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1. Debits = Credits
"Debits equal credits" is the foundation upon which the modern double entry accounting system is built. This basic component serves as an error detection system to ensure that the numbers posted to the accounting ledgers are posted without any numerical errors. Friar Luca Bartolomeo de Paccioli published a treatise in 1494 describing the double entry accounting system used by Venetian merchants during the Italian Renaissance. He cautioned in his textbook "that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equaled the credits". This rule is the foundation of what we do and helps to remind everyone at 7th Rule Accounting that our work needs to be done accurately and correctly for our customers.

2. Hourly fees should not be part of the equation.
"Too many professionals use hourly fees as the way to price their services to their customers. Lawyers, Doctors, Actuaries, Accountants, and Consultants and more all too frequently find it easier to pick an amount for the work they do on an hourly basis and charge that to the customer. Many times this rate is a surprise to the customer when they get the bill. At 7th Rule Accounting, we believe this is NOT the way to do business. Rule 2 reminds us that we are not working on the clock for the customer - we are working on a project for the customer. Our pricing is based on figuring out the value for the services provided and letting the customer pick from a menu of services that drive the pricing model. Our customers get to choose what it is they need or want. We make sure they know before the project starts exactly what the scope of the project is and how much it is going to cost.

3. Good accounting should reveal possibilities.
Proper accounting and the analysis of the accounting data should provide a guide to help an individual or a business see the possibilities before them. It should help them accomplish the vision they have set for themselves. At 7th Rule Accounting, we strive to provide good accounting as a means to effectively analyze the data and determine a course of action. We can work with our customers to reveal the possibilities before them and help them determine the next most logical course of action. Rule 3 reminds us that accurate accounting records help our customers find the possibilities that lie before them.

4. A good accountant is always an advisor and teacher.
Our customers look to us to provide counsel when discussing their financial situations. This relationship provides a means for us to advise and teach them what they need to know to make sound financial decisions in the future. Whether we are helping them with budgeting, calculating the gains and losses on investments, providing an analysis of their receivables or developing ways to shorten the collection cycle, this rule reminds us that we need to find opportunities to advise and teach our customers things they need to know and can benefit from.

5. A good accountant is a concierge.
Accountants know many people in the town where the practice especially among the business community. Helping our customers find the services they need or making arrangements for the services they need is a role easily filled by the accountant. By providing concierge services to our customers, we leverage our contacts to help our customers find the services and products they need. This rule helps to direct us to service our customers and help them find the resources they need each and every day we work with them.

6. "Fun" is an accounting term.
While fun is not part of the definition of accounting, accounting can be fun. When we see what the data reveals in your situation, we can help you plan to do the more fun things in life. Let 7th Rule Accounting help interpret the numbers and data, reduce your apprehension and increase your knowledge. We will take you to the party of discovery and adventure of new possibilities. Will it take work? Yes. Planning a party is work but when it is set-up and ready, it's fun. This is why we work diligently to help our customers accomplish their financial goals. We love what we do. All the aspects of accounting, attest, and tax services are fun for us. This rule reminds us that it is the end result that counts and is the most fun for all of us.

7. Lead the way.
As referenced in Rule One, Luca Paccioli led the way by documenting a system of accounting used in the middle ages for the rest of the world to adopt and use. We have been following his example for over five centuries. "Lead the way" is a goal for 7th Rule Accounting because it is our desire to change some of the industry practices that have developed over the years and lead the way to a new paradigm for providing accounting services. This is what the 7 Rules are all about and why we wrote them.

Rule 7 is important to our customers too. It is the reason it is the last and most important rule in this list. It is the reason our firm is named 7th Rule Accounting. Whether individuals or businesses, our customers lead the way each and every day in their work, social, and political activities. We pledge to support their efforts and to ensure they are able to lead the way each and every day in what they do. Leading the way is what started this country and is the most important objective our firm has.

7th Rule Accounting •  283 South Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103   Telephone: 734-769-1877   Fax: 734-332-3770   info@7thRuleAccounting.com
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