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The Deck Guy
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3,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering hiring a part-time/freelance bookkeeper to handle my books on a weekly basis.

I hate doing it, I stink at it, and I don't want to do it.

I have an ad running now and I'm getting many responses from it. The rates I am seeing people request are fair and realistically, I don't think they'd have more than 1-2 hours a week of work to do. It's pretty basic.

My questions are for those of you who utilize and outside bookkeeper:

1) I operate from my home and I don't really want this person in my house. I would prefer to have them work off site. Is this feasible with Quickbooks? How do they handle receipts and hard copy paperwork if they are not there?
2) Does a bookkeeper typically file all the assorted receipts and such? I have a mountain of receipts and it's a mess.
3) Security. What do you give them access to and how do you keep accounts secure and such? Do you let them pay bills for you or do you pay the bills independently and let them reconcile it?
4) Does anyone have a good system worked out with an outside bookkeeper?

Thanks for any info.
 

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3,257 Posts
My purchases fall into three categories:
purchases made for a specific job (where I use POs)
purchases made for the business (office supplies, misc. shop supplies, etc.)
bills

I jot down on the top the receipt what's its for, if it's job-specific, it's stapled to the PO.
At the end of each month, I drop off a folder w/ all my receipts, POs, invoices (my income) and bills as well as statements from my credit union, vendors, etc.
She reconciles the statements and creates a P/L for each job.

She doesn't pay any bills for me, nor does she have access to my online accounts.

Mac
 

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Registered
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2,831 Posts
My purchases fall into three categories:
purchases made for a specific job (where I use POs)
purchases made for the business (office supplies, misc. shop supplies, etc.)
bills

I jot down on the top the receipt what's its for, if it's job-specific, it's stapled to the PO.
At the end of each month, I drop off a folder w/ all my receipts, POs, invoices (my income) and bills as well as statements from my credit union, vendors, etc.
i do practically the exact same thing
 

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Registered
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470 Posts
my bookkeeper comes to my office, which is in my house. She has her own house key, and a key to my PO box. If I misplace my PO Bx key, I know where in her house she keeps her key to my PO Box. Her job consists of:
Payroll, time cards and making out the checks
Billing from invoices, telling me to follow up on past due accounts
Reconciling Checking accounts , business, rental and personal
Making some deposits, & I make some, depending on when I am in town
Getting taxes ready for the accountant
Telling me to work on the pile of papers on my desk
She prints out checks for taxes, payroll, refunds (some customers make double payments) and does not sign any checks.
She consults with my accountants to keep up on any changes in tax laws that affect my business.

She has been with me since Jan of 2002. Obviously there is a great deal of trust between both of us. Once, she made a mistake and forgot to get the quarterly taxes done. She paid the penalty, as she felt she was at fault. My accountants have both commented that she is the best bookkeeper in town for contractors. Once I was audited by the employment department. The auditor told me after the audit, that had they known who my bookkeeper was, there would have been no audit.

And no, you cannot borrow her. It is much more difficult to find a good bookkepper than a technician.
 

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Scooter
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304 Posts
Having a great bookkeeper is a MUST!

It allows you to focus on what you should be...... satisfying customers and making the money. Let the bookkeeper handle the paper end of the deal! Unless you enjoy being up late at night doing it yourself and it cutting into your family time.
 

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The Deck Guy
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3,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How do you guys handle the Quickbooks interface?

Are they working on a separate file or are you constantly importing and exporting? Right now, I print checks out of QB constantly, so I have to figure out a way that we can work together, but separately.

Also, when you give them your receipts, do they give them back to you filed or what? I'm just trying to figure out the workflow.

THanks
 

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Scooter
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304 Posts
For access you can google "quickbooks online". For about $20.00 a month that solves that problem.

For your receipts, during the process have them tape the receipt to standard size paper - 8.5x11 (easier to file instead of a bunch of different sizes). You can schedule a "drop off" and "pick up" once a week. Throw all of your receipts in a zipper pouch (you need 2 so you have one your filling and they have one to process). Either you can file all the processed receipts or they can if you use a portable file system.

For keeping receipts organized once they are attached to the paper,
  • Create files for receipts from vendors that you use alot (example: ABC Wood Products Inc.)
  • Create 2 files A-M and N-Z (these files are for the vendors you don't use as often)
  • Create 1 file for "owner investment receipts" (These should be a photo copy of any receipts from an owner investment"
For bill paying you should always review everything and you sign the checks.

Also if you visit your accountant mid year and year end, your accountant will also be watching for anything that doesn't look right. (More eyes equal less mistakes)

In time you will find a system that works well for you and your bookeeper and once you find a bookkeeper you trust and are comfortable with show your appreciation.

A great bookeeper will free up ALOT of your time!

Hope this helps!
 

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Nest Home Improvement
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890 Posts
Your accountant should help you set up financial controls for your company. Separating out the writing of checks and actual signing of checks is one good one. Another is different people accept you receivables and open your mail and make your bank deposits.

I know of someone that can do remote bookeeping. You send all the receipts etc every week. She organizes it, enters it into either Excel (which can be imported into Quickbooks) or directly into QuickBooks. Sends you back whatever monthly financial reporting you want and all the papers filed and organized. PM if you are interested.
 
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