My Business Paints an Overly Optimistic Financial Picture

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My Business Paints an Overly Optimistic Financial Picture

(to Our Customers, Vendors or Finance Sources)

This article is the fifth and final in this series by Firestorm Expert Council member Gary W. Patterson exploring the Five Key Areas where Risk may be lurking in your company, an excerpt from his book Stick Out Your Balance Sheet and Cough

Review Part 1 and take the Internal Exam Survey:

The Internal Exam – Five Areas Where Risk Can Lurk

Review Part 2: Question Today the Ongoing Value of Capitalized Items – Part 2 of 5

Review Part 3: When Your #1 Customer Loses Profitability – Risk Management – Part 3 of 5

Review Part 4: The Company Would Be Better Off Selling the Asset

How many companies have painted an overly optimistic financial picture to a customer, vendor, or financing source?

According to ADP Screening and Selection Services “44% of Americans lie about their work history.”

One well-publicized example was the case of Marilee Jones, who was the admissions director at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While she claimed to have degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it turned out that she falsified her academic degrees: She had no degrees from any of them.

If any of those 44% work at your company, might they stretch the truth a little while representing your company?

The effects of this are extremely hard to quantify. When does “puffery” become misrepresentation?

Murphy’s Law suggests not knowing your company’s real equity and risk areas will be a problem at the most inopportune time. Just take a look at all the items someone like me will ask for during a due diligence process and follow-up to see if your company’s rough areas remain hidden. If the numbers are clear, then it’s more difficult to misrepresent them—whether intentionally or not.

In our own ongoing survey to-date – The Internal Exam – Five Areas Where Risk Can Lurk – 33% responded True to the question:

My business paints an overly optimistic picture of our company to a customer, vendor, or financing source.

What’s your answer? We’ll cover the complete survey responses in our Companion Webinar:  August 15th, 2-3 PM: Find Your Million Dollar Blind Spots

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