A Cowboy’s Faith: Checks and balances essential – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Checks and balances essential

buchmanhead“Recordkeeping is the hardest part of business.”

Consequently, that’s the reason so many commercial enterprises fail, small, large, in-between, whatever the industry.

While there are exceptions, few people enjoy keeping accurate tabs of their financial matters.

Everybody is worried about the money coming in, smiling when it does, but problems arise when dollars go out, and nobody can remember where. The bank account becomes red, and trouble begins.

Those who keep accurate accounts of operations always have greater opportunity to succeed than those who have no clue where they are, where they’ve been, or where they’re going.

While on a small scale, comparatively, the importance of recording information became apparent to us again at the recent 4-H achievement banquet.

A printed program listed winners of county awards for youth work with 4-H projects throughout the year, from horses to sewing, cooking, and on and on.

Recognized as each accepted token accolades, the honorees did not always include those who’d shown the show champions, or been recognized for project achievements publicly in other competitions during recent months.

That created some confusion for the unaware, but the county awards are based on record books completed by the 4-H members, detailing their year’s work on each project.

For decades, a requirement of 4-H participation was annually completing written verification of their endeavors, in order to be eligible to participate in upcoming activities. Several years ago, those 4-H rules changed, such that record books are “optional.”

Of course, it’s easier not to, so some families don’t, while prolifically proclaiming “those awards aren’t important.”

That might be true, in a single sense, but keeping books goes much further than getting a little token pin one evening.

Most future honors and scholarships young people will ever seek on all levels, whatever the organization, FFA included, are based on detailed recording of activities through the years.

More serious though, youth are not learning about profit and loss reports, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing their income and expenses. If they don’t learn now, how can they ever balance their checkbooks tomorrow?

Reminds us of Esther 6:1: “The king could not sleep, so he ordered that the book of records and memorable deeds be brought, and read to him.” Thus, Second Chronicles 8:15: “No one neglected the king’s orders in any matter, including finances.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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