Personally, I agree with you 100% regarding the difficulty using QuickBooks. The problem with QuickBooks and hiring an accountant is neither will teach you a system that is idiot-proof nor simple. It is not in an accountants best interest to have your accounting super simple nor organized and they really don't have the time to micro-manage every client's method of bookkeeping.Hello - The following is my saga of frustration. Sorry it is so long but we seriously do need some guidance.
I have gone back & read some of the posts on the topic of bookkeeping but they were old and I have some other related questions. I am the bookkeeping half (wife ;-) ) of our power generation contracting business but I am not a bookkeeper by training, skill or talent and neither is the technical half. We've had our business for 16 years now and it has grown gradually and successfully. Shockingly we still are running on a glorified "shoe box" method of bookkeeping. We have job files for every job and all expenses, labor, etc. are recoded and kept in each file. Our quarterlies are based on previous year. We tabulated all income, expenses, business investment and charitable at the end f the year manually. We have Quickbooks but only use it for the invoice template. I have a system I have designed in Word for quotes and reports.
We are at crisis point right now as we are at the place of needing to hire employees and are moving into a bigger space which we are purchasing. Neither of us has any bookkeeping or accounting aptitude but I am willing to learn, albeit I had a couple very bad experiences trying to learn Quickbooks in one or two day workshops as both were taught by accountants that were talking from complicated accounting perspectives that completely confused me. The classes were a waste.
Hiring a full time bookkeeper is not in our budget. Our invoicing can be complicated and I am familiar with how we do it. Any opinion on Sage 100 versus Quickbooks? How can I learn a software program without wasting my time taking a class from accountants with no teaching aptitude?
My company is running up to 60 employees and three separate businesses with only one part-time secretary who does just about nothing regarding bookkeeping. That is because my system is so efficient I can do it myself in only a few hours a month and prefer not to have too many hands in the soup.
Every month you make two folders and you write a Month Number on each folder. If you've been in business for 10 years and this is your 120th month then write on one folder 'BANK STATEMENT MONTH NUMBER 120' and on the other folder you write INVOICES/CONTRACTS MONTH NUMBER 120'.
On your bank statement you write 'MAY MONTH 120'. You put the bank statement in the folder. Then, you take every receipt, check and payment that refers to the bank statement and you place that in the folder. Then, you use the database (or by hand) you make a list of every transaction on the statement and you make sure you have a receipt in the folder that matches that transaction. When the totals in your database are the same as the totals on your bank statements you know your books are accurate to the penny. When the IRS wants to see your records they usually always want to see only your bank statements and receipts that match what you put in and take out of your bank. I've been audited several times and no auditor ever asked to see a contract nor invoice, but you keep them in a folder, anyway.
When I want to know what my monthly, or annual sales are then I can go to my invoice database, or my statement deposits. The invoice database tells me more about the types of sales and where they came from.
Every month, my database prints a report that tells my CPA exactly how much I paid each employee and the report prints a list of each employee's deductions. I send this report to my CPA and a few minutes later he tells me how much to pay the IRS, etc. I never try to calculate my payroll liabilities because this is an area for the experts and when I get an audit I drop the ball in my CPA's lap.