day 215: Accounting Standards

In business there is a standard for accounting. It is called GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices). The standard has a set of principles that must be used in order for the accounting to have lived up to GAAP. Those principles are: regularity, consistency, sincerity, permanence of methods, non-compensation, prudence, continuity, periodicity, and full disclosure/materiality. These all appear to be very sound principles and it would seem that if you followed each of these that there would not be any reasons for any irregularity, corruption or malfeasance. Yet, what happens is that financial professionals tend to want it “interpret” the rules and then make decisions from those interpretations. I worked with a CFO once who was by the book when it came to accounting and reporting. He would never risk crossing any lines as it related to GAAP. But, when it came to how we paid our bills he would stretch out and stretch out payments until the those who were owed the money would have had to call, email, write, etc. before they would get paid what was due to them. He and I would discuss this often and it was his principle that we should never pay on anyone’s terms other than our own; which in his mind was not until the last second before we were going to get sued. For me, I always thought that this crossed an unspoken line of “decency” and respect for others. We finally compromised and paid on terms that were acceptable to both of us, but not without lots of debate and tough conversations that finally got us to agreement. What is so great for us as believers is that God has not only paid up for all of our sins but that he continues to invest in us going forward. We read in 2 Corinthians 1:22; “And he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment of everything he will give us.” What a great accounting and payment system that God has for us when we know that his first installment is the power of the Holy Spirit. Today as you go to work and you look at the invoices to be paid, think of what God has paid up for you and be reminded of how He continues to make installments, long before you ask for them, long before you are worthy of receiving them. God’s accounting standards say that He has made all the payments up front for all of us and they are now just waiting for our receiving. All we have to do; just open up the accounts of our lives to Him.

Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:22 (New Living Testament)