Judge's legal gavel in front of Bankruptcy Court nameplate

When pay day finally arrives, all sense of control goes out the window. That Rolex watch which was once knocking on outrageous, now seems like a sweet deal. Those Yeezy trainers (which would never be used for physical activity) suddenly seem like a great investment.

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but, for some, this momentary loss of control feels strangely familiar… Keeping a handle on your expenses (unless you’re wealthy enough to have a personal accountant) can be challenging from time to time, and for some – a daily struggle.

So, is there a simple solution to hanging onto those all-important pennies? If so, Boris Becker isn’t aware of it…

30 years ago, Becker was seen darting around the tennis courts, picking up thousands in prize money along the way, per tournament. Fast forward to 2017, and the Telegraph have reported that he’s had to dispose of his remaining assets and property to pay off his creditors.

Once estimated to be worth $170 million, as reported by the the Daily Telegraph, the triple Wimbledon champion was declared bankrupt in June this year by London judge, Christine Derrett, over ‘substantial’ long-standing debt. The bankruptcy application was made by private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co in connection with a judgement debt he owed them dating back to 2015. Although Becker’s lawyers argued that he would be able to pay back the money through a refinancing arrangement, Derrett concluded there was a lack of credible evidence to support this claim.

Known to his fans as Boom Boom Becker in his heyday thanks to his killer tennis strokes, the former champ could well be known now as Bankrupt Becker by the new generation of tennis fans.

Now, we certainly hope Becker hasn’t been renamed, but we can learn from his financial woes. Aspiring Accountants strap in and get ready for a little analysis.

Since being declared bankrupt, there has been a number of reports highlighting where Becker’s mistakes could have been made. Most recently, the Telegraph claimed that he had ‘invested in Nigerian oil firms that plunged in value’. Prior to this, the Guardian reported that a former Swiss business partner of Beckers had demanded the repayment of €36.5 million after lending him the money for a joint business venture.

What’s clear to see is that there have been a number of decisions made which have backfired on the former tennis star. It could be possible that Becker has simply been unlucky in business, but decisions such as failing to pay for parking fines, for example, are avoidable. Had Becker kept better records of his income and outgoings, he may be in a better financial position today. You could find yourself with a £100 million fortune, but if you don’t keep an eye on the little things, you could be left with a much bigger problem.

Aspiring accountants will study bookkeeping if they choose to study at AAT level, should they wish to progress in the sector. Bookkeeping is the process of keeping records of a business’ or individual’s financial affairs. I think it’s fair to say that with a £100 million fortune, Becker could and should have hired a bookkeeper or personal accountant… or two.

If, unlike Boris, you like nothing more than cleaning up a messy account, get in touch today and find where an accountancy qualification can take you.


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