More often than not when I am speaking with Accountants and Bookkeepers I hear, ‘My clients won’t …’

In the past, I have put on my bookkeeping/accounting disguise and verified the validity of this type of response myself. And lately, since firms have hired me to go out to their clients and set them up for those processes that would allow the firm to become the virtual CFO or value-based biller, I have been able to do this verification across the nation, business types, and personality types. There, in the client’s office I often hear, ‘Will my Accountant/Bookkeeper do …?’ Sometimes I am called back in, and I hear, ‘I thought my Accountant/Bookkeeper was going to do…?’ SWSWSW (some will, some won’t so what.) Last month, during a visit from one of my six siblings, for Thanksgiving, he challenged me to go out in disguise again. On December 1st I did just that. Ok, so we could not get the kids engaged in trivial pursuit game, so we had to challenge each other in a different way.

I now have three monthly value added clients; two on QuickBooks Online, one on Xero. I also have one special project on Wave that could become monthly and two proposals going out this week. All leads came from my online presence with the professional networks for these accounting applications as well as local networking. One short visit got the contract. Three of the visits were done over the phone and GoToMeeting. Work is progressing, and all clients have provided access to source information immediately when it is available. Oh yes I do not do the work, my outsourced off-shore, India based team is doing the work and all the clients are aware of the fact.

Types of businesses:

Monthly clients are; a new franchise distributor, a new online product sales company and one already two-year-old Day Spa. All clients are between 45-67 years of age. All were either partially in the cloud or wanting to go to the cloud. By partially, I mean they had online banking. All three were surprised when I told them that was part of ‘THE CLOUD.’

Types of work:

Reconciliations, daily allocations, bill prep, after the fact payroll, 1099 prep, sales tax tracking, and custom reports. One client asked me today if I could pay his bills too. I asked if we could do one or two more months before he asked that again and we would see. Each of them also wants an additional service of CFO monthly meeting on top of the monthly regular bookkeeping work. We have a CPA that will handle that work.

Special projects:

1. Clean up QuickBooks desktop for a client in the service industry. The client was using QuickBooks as a glorified checkbook, so we moved him to the cloud. When I initially approached the online accounting idea, he said it was over his head. All I did was suggest he think about moving to the cloud and when I called him back later in the week he had already set up the cloud-based account and asked how he could collaborate now. He mentioned his concern about his tax accountant, so I called the tax accountant. The accountant did not care what he was in as long as he got a clean year-end balance sheet and P&L. I already knew the accountant would not care. How could I tell? A five-year-old QuickBooks file that had never been reconciled or had any adjusting journal entries pretty much tells me the tax accountant doesn’t touch the client’s books. A quick call to the accountant confirmed all, and he was ok with the switch as long as he got what he wanted.

2. The other special project was at a CPAs request. They asked me to present better processes so they could get a better handle on their client’s books. The client had excellent processes they were all just manual. They did not know about the cloud were not interested, and the bookkeeper adamantly told me no way! An hour later she was asking when they were going to switch. The software they used, with a bit of research would connect to QBO or Xero. Next week, once they decide on which bookkeeping program, QBO or Xero, we move them to the cloud. The accountant will have access to all the data and the production staff, sales and bookkeeping will no longer live in silos.

Ok, Brother Dan, gauntlet picked up and blows delivered!