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5 Tips on How to be a Good Client for Your Bookkeeper C2online

We recently looked at the characteristics of a good bookkeeper. But what about being a good client?

As a general rule, a bookkeeper will be more diligent with the clients that they love and respect. So what do you need to do as a client to get the highest level of performance from your bookkeeper? Below are 5 tips for you to remember when working with your bookkeeper.

1. It's Not Their Fault
Bookkeepers can make mistakes - they are human - but not that often. Bookkeepers love what they do because they have great attention to detail and they like to see things add up correctly and balance. Often they are quick, as well as being thorough. As a rule, they are hard wired to do things right.

Most likely the blame for incorrect entries and 'mistakes' are because of miscommunication or misunderstanding. So try your best to understand what your bookkeeper needs.

2. Send Material on Time
We all live with deadlines. Bookkeepers have lots of deadlines for multiple clients so be aware of when they need things such as getting bank statements from you.

If you have specific dates in a month when you want to review your financial statements, let your bookkeeper know. They will let you know what their requirements are to deliver on time.

If you don't know ask. If there is a mix-up, write an email to make your needs clear.

3. Listen to Suggestions
Bookkeepers know what they are doing and they work with lots of clients. They know how to improve processes and how to make things run smoothly. Ask for suggestions, listen, and be sure you understand their suggestions. You will learn a thing or two which will help to improve the bottom line.

4. Pay Your Bills on Time
No one likes a staler. If you want great service from your bookkeeper then be sure to pay them well and pay then on time. Just do it.

5. Show Your Appreciation
This is obvious but so easy to forget. Show your appreciation for all the things your bookkeeper does and the effort they put in to deliver your books on time - consistently. You don't need to do something special every month but what about every quarter or twice a year.

Your appreciation could be a simple phone call to say thanks or maybe a gift certificate for two at a nearby restaurant. Who doesn't like eating out once in a while?

We hope that these suggestions are helpful to you as a client who has hired a bookkeeper. Make a comment and let us know what you think.


Why Excel May Be Bad For Your Business C2online

Many companies are using MS Excel for their bookkeeping needs and services. It makes sense because the program already comes bundled with the PC you bought, so it’s cheaper than buying bookkeeping software. And really, if your current bookkeeping system utilizes shoeboxes and file folders, then Excel would be a huge improvement for you.

However, when it’s time to move on from the most basic of cash book type record, you’ll need a proper bookkeeping tool that’s built for your needs. As business grows, it also outgrows the use of Excel for bookkeeping.

Here are some common arguments for using Excel… and the problems associated with them.

It’s familiar and I already know how to use it.

Sure, most users know how to do some of the basic tasks but Excel is not simple and the more advanced features require some proper learning and experience. A bookkeeping software is already set up for all the normal accounting things one will need to do.

I can create almost unlimited reports and graphs.

You’re free to do anything you want with your data; there’s a whole range of financial and statistical functions, formulas, charts, and numerous ways to analyse your data. However, you can end up with multiple worksheets, complex formulas and a headache trying to figure it all out.

It’s free because it’s already on my computer.

If not used properly, it could be a waste of time… and money. Because Excel is so complex, there is a steep learning curve to becoming proficient. There is also a huge potential for error with every formula, data entry, calculation, and so on. This inaccuracy could cost your business a lot of money. Sometimes what looks like the cheaper or simpler option may turn out to be the opposite in the long run.

Everybody has Excel so I can easily share it with others.

Excel can be very difficult for others to interpret and understand. There is little consistency between spreadsheets produced by different people and therefore can be extremely difficult to understand the logic of a spreadsheet created by another person.  

So many people use Excel, it must do everything.

There are functions that Excel can’t provide like audit trails, invoicing, bank feeds & reconciliation, contacts, payroll, time billing, reports and more. You could probably create a workable solution for some of these functions but it would take a lot of time and training.


There’s nothing wrong with Excel if it works for you. Have a look at your business and your goals and decide if you should you should be using this program or if it’s time to move towards a dedicated bookkeeping software.

5 Steps for Setting Yourself Up for Success - Marketing Your Freelance Bookkeeping Business Lisa Patrick

Many people decide to become freelancer bookkeepers, as a full-time job, or as a way to supplement a current job. If you have decided to start a freelance bookkeeping business, you will be in charge of getting and keeping clients, marketing yourself and promoting your business.

