As I write this part, my heart thinks warmly and fondly of Karen.
In the summer of 2007, I was introduced to a woman by the name of Karen Harvey. She had just started working at the firm I had appointed to take care of my accounting matters and it wasn’t long before she was not only saving my sanity on the accounting side, she was also making me see that numbers and profit and loss statements could be fun.
You see, in my world, numbers don’t equal fun! They equal pain and often mass confusion, yet they are a necessary part of business you HAVE to understand.
Karen made this understanding part a lot simpler than others I had worked with in the past. She made it fun and I always loved calling her when I had a numbers crisis on my hands.
Accountants are often stereotyped as boring nerdy types who have a strange fascination with numbers. This is why they become accountants.
Yes, Karen was this type, but at the same time, she was an amazingly personable, friendly and easy to get along with human being.
In time, we grew to become good friends, and it was not just the accounting stuff she would advise me on, it became life stuff as well.
Karen would often refer to putting on a certain type of hat whenever we spoke. If it was boyfriend troubles, Karen would put on her “relationship” hat and if it was general advice about life and business, she would put on her “mentor” hat.
Yep, this woman wore many hats for me and over the years, she became one of my most trusted, respected and liked members of my inner circle.
She was a key player in my A-Team. I would often tell people that Karen knew more about me than what I did!
The truth was, she kinda did.
I lost Karen suddenly to a brain aneurism this March just gone and it shattered my world. She was just 42. To be honest, I’m still shattered. I thought she’d be with me forever.
The reason I chose to share this story with you is because throughout your life, if you’re lucky, you will come across a Karen. Know that if you happen to find this person, he or she will be incredibly rare because holding more than one position on your A-Team is uncommon.
As you can see from my relationship with Karen, part of finding a great accountant is having the ability to have open conversations.
When you don’t understand something, you want to feel comfortable that you can share your questions without judgement.
Having a relationship with your accountant where you can ask what might seem like silly or dumb questions is super important.
Remember, they are the expert and if you don’t understand something about your financial statements or are still trying to figure out what capital gains tax is and how it works, your accountant should be willing to explain it to you in simple terms, again and again, until you get it.
When you have a great accountant in place BEFORE you buy property, they can also advise you on WHICH NAME you should buy property in.
In other words, your accountant may in fact advise you to buy the property in a different name or entity, such as as Trust or Company.
For first home buyers, it is usually recommended you buy the property in your personal name but talking to your accountant about this BEFORE you sign a Contract is paramount because if you have to change the purchasing name on the Contract mid-purchase, you can run into all sorts of dramas and additional costs.