What do bookkeeping clients really value? - YouTube
Do you ever wonder how to communicate value to your clients or even wonder what do bookkeeping clients really value? I wanted to share with you my big aha moment when I understood what my clients really value.
It happened a couple of years ago when one of my employees left the company and I was contacting our clients and letting them know that he left. I was pretty nervous because our work was falling behind because we were having to make up for the fact that he wasn't here. I was very concerned that my clients would be upset that their bookkeeping and their accounting wasn't done on time, as I thought that it should have been. In talking to these clients, they never said that that they were upset about the fact the books were not done. What they said is, "Thank you so much. I really truly value working with you guys. You guys have our back. You always remind me of things that we haven't done. You provide such great service. You're always available when we need you."
There were so many positive comments that they told me about our services. It made me realize that even though, in my mind, the most important thing that I thought I was selling was the actual services that we provided, actually our clients were more interested in how they feel when they work with us – feeling like they're being taken care, feeling like we have their back, feeling like we like them, and we're here for them. In their mind, that was more important and more valuable than the fact that the books were two weeks behind.
So, that was the big aha moment. It's not just about the bookkeeping and the accounting or the taxes or whatever it is that you do, it is about building that relationship with your clients and making them feel like you're looking out for them.
How to prevent employees from stealing from you - YouTube
Are you worried about your employees stealing or embezzling funds from you? If you're not, you probably should be. You'd be surprised at the level of embezzlement that goes on in small businesses and large organizations overall. When you look at the people that are committing these acts of fraud and embezzlement, you'd be surprised, because most of the time, the business owner says that, "Hey, that employee was like family to me. I trusted them."
Unfortunately, trust is really not the basis for protecting yourself and the hard work and energy that you have put into growing your business. Trust is not enough. What you have to do is make some changes in your business in order to protect yourself and protect the investment that you have put into your business.
One of the ways in which you can do that is don't give access to your bank and credit card account to any employees. A lot of business owners just share their banking credentials with employees, and employees can then transfer monies. They can do anything that you can do with your online banking. If you can do it, they can to. What you need to do then is set up those employees with a read-only access to your bank account, to make sure that they are not able to really touch your money.
The next thing that you can do is to limit the access that your employees have to any cash or any petty cash that you have in your office. There are some companies that have a lot of cash in their office at any given point, and so you have to limit the access that your employees have to that cash. Maybe have a petty cash fund of no more than, say, $250, so that those employees don't have access to all the cash. If there's any more than that, then it should be kept in a locked vault or safe, and, of course, the money should be deposited at the bank on a regular basis.
Another way in which you can prevent fraud, if you sell inventory, is to do regular inventory counts so that employees don't walk off with your inventory. So, regular inventory counts, whether that's monthly, or quarterly, at a very minimum. You should be checking and tracking your inventory to make sure that you don't have too much inventory shrinkage in your business.
Another way in which you can prevent fraud, if you have a lot of money in your bank accounts, is don't allow employees to really know how much money is in the accounts. That means that you wouldn't give them access, even read-only access, to the bank accounts. They really shouldn't see the amounts that are in your bank account. The reason you would do that is, when you have a large amount of money in your bank accounts, employees can start to rationalize their behavior. For example, let's say that you have an employee who's not very happy working at your company, that they happen to know that you have $250,000 in your bank account, so they start to rationalize it. "You know what? Joe has so much money in the bank, and I need a new pair of shoes, and so I'm just going to take $100. He'll never miss it." Joe probably never will miss the hundred dollars, but then that same employee will say, "Hey, that was so easy. I think I'll just now take $500. They'll never miss it," and so then they continue to take more money because the employer doesn't notice that the money is gone. Pretty soon, the hundreds of dollars can become thousands of dollars, and I've even seen it become millions of dollars over years.
Another way to prevent fraud is, if you have an employee inside of your business (an in-house employee) working on your accounting and bookkeeping, don't let them receive the bank statements (opening the bank statements when they come in the mail), and also to not allow them to do the bank reconciliations. That's when you need an outside accountant, bookkeeper, CPA to then do those reconciliations for you, so you need to outsource that part of the accounting function for your business. Outsource it to a qualified professional. What that qualified professional should be doing, or at least what we do for our clients, is reconciling the transactions in QuickBooks to the transactions that are on the bank and credit card statements. That ensures that there aren't any missing transactions, or duplicate transactions, or even fraudulent transactions because of that reconciliation.
