I meant to write about the latest corporate-sponsored holiday, National Fight Procrastination Day, when it occurred last week, but I just didn’t get around to it.
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Turns out NFPD, as we’ll call it here, occurred on September 6, according to a series of press releases issued by BMO Harris Bank last week urging the public (or journalists at least) to “avoid costly financial procrastination mishaps on National Fight Procrastination Day,” “embrace National Fight Procrastination Day,” “use National Fight Procrastination Day to take charge of your finances,” and “no excuses—financial control needs to be a priority.”
With four separate, but similarly themed releases showing up on PR Newswire around the same time, I thought I had somehow overlooked some important national commemoration that a consortium of financial powerhouses was promoting. Instead, they all seemed to originate from the same bank and provide more or less the same advice: start saving, understand your debt, establish good credit, and “plan for success.”
It seems doubtful that NFPD is an actual official national holiday, and there is no mention of a presidential or congressional proclamation in any of the announcements. Maybe BMO Harris Bank will eventually get around to lobbying Congress for that next year. In any case, Congress as usual was itself procrastinating on getting back to work from its long end-of-summer recess. About half of them, along with the President, were too busy partying at some convention down in Charlotte, N.C., to bother with making any proclamations they couldn’t read off the teleprompter.
I have to admit, though, that NFPD is something I should be embracing. For example, I finally began writing this column around 6:30 in the morning, with the newsletter containing it scheduled to go out around 8:00 am. Plus, I have to admit that BMO Harris asks some good questions about some behaviors that I’m sure a lot of people would have to fess up to sharing, including me: “Do you have a pile of sale receipts on the kitchen counter that you promise yourself you’ll take care of later? Are you constantly putting off balancing your check book? Is saving something you’ll start ‘someday’?” Yes, yes, and yes.
So while NFPD certainly pales in significance compared to the day we commemorated yesterday on September 11, it should resonate with all those people, including many accounting clients, who could use a little prodding and assistance from their trusted advisors to get their finances in order.