Last week I was privileged to attend an event, called Bearfoot Boardroom, with our very own, Julie DeLong, COO of Backyard Bookkeeper. We heard from Dana Ball, a small business lawyer, and Julie. Dana started out by teaching us how to protect ourselves and our small businesses. One point that I found useful (because I’m guilty of this) is to make sure you don’t just use Google to create contracts. The importance of having a binding contract specific to your business is essential in protecting yourself, your business, and your assets. Small business owners have a tendency to DIY as much as they possibly can. However, when it comes to contracts it’s worth the small fee to have it done right initially.
The other point that really stood out was Dana’s standard of communication with clients. She sets a standard to get back to every client within 24 hours. I really appreciated how she emphasized that our clients are the reason for our business.
After Dana spoke, Julie took a turn and spoke about bookkeeping for a small business. She helped us understand the basics of finding a good bookkeeper. You want to hire a bookkeeper that knows their stuff, saves you time, and gives you valuable information such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, etc. She shared tools that make it easier for business owners such as mileage tracking apps. She also stressed the importance of having updated bookkeeping, so you can make educated decisions and know what your return on investment is, etc.
The real benefit from this event was the conversations that happened in between the speakers. Both Dana and Julie brought up several points that had us talking and asking important questions. We connected with each other and opened up in ways that allowed us to improve our current situation. That connection is what events like these are for. The positive interactions we had together, and those “light bulb” moments allowed me to leave with specific goals. Thanks to Ellen with Empowering Concepts Group for putting this together! I’m looking forward to more events like this in the future.
Author Jess Gainer-Office Manager, Customer Service, Tech Support, and Super Hero. She likes doing things well and wants all those she connects with to feel happier when they leave her presence. Her background includes teaching technology, running an office, bookkeeping, and protecting the world from evil one happy moment at a time. Her passions include extreme sports, building and fixing stuff, making music, playing everywhere she is, and learning.
I have a friend in the mortgage industry and lately he’s been “complaining” that there is not much to do at work. Complaining is probably not the right word for it, except that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to pretend he’s working now that he’s started to bring his guitar to work and is showing off his handstand abilities to his co-workers. Last year at this time, he was complaining because of how much work there was to do. He had to stay late and even work a couple Saturdays to stay on top of the workload. There was no guitar playing or handstanding that year. All joking aside, he had a meeting today that laid out the stats for his department.
Here is the important information to know because it will validate my point:
|Loans to process||LOTS (100%)||3% less than LOTS (97%)|
|Number of people in his department||20||15|
That’s right, only 3% less volume of work being done by 25% less people. And yet 2018 is the year their department feels like there is nothing to do.
“What made the difference?” you ask…well, that’s what I asked.
“Staying on top of things,” he replied. He then went on to explain that in 2017 his department was perpetually 3 days behind. A loan would be ready and it would take 3 days before it was processed. In 2018, their department decided it was time to get caught up. They began working to ensure that loans were processed as soon as they were ready. That changed everything.
Even when the amount of employees working went down, and work volume stayed virtually the same (which actually increased the amount of loans each employee processed if you do the math), they were able to stay ahead of the game. *Cue the guitars and handstands.* The difference came because there were no longer complaint emails and phone calls. And everyone’s stress level went down because they didn’t feel behind. The volume of actual work done increased, but customer service improved and suddenly work became easier. They went from “putting out fires” on last day loans to providing excellent customer service and enjoying their work day more when they forged ahead and stayed ahead.
What does this have to do with bookkeeping? Good question. This is, after all, a blog for a bookkeeping company.
First of all, it’s a good reminder to us all to stay on top of our bookkeeping. Work has this funny tendency of not going away when you ignore it, and even getting more difficult as time goes on. When you stay on top of your bookkeeping, it’s a lot easier to solve the financial problems that come because you are aware of them. Work doesn’t pile up and finances are easier to interpret when it’s not just a guessing game.