We also review the financial reports for any unusual or unexpected transaction, so we're not really searching for fraud per se, but we're searching, or actually we're reviewing, the transactions to make sure that they are categorized correctly after they are reconciled, and then we also provide feedback to our clients if some transactions are miscategorized. We provide feedback to them to then tell them and let them know about the corrections that we made so that they can understand what is being done to their books.
If you're concerned about employees stealing money from your company or embezzling funds from your company, you need to set the tone at the top. You need to be aware of what's going on. You don't need to micro-manage people, but you need to put some of these measures in place in order to prevent fraud and embezzlement. Also, at some point, as I said, it would be best for you then to work with an accounting professional to help to add an extra layer of checks and balances in your business.
Bob wanted to binge watch the latest new show on Netflix, but Jill pulled him aside and said, "Seriously, Bob, we need to work on our QuickBooks Online bank feeds so we can get our books caught up. Your show can wait." But as Jill and Bob looked at their bank feeds and stared at the lengthy list of transactions, they immediately felt like they were way in over their heads. Should we "Add" or "Match" they wondered. How could they know? Are you like Jill and Bob when you look at your QuickBooks Online bank feeds? Not sure how to organize yourself or what order to work in? No problem! We've created the 5 minute bank feeds system, so you can get your bank feeds under control.
The big picture
Are you short on time, but still want to know to work with bank feeds? No problem. Here's a handy downloadable cheat sheet that will show you when or "Add" or "Match" transactions in the bank feeds window.
Here's a summary of how the 5 minute bank feeds system works.
Now, let's go through each step in greater detail.
Step 1 – Money out transactions
Let's start by going over the proper workflow for money-out transactions. These include credit card expenses, bill payments, and payroll.
Workflow for Credit Card Expenses
First, begin with your credit card accounts. Look at the transactions in the Spent column. These are usually credit card expenses. For credit card money-out transactions, you generally want to select Add.
Workflow for Bank Account Expenses and Bill Payments
Next, move on to your bank accounts. Again, look at the transactions in the Spent column. Look at each money-out transaction and determine the type of transaction.
If the transaction is a debit card expense, EFT payment, ACH payment, or a wire transfer, then you would usually select Add.
If the transaction is a bill payment and you are entering vendor bills in QBO, then you will want to record the bill payment first, and then select Match for the corresponding bill payment.
If you're not entering vendor bills in QBO, then you'll want to Add these transactions directly in the banking center just like you would for a debit card expense, EFT payment, ACH payment, or a wire transfer.
Workflow for Payroll Expenses
For payroll transactions, begin by identifying whether you are using a 3rd party payroll service provider, or QuickBooks payroll.
If you are using a 3rd party payroll service provider (such as ADP, Gusto, or Paychex), then you would usually Add the payroll transactions. Make sure that each payroll transaction is categorized correctly.
If you're using QuickBooks Payroll, then the payroll transactions will get entered into QBO automatically when you process payroll. Select Match for these transactions in the bank feed.
That's all for money-out transactions. Easy breezy!
Step 2 – Money-in Transactions
Next, let's go over the proper workflow for money-in transactions. These include, customer deposits, QuickBooks payments, and miscellaneous deposits.
Workflow for Customer Deposits
The most common type of money-in transactions are customer deposits. These should be recorded in QBO using the following workflow:
While this sounds like a lot of transactions, you'll be amazed at what you can do in just 5 minutes a day!
With the 5 minute bank feeds system, you'll feel organized, confident, and stay caught up with your bookkeeping. Make it a habit to work on your bank feeds for just 5 minutes a day, create a standing appointment on your calendar, and petty soon you'll see that you're caught up and that you (gasp) actually like doing 5 Minute Bookkeeping.
Hey, it’s Veronica Wasek again, and we are talking about selecting a niche for your bookkeeping business. Do you really need a niche in order to succeed with your bookkeeping business?
