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Some People Resist Planning

PlanningIt could be just an impression I have, but sometimes when an accountant is asked to put together a plan, he will balk. Accountants are used to certainty (for the most part): set closing schedules, set GAAP rules to follow, things you should and should not do, mathematical steps to reconcile imbalances, and so on. They also don’t have as much accountability because there are rules and that’s that. They can hide behind GAAP rules and they generally don’t have much responsibility for how the business runs. They will have responsibility for cash flow and talking about profits but as a general rule, they don’t come across as the driver of the success of the business.

Planning, on the other hand, involves guesses: how long it will take, when something will be done, who is best suited to doing task, involvement of others who may not be amenable to what you are doing, and so on. There is some accountability for making the plan or project work and you don’t have much control over some of the variables. Accountants may not be used to that and may therefore, throw up reasons for not doing the project or the plan.

Earlier in the week I was listening to what I thought may be resistance to developing a plan for a project. The project is apparently not moving along because of some stalling. I tried to figure out a reason why this person may be stalling and the only thing I could come up with is that she is not used to being accountable for a plan or project, which a lot of variables that may well be out of her control.  Like I said before, accountants don’t generally do plans or run projects. They do accounting entries or financial reporting.

Or, she just may not be ready to give up some of her work, which is what her project is. There is more work coming down the pipe and she needs to give up the ones she has.

So, we’ll see if she comes up with a plan.

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