Peggy Barland-Coleman closed here accounting firm over three years ago. The Spartanburg, South Carolina, CPA said she sorted out the important information from the unimportant documents and then threw them into the trash. The problem is that she didn’t do so well in determining what was important. As a result three boxes full of her clients personal information ended up in the dumpster.
I can’t speak to Ms Barland-Coleman’s accounting ability but it doesn’t look like she has a grasp on cost-benefit analysis. Assuming she was a low level accountant she would bill $50 per hour to her clients. I will also assume that she was able to zip through three boxes of files and it only took her an hour to get all the sorting done. That means she only had $50 of time invested in the project. Then you need to add in whatever time she spent on shredding what she sorted out. We already know she does not like to spend money so she probably has a basic desk top shredders. These can shred a few pages at a time so it would take longer to complete this part of the project. So it may have been another hour for shredding. So she spent $100 on her document project.
Alternatively she could have called up a shredding service to finish the job. A few boxes are only a few dollars each. If she only had the three boxes there would be a minimum charge that might be $75. So worst case scenario is that she would have saved $25 with a service. But likely she had more boxes to shred when she shut down her business. At this point it is only a few dollars more per box. So she could have expected to pay another $15 for the incremental increase in shredding. This would mean it costs her $85 and her reputation is soiled. Not really where you want to spend your money.