I have a tragic situation. My business accountant has been performing some awful work the last couple of months. I began to suspect a problem late summer when the work I was getting was full of mistakes. Yesterday and today I sat with him for several hours going over the P&L's trying to get the errors worked out. Long story short he's either suffering from dementia or Alzhemers. I believe he knows he's in trouble but can't either face it or articulate it. He's very confused at times, posting cost to sales, sales to cost, you name it. I brought all my accounting records home today telling him that my husband and I were going to go over them this long weekend and pencil in the corrections ( well over 40 at last count). Monday we have to tell him that he won't be doing year end or the W2's or the corporate return. Heck I don't have an accurate P&L after May of this year plus I have to find a new accountant - quick. Anyway. I think the world of this guy and this situation is extremely painful. I want professional advice about how to tell him that he can't do the work anymore. He's a solo practitioner. I do have his home phone number if it would be good to try to reach his wife. He said he's been having a hard time finding his way driving home lately too. God, what a sad mess.
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The wife probably knows that something is wrong as well. Sometimes all it takes is an outside force to bring it into “reality” for people. They will bury it for as long as they can. Perhaps you do need to speak to the wife and offer your support and assistance. Good luck with that, I am sure it is hard all the way around.
This confused state could be brought on by several things. A reaction to medication can do it, as could a stroke.
I'd talk to the wife and family if I had the kind of relationship that allowed me to confide in family members. What you might do is tell him that you want him to take a leave of absence for a while, six months or so. If you can afford it, send a Christmas bonus check to him or to his wife along with a note of thanks and well wishes.
My only other thought is that you can't allow yourself to be deterred by his protests. If your P&L isn't accurate you've got serious problems and you cannot continue with this man counting the dead presidents for you.
It could also be high blood sugar, if he's diabetic. People who can't control their sugar can seem senile, can't focus, etc. I agree with Madjack. Talk to the wife or family. If you noticed, they definitely have known about it for a while. It is likely the family has confronted him about it, but he is in denial. Hope all goes well for him and his family. Good luck!
He is diabetic. What your describing symptom wise renegade is pretty much what I'm seeing. And, I have paid him in full for his services through the end of this year, including all the work he hasn't finished. I will call the wife. No choice. I can't tell him were leaving him as a client and have him go home to no understanding and support. Now I need a good CPA or Public Accountant who can take over in the lurch.
If you are serious about finding him a psychologist, I would recommend that he first see his family physician and then come out to UTMC for a mental competency exam. His doc can do a mini-mental in the office, they all know how to do that, and I'm sure he can work on him to get his blood sugar more tightly controlled (that was the first thing I thot of as I read down, good call, renegade, its very common). I doubt it's Alzheimer's due to the fact that he is aware of it. They usually are not and think its the rest of the world that's making all the mistakes. Good luck, Holland, your heart's always in the right place!
Will say a prayer for you holland, if not religious will cross my fingers then :)
In the end, it shows how good of a person you are to even care, and looking out for his well being too.
Dont know any CPA's but know people here can recommend some.
Btw as a businessman in training, what is a P&L.
Good luck! and to his family as well.
P&L is a Profit and Loss statement.
My dad went through some very similar things in the years before he retired from employment. His had diabetes which was very difficult to control and led to mini-strokes (TIAs). He experienced confusion, repeated mistakes of what had been routine tasks, and inability to concentrate. It was a very difficult time for our family, my mom, and him.
I'd talk to his wife first. Good luck and let us know.
nana - I did ask home if was seeing his doctor about his diabetes regularly and he said he was, just recently in fact. However, that doesn't mean he's told the doctor about his symptoms of confusion. I'll bet not.
INeedCoffe - That's so kind. I cover all the basis, praying and crossing the fingers.
corky, ryan, madjack and renegade. You've made me firm up the idea that I have to talk to his wife. My husband is going to talk to the accountant Monday and I'll join him there after I get a hold of his wife. That's the plan anyway. I hope I can reach her and she isn't out Christmas shopping or something.
I've been accountant shopping (3) and was turned down by one but have an appointment with another that sounds like he would do the work. The third sounded like he wanted to go back and audit the full year transaction by transaction. I can't afford that. I don't need an audit.
Hey guys some time i get soo much angry that i cant control my self. and some time i think to try drugs to release tension tell me what to do???????
I think there is a fine line to draw here. As an employer it's in your right to protect your company at all cost. In this case it means letting go of the employee who is no longer able to perform up to standards. On the other hand, for an employer to meddle in the personal affairs of an employee may justify legal actions of said employee further down the line. I understand your personal concern and thoughtful considerations; if you were just a friend and not the employer your actions may be more appropriate.
Just be careful where you tread because a simple act of kindness can sometimes come back to bite you no matter how honorable your intentions or how well you know the other person.
In any scenario, Good Luck. I hope the gentleman receives the help he needs and that you company can pull out of the mess he created.
Uh, KrazyKat this accountant is not an employee. He's someone I contract with for services. He has many clients. The services have been substandard. They have been substandard because it seems that he's developing dementia. My husband/business partner and I have severed our agreement with him for cause and hired another CPA, at considerable expense I might add. The new CPA has to audit all the work done for the past year because it's riddled with errors. We told our former accountant why were leaving him and encouraged him to see his doctor as soon as possible because we suspected a medical problem. He took it well. He said he was aware that he wasn't perfomming up to standard and said that he should have quit the practice a year ago. He even mentioned that he was getting lost driving home from his office, something he's done for several years from this location. He was a great guy and I really hurt for him. I don't know how else we could have handled this situation. We were not able to reach his wife. I do see his car at his office regularly so he's apparently still trying to work.
There is help available.
holland, I'm glad he took the news well, and hopefully he seeks out the help he needs soon.