You need to do some work ahead of time to determine who you are, what you’re offering, why you’re unique, and how potential clients can benefit from your services.

1. Study the market and your competition

Do your homework and find out what the next-best thing is doing. Put in the time and money to research your competition; you could find opportunities to define your competitive advantage.

2. Determine your target market

Identify who your ideal client is. What services do they require? Your business must solve your ideal client’s problems. Also, if you have existing clients, listen to them about what they like and what they don't like. Determining your target market will allow you to modify your business accordingly. For instance, you may prefer to work with clients from a specific industry or who bring in a certain level of revenues each year. You need to know who you’re marketing to.

3. Develop your product

Successful business owners focus on what they enjoy doing and are good at. What bookkeeping services do you want to provide? There may be an opportunity to distinguish yourself by how you deliver your services. For example, consulting over the Internet, face-to-face, on the phone, through webinars, etc. As well, you might serve a unique software application that could distinguish you and give you a competitive advantage. Think about what deserves your marketing spotlight.

4. Set a price

Find out what the median hourly wage is and position yourself accordingly. Be prepared to negotiate a fee and you can always increase your rates once you are established.

5. Start promoting and solicit clients

There are endless marketing opportunities so figure out your target market and where you’ll find them. You could approach small local businesses, post ads in your local paper, advertise on the Internet. You should represent yourself on the web with a website—a good website—that makes you look professional and brands yourself well. Social media can be overwhelming so be aware of what social avenues exist but don't feel obliged to participate on every platform. By focusing your attention where it matters, you can make the most of social media without getting lost in the many possibilities.


Every Dollar Matters - Increase Revenues After Tax Season Lisa Patrick

During the current recession, many businesses and individuals are turning to professional accountants in order to ensure the correct preparation of their tax returns to avoid costly penalties. This means that there are many opportunities for accountancy offices and franchises to grow - an opportunity for a new revenue stream to offset the lack of revenue after tax season.

But tax season for personal income tax returns is a 3 month a year revenue stream.  We all see kiosk’s in the mall from Liberty Tax and H&R Block but what about the other 9 months of the year? Your business client comes in once a year to file their T2 return but you don't see them for the other 11 months of the year?

Every dollar matters in your business and revenue streams in off peak season are vital to the success of your business.  Bookkeeping offers the opportunity for your business to offer another service for your clientele and generate another revenue stream for your business. But your not a bookkeeper, you're an accountant or a business owner!

A brand new software Bookkeeper’s Quote™ now provides you the opportunity to profile new clients or existing clients and match their businesses with bookkeeping tasks required.  The bookkeeping software provides you the communication tool necessary to discuss the tasks associated with bookkeeping and at the same time provides you the checklist of bookkeeping tasks you will need to complete to provide a bookkeeping service.

Bookkeeper’s Quote™ also will create accurate bookkeeping quotes that properly reflect a bookkeepers' time and work on clients' accounts, based on your rates and task/time settings or default proven standard times.

Bookkeeper’s Quote™ is designed to assist the user in Communicating 2 the client about the costs and any adjustments in billings after the quote.

Bookkeeper’s Quote™ includes everything you will need to ensure you provide accurate reliable service to a client.  Whether they are new to your office,  client information is recorded, compliance methods assured, contacts with the government accounted for, posting and invoicing recorded, payroll included and tax regulatory issues are highlighted and more.

So if you are looking to add a revenue stream to your existing business or a new business that compliments what you are currently doing think about bookkeeping and make every dollar count.

 


New Software: Bookkeepers Quote™ Lisa Patrick

How to Deal and Influence Toxic Clients Lisa Patrick

We have a proven method on how to deal with Toxic Clients.  This method is in place to recognize the fact that every retail industry has “Toxic Clients” is the first step.
 
The next step is recognize why they are toxic and that might involve you accepting some accountability for a mistake.

Some steps that we have developed teach us how to:
1.        teach the toxic client to be appreciative and worthwhile.
2.        refer the toxic client to an alternate.
3.        and finally how recognize when you have to get rid of that toxic client
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We are keynote speaking about this very subject.  Check our events calendar for more information. 

This event is only open to bookkeepers and accountants.  However, we will be conducting a webinar on this very subject and you amy contact us directly to pre-register for that event.


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