While every bookkeeping job comes with its own set of unique tasks, clients seeking catch-up (or Rescue Bookkeeping) tend to bring with them a host of relatively predictable (if dynamic) issues that you can manage effectively if you are aware of them.
A typical catch-up bookkeeping scenario
Recently we were contacted by the operator of a sole trader business – “Peter” (not his real name), seeking help with his bookkeeping backlog.
Many of the issues he identified are relatively standard in the rescue bookkeeping world. Becoming familiar with them will help you to effectively help your clients in the future.
Clarifying your client’s needs as you get more involved
As a bookkeeping tutor or trainer, just as when you are working as a bookkeeper, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of exactly what your client needs are, right from the outset.
Once you have established your client’s precise needs, you are more able to deliver a value for money service, as well as understand fully the parameters of the job.
Or, if your client’s needs go beyond what you’re capable of delivering, with an understanding of what they are after, you can provide direction, and refer them to a colleague within your referral network.
When speaking with or taking on a new client, it’s important to ask the right questions so that you can be sure that you are the right person for the job, and if not, be ready to refer within your own network.
Helping a Business Catch-up with their Bookkeeping has Risks. Here are the risks for Rescue bookkeeping work?
There is no doubt that opportunities are abundant in the world of catch-up bookkeeping. This is because even the most organised among us have at times let things slide when it comes to our businesses money matters.
However, if you are taking on this kind of bookkeeping work, it is important to remember that it can come with some significant risks and pitfalls that you need to identify and plan for.
Fortnite publisher Epic Games decided to pick a fight with Apple over the fees that Apple earn from apps in their Appstore. MYOB recently made a decision to discontinue their Mac version of accounting software called MYOB AccountEdge because of a change in the iOS software that runs most Apple PC’s. It’s interesting to see the effect that Apple is having on lots of different software companies but for bookkeepers it means one less software program to learn!
Our course design team were exploring recent job ads for accounting and office administration support and we distilled it down to an alarming fact – most of these jobs want all rounders!
Accounting knowledge in Xero or MYOB is important (mandatory), good skills in Data Entry and Microsoft Office (Word & Excel) is important (mandatory) and communicating via email and the phone is important (mandatory). This job ad in particular for a Sydney based property services business seemed to demonstrate that they were looking for an all rounder.
NEWSFLASH: Online Business Course included with MYOB & Xero Bookkeeping PLUS and PRO training course packages
A swell of interest in starting and online business has motivated us to include the affiliate training course with our popular MYOB & Xero training course packages. Affiliate marketing was pioneered in 1994 by William J Tobin who launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, however most people associate affiliate marketing with Amazon. This online business course enables you to promote our online courses and earn an income from anyone who you refer who enrols – we teach and demonstrate how it works.
THERE ARE REWARDS AS WELL AS RISKS to providing people with a quote for work, but one of the bigger risks is offering a free measure and quote, only to have the quote knocked back in favour of a competitor’s cheaper one.
This said, despite the risks attached to offering to come out for free and quote a job, it’s still a good way to operate your business.
Why a free measure and quote is good
There are a lot of benefits to visiting a client to provide a free measure and quote, even if you run the risk of wasting your time and money should the quote not be accepted. We take a look at some of these:
You’ll better understand the client and scope of works
Quoting for a job will help you to understand the client and the scope of the project at the same time. People are put more at ease when they know they’re not obligated to pay you just to come out and prepare a quote, so you’ll have better luck getting prospects. You’ll also be able to discern the kind of client the prospect is likely to be, so you can weigh up how to proceed.
Helps you evaluate potential risks
Remember risks can involve both the physical risk of injury but also other more nebulous risks, like a client who doesn’t pay on time or is unrealistic about timeframes, costs or the types of materials required. With experience, you’ll become better at seeing the warning signs early on, but if you’re new to being self-employed, these are things you should pay particular attention to.
How to make a sale there and then
As we said in our previous post about the risks and rewards of quoting, if you make it easy for people to do business with you, you’re more likely to get quick or even immediate acceptance of your quotes. This is really important as a business, because it keeps in a steady stream of work, which is good for your cash flow, and ultimately, costs you less money — because you’re not following up on unaccepted quotes — in the long run.
Demonstrating efficiency, organisation and enthusiasm are clearly attractive qualities in any builder, tradesperson or other small business person who provides on-site quotes (they’re attractive qualities in anybody!) because it shows that you care about the work you do and that you’ll do it in a timely manner.
MARKETING AND ACCOUNTING ARE CLOSELY linked if you look at accounting as dealing with the money that’s going in and out of your business, usually as a consequence of your marketing activities.
Recording your marketing activities
In our new online training course, Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI for Xero, you’ll learn how to enter all of your business’s expenses, including the money you spend on marketing. Anything to do with making your business “discoverable” by a potential customer is considered a marketing activity.
Anything to do with making your business “discoverable” by a potential customer is considered a marketing activity.
That includes business cards, website costs, domain names, Google AdWords, etc, and should be recorded in Xero as a marketing expense.
Determine marketing ROI
To determine your Return on Investment (ROI), you should use Excel or a marketing platform like Hubspot to record where your business comes from so you can assign each activity an income stream.
It’s important to monitor how your marketing spend is performing for your business. Otherwise how will you know what’s working and what’s not?
In our Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI course for Xero, you’ll go through the steps required to determine the ROI for certain areas of a business. If you refer to the Excel spreadsheet showing the income generated by particular marketing activities — print ads, hipages subscriptions, Google AdWords, etc, you’ll be able to work out the ROI.
Monitoring how your marketing spend performs for your business is incredibly important. It’ll help you to see what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to be changed to make it perform better.