More agreement needed in household finances
November 27, 2013

Canadian accountants likely spend the majority of their days pouring over the financial figures provided by their clients, whether they be individuals or entire businesses. As some of the most highly qualified economic experts in the nation, accountants and bookkeepers are the types of professionals any Canadian company owner would want handling tasks like accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, tax filing and other responsibilities.

After all, accountants and bookkeepers went to school for an extended amount of time to be able to take care of all of the financial needs of a company of almost any size and industry. 

While it can be very tempting for accountants to just leave their work on their desks and not apply their skills when they go home at the end of the day, that's not always the best approach. In fact, when accounting experts head home, they should be personally motivated to record and manage household expenses and outlays. 

Recent information from the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada supports this view.

Make joint financial decisions
The CPA suggested that for optimal results, spouses need to work together to make financial decisions. This is true even if one of the two is literally a bookkeeping expert. The good thing is, many Canadians are already doing this - 85 percent of respondents said they consult their partner before making a major purchase. However, the figure dipped below 50 percent when measuring how often Canadians consult with spouses to ensure tax returns are filed and bills are paid.

"Open lines of communication are important to make sure that couples are on the same page when it comes to money management," noted CPA Director Nicholas Cheung. 

What should professionals do?
Wouldn't it just be easier if the accountant in the family handled these types of responsibilities? While it might be more practical, the professionals won't want to feel like they're still working when they're at home, and their spouses will appreciate being kept in the loop about shared finances.

The best thing bookkeepers can do to make sure the adults in the family are on the same page is simply to work on his or her work-life balance. Even if you own your own accounting firm, the situation is different at home - there are people who will hold you directly accountable for each and every decision you make, because it's their money too. 

As long as professionals can draw a clear distinction between business and personal finances, they should be able to separate the two parts of their lives well.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5