Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Red Flags

As someone that works in both accounting and IT there are times when the red flags start to appear. Yes, this is probably a good thing because it means that I will step back and look at things from a few different ways.

Recently I was approached by a company to quote, if I was interested, on an RFP to review their bookkeeping procedures. As we don’t normally deal with RFP’s and don’t chase them, so this coming out of the blue made me wonder what was going on. The overall thing started to make me wonder and of course given it was a PDF, and we are in security, it was something that I really didn’t want to open. I received the original email on a Friday afternoon, and then on the following Wednesday I received a phone call from the company asking if we could talk.

Now during the phone call, I found out that it wasn’t an RFP, it was just a quote for doing some work with them. It wasn’t just the reviewing of their bookkeeper procedures; it was also being a support person for their bookkeeper. Oh, the RFP had a deadline of the Wednesday same day as I received the call, so that wasn’t going to happen given they called around 11 am. Ok, some of this sounded reasonable until I was able to sit back after the call and go over everything. Yes, I reviewed the document, and then some of the red flags really started to jump out at me.  Now let’s see if I can explain the red flags:

  1. They wanted someone with a designation (which I have) and when I asked how they found me, they told me one way and if you search for me that way, I cannot be found.
  2. The work had to be done onsite at first, which is reasonable, but it needed to be done next week.
  3. I had to improve the document which currently is being revised but cannot have access to the accounting system. This makes it rather difficult to update the processes and procedures if you cannot at least see what they are doing. There are ways to give someone access to an accounting system, but where they cannot modify or do anything.
  4. The timeline from the first preliminary review to having the recommendations implements and the staff training and fully up to speed was 3 weeks. Given the scope of work was not defined and that was what I was to do first, giving a 3-week timeline to something that is unknown is unrealistic in a number of cases, such as this one.

Of course, this could be a wonderful job opportunity, but when I sit back and start going over all the little things that make me feel uncomfortable, it makes me stop and think. Is this something that I want to follow up on, or is it something that is best I just let go?

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