In selecting a niche you need to first understand that merely selecting a niche is not a guarantee of success. I do, however, think that it’s a great idea to have a niche because it helps you with your marketing. It also helps you to create workflows within your business that are more predictable, more standardized, than trying to work with lots of different clients. Now, I discourage you from picking a niche out of the blue if you don’t know anything about it. Some industries are more complicated than other industries. I would, however, encourage you to think about a niche not in terms of an industry alone. Perhaps your niche is software that you specialize in. It could be an app that you also specialize in.
As an example, my company, VM Wasek, specializes in QuickBooks Online for service-based companies. While I don’t have a specific industry niche, my niche is QuickBooks Online for service-based companies. I’ll tell you that my team and I know QuickBooks Online inside and out, so I can truly say that we are QuickBooks Online experts for the service-based industries that we serve.
The reason that I haven’t narrowed down my niche even more is because I don’t feel that I need to. I’ve done a fairly good job over the years with my blog, and with my YouTube channel, of promoting myself as a QuickBooks Online specialist, which actually brings me quite a few prospects on a regular basis. So I personally don’t feel the need to niche down further than what I already have.
I did make a conscious decision to not work with product-based companies, primarily because I’m not personally that excited about working with their financials. They are harder to support and to deal with because, I believe, when you’re working with manufacturing, with inventory, even e-commerce, that that’s a whole other animal, and again, I’m not that excited to work on those areas.
As I’ve said, selecting a niche not a guarantee of success. A niche maybe is not an industry, perhaps it is something else that you specialize in. Your niche could be even the way in which you deliver service to your clients, if there’s something different about the way in which you do things.
When you’re thinking about selecting a niche, first of all, be more open-minded to what a niche is so that you can then make a more informed choice about your niche. Then second, think about the experience that you have. Are there any particular industries that you like to work with? Don’t focus so much about whether it is a highly profitable industry. Perhaps that’s not the right reason to pick an industry to work with if you’re going after an industry niche. Because at the end of the day, you have to work with your clients, you have to love working with your clients, and if you pick the wrong industry niche, perhaps that may not be the best fit for you.
I would also encourage you again to look at having a software niche, even a software niche for a specific industry. That’s even better! Also then, do some research. Research the industry that you want to work with. Research the software that you want to work with. Then the next step is to develop very deep knowledge, so you want to learn everything that you can about that industry, about the biggest problems that that industry is facing. Like for me for example, QuickBooks Online is my niche, and I want to know about the biggest problems that my ideal clients are facing with QuickBooks Online because then I create content and videos that address those biggest needs.
Finally, again be open-minded to defining what a niche is, defining what that means to you, and give yourself the time to work toward building a niche. It may be that you find clients that are not in your particular industry niche, but perhaps they have a great personality. They’re willing to pay your fees. They’d be a great fit for your business, and I would say take them on. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think you need to understand that just because you have a niche, that doesn’t mean that you say no to everybody else. It means you say no to less than ideal clients, which is different.
It might take you a while to find a niche, and in some cases a niche might find you. So the biggest piece of advice I would give you is then to be open-minded to the clients that you work with, especially if you’re starting out. Be open-minded. Take on good clients, good paying clients who value what you do. That is the best type of client that you can have! Then work toward building a niche because eventually, once you make your marketing more efficient, and narrow down the types of work that you do for different clients, that will eventually help you to develop more standardized workloads in your bookkeeping business.
3 profitable QuickBooks Online niches for bookkeepers - YouTube
Are you looking to add more bookkeeping clients? Well, perhaps you need to stop offering bookkeeping services, and focus on three very profitable QuickBooks Online niches that I’ll share with you. Yes, you can absolutely get more clients by having a QuickBooks Online niche, and not just QuickBooks Online but very specific QuickBooks Online niches. I will tell you about three that I have done myself.
Number one is to become a QuickBooks Online coach and trainer. That’s actually how I started my business all by myself doing QuickBooks coaching and training. What that entails is actually working with clients and helping them one-to-one to work on their QuickBooks Online. A lot of that includes customized training. You are working with a client and customizing your training to show them how to use QuickBooks Online specifically for their business. I found this to be a very profitable niche, and I would actually sell training packages in 3-hour increments. It would generally take me 6 to 12 hours to train a brand new QuickBooks Online user. I trained business owners as well as employees. So, that was the first profitable QuickBooks Online niche, QuickBooks Online coaching and training.
