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Smith Office Solutions Newsletter
September 2012
In This Issue
Important Dates
Learning it All Over Again
Keeping Bookkeeping Costs Low
Tip of the Month
Important Dates
Aug 15 P/R Tax Dep Due

Sept 3  Labor Day
Sept 14 P/R Tax Dep Due
Sept 18 Start of Year End Review Appointments.  Call for yours.

Oct 15 P/R Tax Dep Due
Oct 31 Qtr 3 941 & OQ Due

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I guess I would say Summer is really over.  It isn't officially and the heat is high.  As life moves on things change over time.  The last year has taught me a lot.  Romney says corporations are people.  I couldn't disagree more.  Corporations are not alive and it takes us and the community around us.  They depend on us.  Times have been hard for last decade.  Remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  The corporation doesn't have a heart it is the people are around it that do. 


The last things I want to do to you as clients is to make it hard on you.  I know it is for you when you aren't billed on time.  I don't like surprises either.  We are trying to move to project billing instead.  That way you will know what your costs are ahead of time and we only ask that you observe the due date.  I there is a special project you will be given and estimate and if there appears to be things that will derail the quote you will be notified prior to continuing with the project.  We will discuss it and make changes as necessary.


I have been working hard on project for the last few months.  It is a manufacturing project.  The other day I had enough of an form created in Excel that I could show him.  Now he is getting excited.  Now we are working on the exceptions.  Yes we are using QuickBooks Manufacturing but systems may include more that just accounting.  You can have the best accounting program in the world but if it takes too much time or so many energy to use it, it probably won't get used properly.  If you are looking for help in systems don't hesitate to call.  Sometimes I need to let it percolate in my head but we all need to look outside the box as entrepreneurs .






What I Have (Re)Learned This Year

 (I am kind of embarrassed to admit it but many of the things I learned I already knew but I just kind of lost track of them in the hustle and bustle of like).

  • the Customer is KING.  That means really listening them.  Most bookkeepers look at the job and start entering.  I believe that is a job not really giving the client what they may need.  In the past I have prided myself by trying to figure out what the client needs before they know they need it.
  • This takes thinking out of the box.  That takes really knowing my accounting and the products I use the most.  I have the certifications in QuickBooks which require constant learning.  Every year I have to pass the exams.  I have been doing this for over 13 years.
  • Not being afraid of looking at new ideas.  I am constantly looking for new products to give added value.
  • People are sometimes reluctant to make a move to something new.  The object is to make the threshold low enough that the client is willing to try something.  I have yet to decided what that will be be.  Right now I am using a free hour beginning QuickBooks review and consultation.  Maybe it will be a "pay a month and get free month on the Cloud".  Maybe it will be a free month on the Online payroll subscription.

Any ideas?


For help on any of this, email 

Keeping Your Bookkeeping Costs Low



Smith Office Solutions has a few suggestions for achieving the most efficient and cost-effective bookkeeping service (and making our job a lot easier,) when outsourcing the bookkeeping functions for your business. How you manage the bookkeeping has a lot to do with how efficient the process is. Of course, as a business owner you already know that more efficient means lower costs for you.


Our first suggestion, and most important, is to avoid a "stop and go" bookkeeping process. What does this mean?


Every time that we need to start a session working on your books, there is a period of time necessary to get things in motion. We may need to clear our head from working on another client and refocus on your specific company's needs, access your QuickBooks file, find the unique passwords to log in to your company information, and review any tasks that need to be completed or open issues. Once we have completed the work, there is also a short time needed to close out the session, update the list of tasks and status of open issues, and contact you with appropriate information or questions. Keep in mind that the time spent in starting and ending a bookkeeping session is a fixed cost per session, whether the bookkeeping lasts 5 minutes or 5 hours. Due to this fixed cost, Smith Office Solutions usually charges a minimum 15 minutes of bookkeeping at our hourly rate every time we work on your company file. This makes it important to batch the work in longer sessions in order to keep your costs lower. The fewer sessions we have per week, the lower your overall costs for bookkeeping.


Another way to avoid "stop and go" bookkeeping is to make sure that the information that you send to us is complete, right from the start. This will make everyone's life easier. Your bookkeeping costs will be higher than they should be if we have to chase you down to get the missing information. Without complete information, we may start the work session, realize that some documents are missing, and then we will need to contact you and wait for a response before we can continue with the required tasks. This usually means we either have to set your tasks and needs aside and work on another client (which means the fixed cost referenced above,) or continue to charge you while we wait for you to respond with the correct information. Both of these options will end up costing you much more overall.


A common difficulty we have is attending to frequent requests for single pieces of information in a timely and cost-effective manner. As noted above, it takes time to access your file and get you the information you need. We are more than happy to respond with the information and data that you request in a timely manner. However, if we are responding to a high volume of requests for single pieces of data, your bookkeeping costs will be higher. Combining your questions and requests into a daily or weekly communication will greatly improve the efficiency of the bookkeeping process and lower your overall bookkeeping costs.


Contact us and we will work with you to streamline the bookkeeping process for your unique needs. 


Next month Smith Office Solutions will share another suggestion for keeping your bookkeeping cost low and making the process more efficient.


QuickBooks Tips
QuickBooks Logo 

What CRM software are you using?  First of all what does CRM mean "Customer Relationship Management".  There are a lot of products out there but did you know that QuickBooks has a Lead Center.  It is not a full blown CRM but you can track potential clients or customers that they can become customers in the future.  They are not mixed into the customer's list until they have become customers.  You can create many more contacts hear for each company.  You can create To Do List for each lead.  You can score them as Hot , Warm & Etc.  You can create Excel reports on Lead Contact & Lead Status.  You can also keep track of the Converted Leads.  Remember Customers are KING and we have to treat them like that.   


Our main services are to help small to medium size business' become more successful in the accounting needs whatever that means to them.
Smith Office Solutions