Held Hostage by Lack of Knowledge?


Q. I have one employee who handles QuickBooks in our small business and I really need to replace them and get someone more competent in their place. The problem is I don’t know QuickBooks, so how can I get rid of them without causing a big headache for myself? I feel like I’m stuck.

A. I am amazed at how many horror stories I hear about situations like this. I try to educate all business owners how critical it is to document their business processes so that anyone can quickly step in and use this documentation and learn quickly what to do – it saves lots of money in the long run but very few companies do this.

In essence, you have an employee who thinks they’re hanging onto all the knowledge to ensure job security, but the employer feels like they are being held hostage. You need to get as much of that knowledge on paper before that employee walks out the door, or in case they leave suddenly due to illness or death and you suddenly lose the opportunity to gather information built up over so many years.

My advice would be to bring in a QuickBooks consultant to review and document current processes, both to ensure transaction accuracy and to create a document that can be used as a training tool for new employees. You will be able to sleep at night again knowing that you no longer feel like a hostage in your own business.