Integrity in the Workplace

Nov 2, 2019

One of the things that I hated about having a “normal” job was that I did not have any control over how the company was run. Integrity — along with everything else — starts at the top. I worked in many industries over my 30+ years of “working for the man” (as my daughter says). I have worked in construction, graphic design, retail, and government contracting, but the common denominator about any office is the owner.

In starting my own company, I had to set some goals. I based my goals on good examples from the past, as well as bad examples. For instance, I worked for an owner who had a “transparency” policy when it came to the books. He believed that sharing everything except payroll information was important to the morale of the company. So payroll was grouped into one large number and all of the other expenses were individual line items as they would appear normally for management review. Each month, I would project the Profit & Loss statement on the wall and I would go through the individual lines. The first month was terrible, nobody said a word, but as we went along people started to ask questions and more importantly, started to make suggestions. Turns out that if you want to run the trenches efficiently, you talk to the trench people. They saw unnecessary expenses and even over spending because we were buying from the wrong vendors. They made suggestions to enhance our service and make our service more economical. Profits improved and at year-end bonuses were handed out. Turns out the owner knew what he was doing. Giving people a voice and a stake in that company lead to great ideas and high morale.

I decided that my priority when it came to goals would be how I treated my clients. I think I have always treated them with respect and have been honest with them, which is very important in accounting. I also think that I have always listened to their concerns. But when you are a one-person operation, sometimes you need another opinion and a place where others can speak out. I decided to apply for accreditation in the Better Business Bureau. What I like about BBB is that it’s not a “write-a-check and you are a member” type of organization. You are vetted and only approved after a vigorous background check of your company. They are also a place where any consumer can go to check out your company or even file a complaint against your company. BBB will take the complaint very seriously and will work with both parties to resolve that complaint. I have since worked my way up to an A+ rating, which I am very proud of.