What is a Business Entertainment Expense?
One good thing about being in a small business is that you have a lot more control over WHO you work with and you actually build up a fairly substantial list of ‘workmates’… And because you wind up working fairly closely with partners and customers, you build quite solid relationships with them. So you manage to avoid the boring water cooler conversation (that I can’t understand how people find time for), while taking advantage of the support and connections that make the world go round.
It does get tough when you are doing your accounting though. I know some friends have questioned by ‘business entertainment’ at times… And now laugh that every time I go out, I either wind up drumming up a new lead or bumping into an old customer and start talking about work again. In my mind, life is different when you own the company. You NEVER stop working, and you survive off any networking you do.
But, am I the only one who often finds the line blurred between having a good time with friends and doing business with work colleagues?
I know a lot of people would say that if it’s fun, it’s not work, but I feel like that myth was dispelled the day I started working for myself and basically spend my life doing stuff I like (and get severely depressed when I go through a couple of months of NOT leaping out of bed to get cracking).
The I wonder if it’s the mix? Like if Im out with a group of people and one of them happens to be an accountant, and we spend 30 minutes going over the fine points of financial statements on my Friday night – I consider this valuable information, or is it just idle chit chat? If it’s 30 minutes out of 2 hours, does that change it? Is this a meeting or is it a drink?
Is it defined by the purpose? i.e if you INTEND to go get financial information, it’s a meeting, whereas if it happens by accident, it’s a drink.
Sometimes I think it’s funny that the things I get the MOST work out of or the best advice, are probably considered social situations, while the stuffy old ‘business’ events can often generate nothing, but probably look better in the accounts. Hmmm.