Secondly, this is just one more reason to hire Backyard Bookkeeper. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I’ve had with potential clients saying the same basic things: I can’t keep up anymore. I need to take something off my plate. I’m not doing what I love because I’m stuck trying to figure out QuickBooks/CosmoLex/Billy/Xero. When you delegate responsibilities to people who love to do the work, everyone stays on top of things better. We get to enter the numbers and you get to focus on the parts of your business that you love, the things you started your business for. And when you stay on top of business, it does better. Not only that, but you will have more time to play guitar, do handstands, be with your family, or do whatever other hobbies you choose to pick up.
So here’s to getting things done efficiently and in a timely manner. Let us know if we can help.
I hopped on Facebook the other day and saw this query, posed by bookkeeper extraordinaire Julie DeLong:
Julie: “Pondering the deep questions this evening: why does QB Online always try to name my Taco Bell purchases “AT&T”?”
Alex: “Because it wants you to write it off as business expenses! If you get audited just tell the IRS it told you so!!!;)))”
Imagine trying to explain to an Auditor why your phone bill smells like hot sauce! As I laughed about it, and about Alex’s response; I realized the problem we face as we advance as a society is Artificial Intelligence can only be as smart as its creators-the human race. I haven’t met a person yet who is entirely mistake free, so we find “glitches” in the programs we write. Glitches that can cause serious problems if we let them continue; like telling the IRS that Taco Bell is indeed your phone company. I don’t think they’ll buy it.
What’s the solution? Fortunately, in this case, it’s as simple as actually spending some time reconciling your accounts. *cue the bookkeepers* That’s what we’re here for. The convenience of having your accounts tied to your bookkeeping software does not eliminate the need for a “second pair of eyes” to make sure everything is put in its correct place. It just makes it more convenient.
Here at Backyard Bookkeeper, we stay on top of the newest bookkeeping software development and are excited for whatever is next. Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto. Thank you for making our job easier, but not irrelevant.
An Employee’s Review of Telecommuting
I’ve done some research and have found many articles about the perks of having employees work from a virtual office, but I have seen little from the employees themselves. So, here goes:
I love working from home! The perks are endless:
- I can be a mom the way I want to. I have a job where I can be home with my kids, watch them grow, and help them when they need it.
- Working from home has made me more efficient. When I’m working, I’m working. My hours on the clock are dedicated to getting work done quickly and well. It has also made me more efficient with home upkeep. I find myself scheduling my entire day better, keeping things cleaner, playing with my kids more, all because my time is valuable and focused.
- Company meetings are fun. I enjoy my interactions with my coworkers and feel meetings are time to come together and problem solve. Our meetings are effective and meaningful.
- I make money that goes towards taking care of my family. I don’t have to work just to get my kids taken care of at day care or to pay for my car and gas to commute to an office. The money I earn is actually money earned.
- The dress code. “I try not to work in pants, I feel like it ruins my productivity.” I said this yesterday, speaking to someone who has a day job working 50+ hours per week in a corporate office. The moment I said it I realized, again, how lucky I am to go to work in my cat pajamas and my favorite hoodie at my own computer.
Overall, I highly recommend working from home for all the reasons listed above and many more. 5 stars!
I was wandering the business section of my local library, trying to find inspiration and direction to help myself move forward in life. I turned the corner and this screamed its title at me, DO COOL SH*T. I knew immediately it was coming home with me. 3 weeks later, when it was due back to the library, my own copy was already on its way to my mailbox.
Miki Agrawal expresses herself as a powerful, energetic person. Throughout the book, her voice is loud and clear. She is excited about her own journey and the things she has done to get where she is. This excitement is absolutely contagious.
Agrawal delves into her own business successes and failures and then uses them to suggest ways to apply those stories to your own desires to “Do Cool Sh*t.” She leads the reader through an organized narrative of ways to step out and try things on your own. Each chapter includes a “Do Cool Shit Takeaway,” something that you can do or apply to help you “quit your day job, start your own business & live happily ever after.”
I really appreciated how she showed effective ways to network, throwing parties that lead everyone to walk away with good connections and she would end up with a solid plan for her next steps in her own business.
Agrawal also shows the importance of persistence and learning from her mistakes. This book really opened my eyes to some fun and memorable marketing techniques, ways to effectively grow a business, and how to make a living out of something you love.
This book is definitely worth your time. It’s a fast moving narrative with so much good to take away from it that you’ll want a notebook and a highlighter with you when you read.