The second QuickBooks Online niche that is also very profitable is QBO consulting. This tends to fall into using QBO and getting more out of QuickBooks Online. It generally also includes looking at integrating applications (or apps) into QBO. So, a typical scenario may be a company that perhaps has outgrown their very manual processes. Perhaps they have a bookkeeper in-house, or some sort of accounting staff in-house, but they need to streamline and automate processes. At that point, you’re working more with helping them with the processes around QuickBooks Online, or customizing QuickBooks Online so that it will then give the client what they’re looking to accomplish. A lot of consulting, at least when I used to do it, has to do with inventory. So, if you like inventory, if you like manufacturing, this might be an area to look into. Obviously with QuickBooks Online, having limited functionality with inventory, then you’d need to look at integrating applications to be able to get that functionality out of QBO together with an app.
The number three profitable QuickBooks Online niche, and this is the one that I focus on now, is QuickBooks Online clean-up. There’s a huge need from business owners who have been doing their own bookkeeping, who have been trying to do that for a while, and their companies are growing. Those business owners just get to the point that they can’t do their own bookkeeping, and they need their books cleaned up because they have messed up the books. Now they’re at a point in their company that they understand the value of having clean financials, of being able to track their financial activity on a monthly basis so they can manage their business, and make critical decisions for their business. These are business owners that you don’t have to try to sell on the value of their books because they understand it, and then their businesses are profitable to the point that they can afford to pay – not just for clean-up. Usually we’ll first do the clean-up and then get them caught up. Next, we’re either coaching the client’s employees or we’re taking over their bookkeeping for them.
So, I hope this gives you an idea of ways in which you can diversity your services, not put all of your eggs in one basket trying to do just bookkeeping, and developing some very profitable niches.
Can you really automate all of your bookkeeping? - YouTube
Can you really automate all of your bookkeeping?
I know that you’re a very busy business owner and you would love to be able to automate all of your bookkeeping. Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now, as far as the technology that we have available. A lot of people are talking about automating your bookkeeping, but what they’re really talking about is eliminating double data entry. What does that mean? If you think about a time in the past when you might have had your accounting software (for example, QuickBooks Online), and then you had an invoicing software separate from your accounting software. You would have entered all of the invoices into your invoicing software, and then turned around and entered the same invoices into QuickBooks. Well, nowadays the automation that happens is that you can connect that invoicing software to your QuickBooks and then integrate those invoices and import them into QuickBooks. So that’s where that automation happens.
Unfortunately, what happens in the automation is that you need to be able to integrate the two software packages correctly. What I see a lot from working with many business owners and their app integrations, is that they just automatically connect an app to QuickBooks Online and all of a sudden all of this data is just dumping over into QuickBooks – and is not necessarily going into the right account! The reason why you connected QuickBooks to an app in the first place was to save time and to automate, but now you find yourself with this giant mess because that automation wasn’t a very good automation or the mapping of the transactions between the app and QuickBooks wasn’t done correctly. So beware of just these “automagical” automations out there because you might be trading one problem for another.
Another misconception when it comes to QuickBooks Online, as far as automation available, is the bank feeds. These are the transactions that download from your bank and credit card account into QuickBooks. Yes, they will save a lot of data entry time, but by no means is that an automated process. It requires you to review the vendor or customer names that are being added to transactions, and to review the account categorizations that QuickBooks is assigning to transactions. The mistake that I see a lot of business owners make is that they’ll go into their bank feeds, and they’ll just click “add”, “add”, “add”, “add” to every transaction without reviewing it. What happens in this case is that what you’ll see on the reports is uncategorized income, uncategorized expenses, duplicated transactions, and again, a big mess that really shouldn’t be there if the business owner would have had training in how to use QuickBooks Online bank feeds.
I hope that this helps you to understand that while there is some level of automation with your QuickBooks and with using apps, what we’re really talking about is eliminating double data entry. You have to be very careful if you’re integrating QuickBooks Online with an app that there’s a proper mapping between the two so that you don’t end up with this giant mess of transactions into your QuickBooks. Also, as you work with your bank feeds, understand that it does still require some time and attention to make sure that transactions are being properly categorized before you add them into QuickBooks.
