In 1999 when we were setting up our business, we sought out the help of a local father and son accounting firm. On the staff of the firm was a young man named Paul who was the “tech guy” for the firm. Paul set up the Quickbooks file for our business and almost 20 years later, I’m still using a larger, updated and more complex version of the file Paul set up for me. Whenever I had questions, I just picked up the phone and Paul steered me in the right direction.
There are pillars of knowledge and steadiness that every business relies on behind the scenes for their success. While we’ve worked with lots of different manufacturing partners in the past 20 years, we’ve only had one accounting firm ever. They prepared the financial documents necessary to adopt our daughter. We have watched their firm grow and move to another town and have celebrated retirements and the birth of children to the staff. They have cheered on our growth and successes and consoled us when we were discouraged. Our accounting team are the only people with whom we discuss our financial affairs so more than anyone else, they know the highs and lows we’ve experienced over the years. When we’ve had a particularly successful quarter I’m excited to send over our digital files because I know that they truly care about our success as we care about theirs.
So I gasped with horror today when we learned that Paul was killed with his father and an uncle in a car accident. None of the three were wearing seatbelts when the crash occurred. He left behind a wife and two young daughters. He was not my closest friend nor did we socialize together. But behind the scenes, he made sure that our files were safe and that we had support for the software that runs our business. I relied on him and I valued his contribution to our business. Our accountant, his boss and friend, will continue to manage our taxes and will, I’m sure, find someone to assume Paul’s responsibilities. After nearly 20 years, however, I’m going to miss calling someone with whom we’ve had such a long and loyal history. Rest in peace Paul.