct accounting errors proactively, letting key stakeholders know and issuing an apology. Trying to cover up errors ultimately doesn't work, and might cause you to owe penalty fees later- or worse.
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