How to get bookkeeping clients when you are an introvert - YouTube
Are you an introvert and struggling to get clients, and maybe letting that mindset get in the way of your getting clients? I can totally understand, because actually, even though I love doing videos and I love an audience, I am a huge introvert! You wouldn’t know that from watching me on these videos, but I am. Being labelled as an ‘introvert’ is actually determined by how you get your energy.
Being around a lot of people and big crowds is a huge energy drain for me. It’s very difficult for me to sustain that for long periods of time because of all of the noise that’s in the room, and all of the listening I have to do to be able to hear people. It’s hard for me to hear and understand people in large crowds, and I just pretty much start shutting down, and want to go back to my room and crawl in the fetal position.
Being an introvert is about deriving your energy from being alone, and for me it’s being alone in my thoughts, which I really treasure. It is a challenge then to be around a lot of people because it can be a draining experience. I will give you a few tips for how you can overcome some of the things that may be keeping you from getting clients because you are an introvert.
Tip #1: Think about the types of activities or events that you attend. You may want to do some events that are more structured as opposed to going to a bar late at night drinking with a bunch of people. To me, that’s not very appealing, but I’m much more willing to go to a business meeting or a business lunch. I prefer something that has more chances for quiet moments in between to give my mind a bit of a rest so I don’t get so overwhelmed by all of the noise in the room.
Tip #2: Don’t let the fact that you are an introvert keep you from meeting people and from doing things. Yes, it is more work for us who are introverts because it is actually a mental drain on us to do that, but when you own a business, you have to do the things that make you uncomfortable – that’s just part of owning a business. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and go through these functions and events that will be more draining to you. That’s part of business. Don’t let the mindset, “Well, I can’t go and network because I’m an introvert” get in your way. No, you need to do it! Maybe you don’t need to do it as much as other people do, but you need to do it.
Tip #3:Limit the length of time in which you attend an event. If an event is two hours, maybe you’ll just go for an hour. That’s all you can do at one time. Attend the event for just one hour rather than staying there the entire length of the meeting, and then also look for places where you can maybe talk to a few people in a quieter environment. Sometimes you can go outside (there may be outside seating). Maybe it’s just a corner of a room that’s more quiet than other places. Seek out opportunities for more quiet and intimate settings to talk to people.
Tip #4: Be willing to introduce yourself to people. You have to introduce yourself to people in networking events or events where you’re meeting people, and don’t be shy. Everybody’s a little scared at first of meeting other people, so just stick your hand out and say, “Hey, my name is _______ and what’s your name? What do you do?”. Ask people questions that you would want them to ask you. What do they do? Why did they start doing what they’re doing? What are they passionate about? How long have you been doing your job, or why did you start your business? Ask questions! The person who asks questions is the person who controls the conversation. What happens is that when you’re asking questions, you are in control of the conversation, and generally the person answering your questions will ask you the same questions back.
Tip #5: Have business cards and then hand out business cards to the people you meet. Say, “It was great meeting you. I’ll connect with you on LinkedIn,” and then move on to other people. The goal when you’re networking is to make just a few connections. You don’t need to collect 20, 50 business cards. You want to make some quality connections. As I said, you may be there for a shorter period of time than other people, so focus on making those quality connections rather than talking to someone for a very long time, or not talking to anyone and just standing in the corner.
Tip #6:Join the group. As I said before, it is is hard to meet people, and sometimes people are in a group. Join the group. Don’t be shy. They’ll let you in the group, so just walk in and join the circle (usually people get into a small circle). Join in, listen, and engage. At some point they’ll introduce themselves, or, if not, look for an opportunity to introduce yourself, and just get to know people.
So, those are my tips for really just building relationships first. Think about building a relationship with other people when you’re an introvert. The client part will come later, so first focus on building that relationship and getting out there, while understanding that it is more overwhelming, and it is more work for you. So,make some adjustments that I mentioned in these tips, and pretty soon you’ll feel a lot more comfortable going to networking events or meeting new people.
Are you a new bookkeeper or perhaps just getting off the ground with your bookkeeping business and want to find a bookkeeping mentor? I see a lot of comments in the Facebook groups about bookkeepers looking for a mentor. I’m going to share with you some of the thoughts I have about bookkeeping mentors and finding a bookkeeping mentor.
