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Weekend edition April 05, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Got an accountant? PYA shares tips for crafting a good financial narrative

PYA's Pat Lewis shares how accounting is all about telling a business' story.

“What comes to mind when you hear the word accounting?” asked Patrick Lewis, PYA’s Principal of Client Accounting Advisory Services. He presented to the Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator companies on Tuesday afternoon.

“Some say finances, some say taxes, and others just think it’s boring,” Lewis said. “But really, accounting is all about telling a story.”

Lewis explained that unlike some content creation and media, accounting paints a very accurate financial story of a particular company. The financial story is the most interesting and important to future investors or stakeholders.

“The books don’t lie, so what financial story are you hoping to share in the future?” he asked.

Pat Lewis, PYA

The Techstars companies come from various backgrounds; some are based outside of the U.S., some are funded primarily through grants, and others haven’t generated revenue yet. However, they all shared a similar sentiment: financials are a pain point.

Some stressed the pressure of keeping and collecting receipts at the end of the month. Others stressed the cost of hiring an accountant or outsourcing to an accounting firm is a cost too burdensome in the early stages. And some stressed the pressure of keeping track of all the deadlines. There’s a lot to think about and learn.

“How long does it take to learn a new language? That’s kind of what it’s like to try and learn accounting. You can learn the basics in a couple of months, but you won’t be fluent enough to avoid pitfalls,” he said. “Accounting is the language of business.”

According to Lewis, once a company is ready to work with a CPA or accounting services firm, they should invest time into establishing a relationship. An accountant will be in the company’s books every month to make sure everything is balanced. The CPA has direct access to review the company’s financial story.

“I cannot stress how important it is to like the person you are working with. You have to like them, and they have to like you,” Lewis said.

If you want to learn more about the accounting, tax, audit, and advisory services available at PYA, visit the website.

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