Saturday, December 8, 2012

Non Material Life Results

Stick to the important things; "Don't Sweat the small stuff";  ABC classification of Inventory; The rocks in the jar story; and the list goes on.

"Basically, 20% of what you do brings about most of the results in your life..... and 80% of what you do is pretty much wasted time".  Kerry Shook "One Month to Live".

Countless times I have read self help books about focusing on the important things in life.  Don't let the details override the big picture outcomes desired.  Yet, we all get caught up in the 80% and let that consume our worry and attention. 

I can get caught up into this when I am balancing spreadsheets and doing accounting work.  Clearly an accountant/bookeeper is rewarded for his (or hers) attention to detail - balancing things to the penny. Yet, the CFO is rewarded for looking at the "materiality" of the numbers. 

I remember my first lesson in this while at Accenture/Arthur Andersen.  One of my first jobs was testing the Florida Software Systems Mortgage Banking System at First National Bank of Cincinnati. I discovered that on a loan payoff the computer system was doubling the escrow payments and  the Bank was remitting too much escrow to the customer. I approached the audit senior with the issue and he thanked me for the observation (saying the bank would quickly correct this problem) and told me it was not material to the overall audit. 

Mistakes happen - money can be lost, time can be wasted.  It's up to you to determine if it is material.  Most of it not material - move on - correct the mistake and focus on the future results in your life. 

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