First of all, I don’t think that you’ll be able to find someone who would want to mentor one-on-one on a free basis. The reason is that as professionals and business owners (and myself being an owner of a cloud accounting business) we’re extremely busy. Unless you can find someone locally who would perhaps want to go lunch with you and mentor you, I personally think it would be a bit difficult to do that otherwise.
Another option is for you to find someone who’d be willing to mentor you and for you to pay them. I would say that might be tricky as well, because a lot of accountants and bookkeepers are busy running their business. Perhaps mentoring someone is not their main line of service, or it wouldn’t necessarily be a service that they would be interested in providing. While you might find someone who would do that, I think that first of all they’d have to be agreeable and willing to do it, and secondly, you’d have to be able and willing to pay for their hourly rate or consulting rate – which may be higher than what you’re willing to pay.
Another option would be to find experienced accountants and bookkeepers who have Facebook groups. There are several of us who have Facebook groups for accountants and bookkeepers and we interact a lot within the community and actually answer the questions of the community. That may be an inexpensive way (free actually) for you to get some level of mentoring or at least to ask some pressing questions and get feedback from someone who’s more experienced than you– someone who’s been there and done that and can give you the benefit of their experience.
So, I hope that this helps you to consider how you might find a bookkeeping mentor and keeping in mind that perhaps what you’re asking for may not necessarily be realistic. Perhaps instead the best place to start is in the free Facebook groups. I happen to have a free Facebook group, it’s called Five Minute Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online. I have provided the link below for you to ask to be a member of this group. Make sure that you answer the two questions so that I can accept your request to join the group. I hope to see you there!
The biggest mistake business owners make with QuickBooks Online bank feeds - YouTube
Have you recently bought QuickBooks Online? Or, maybe you’ve been using it for a while to get all of the bookkeeping done for your small business. I’m sure by now you have figured out that there is a banking center where you can connect QuickBooks Online to your bank and credit card accounts. We call that the Bank Feeds. I’m sure that you found it very helpful – but I did want you to know that there are quite a few mistakes that small business owners make with their Bank Feeds. Let’s go over what they are so you can learn to avoid the biggest mistakes.
#1: First of all, the number one mistake that small business owners make with bank feeds is thinking that it is the only way in which you do your bookkeeping in QuickBooks. Perhaps you’ve used a tool like Quicken or some other personal finance tools in which you have connected those tools to your personal bank accounts, and those tools pretty much work off of the downloaded banking transactions. QuickBooks Online has similar functionality, but QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting software and it has lots more functionality and ways of doing things. While the bank feeds are very helpful, you need to understand that that’s just one of the ways in which you can do your bookkeeping. There are many other ways, and we share a lot of QuickBooks Online Tutorials on my blog at 5MinuteBookkeeping.com, so you can learn the full functionality of QuickBooks Online.
#2: The second mistake that small business owners make with their bank feeds in QuickBooks Online is that, when you’re going through all of the transactions that are downloaded from QuickBooks, you just click “add” on every transaction. Unfortunately, those transactions are not yet categorized into QuickBooks. They need to be categorized first before you click add. What happens when you’re clicking “add” on every transaction and then look at your reports, you end up with a bunch of transactions in uncategorized income and uncategorized expense, and then you’re having to go through every transaction and re-categorize it.
What you actually need to do is to look at the transactions that are downloaded from the bank and review the account category on each transaction, to see what it was for. If it was for a hotel expense, for example, then you might need to categorize it to travel. Or, if it was an office supply type of expense, you would put it to office supplies or to office expense. You never want to categorize anything to uncategorized expense or uncategorized income.
#3: The third mistake that small business owners make with their QuickBooks Online Bank Feeds is that they let them accumulate for months at a time instead of working on them every day. Here are the 5MinuteBookkeeping blog, we’re big onencouraging business owners to work on their bookkeeping just five minutes a day. You can do that very easily because you probably don’t have that much activity on a daily basis. If you can work on the bank feeds five minutes a day, rather than waiting a week (or months) before getting to it, you’ll be a whole lot more productive. It won’t be such a big pain to work on all of those transactions, and then you’ll get some small wins. Who knows? You might do five minutes, 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes a day rather than waiting weeks, months, and even a year to work on your bookkeeping.