Sep 1, 2014
That's a fair question and one I can respect because on the surface every business, industry and service provider appears to be the same. Coffee is coffee isn't it?
Coffee from Starbucks could be said to be ground up coffee beans that have been mixed with hot water and how can that be any different than coffee from the machine that sits in the corner of the Greyhound Bus terminal?
Wine could be said to be grapes pressed, aged and put into a container. What makes Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon NAPA Valley, 1941 worth more than wine under $5 at Trader Joe's?
Long ago in a bike shop near Greenlake in Seattle, Washington I went shopping for a bike helmet and asked the clerk for a "cheap helmet" because in my mind all bike helmet were the same and I was not about to be ripped off. He had a profoundly simple answer:
He said it with a deadpan face, no expression and he acted as if he could not care less about what helmet I purchased.
I remembered something my Step-Father used to say "Buy the best you can afford and cry once, rather than buying the cheapest and crying about it not doing what it was intend to do forever." He was a simple man without a lot of formal education and yet one of the wisest men I have ever known.
I purchased the most expensive helmet I could afford and it saved me from experiencing several injuries over the next few years.
Over the years I have put into practice a lot of the words of wisdom my Step-Father offered and I can say with 100% assurance his advice about buying the best you can afford has helped me make a lot of money because every time I buy the best it has been the cheapest in the long run and generated a lot of dividends.
If you are thinking about delegating your contractors bookkeeping to someone I would like to make a case for why you should hire the best bookkeeping service you can afford regardless of whether or not it is us because we may not be the best choice for your contracting company.
#1 - What do you know about construction accounting?
This is a simple question and the answer should tell you a lot.
Go deeper ask about how they handle Work-In-Process (WIP),
Retention, Job Deposits, Maintenance Agreement Tracking, Change
Order Tracking, Payment Applications. If you want more in depth
questions click here.
We have a contractors bookkeeping system that handles all of this and more.
#2 - Who will be doing the bookkeeping and how current is their education?
Do they work alone? Do they have the 10,000 hours of training and practice it takes to be good at construction accounting?
Will you be putting your entire company in the hands of one lonely bookkeeper who is doing everything in their own business trying desperately to stay afloat?
Answering their business and personal phone calls, selling new work, running errands, maintaining their own company infrastructure, checking email, going crazy trying to do everything required to own and operate their own business and if there is any time left over they will handle your bookkeeping.
What happens to your company bookkeeping records when they get sick, go on vacation, get to busy or just plain quit?
We have a team of people so that no one person is responsible
for everything with checks and balances in place so that if
something does slip through the cracks we have processes to find
and fix them.
#3 - Do You Have A Commercial Office Space?
If the bookkeeping service has Commercial office space it is because their contractor clients like and trust them and that translates into earning enough revenues to support and office.
Bookkeepers who work from home put their contractor clients at risk of losing paperwork to children, friends, relatives and competitors who will be in their homes on a regular basis and everyone is naturally curious.
#4 - What Is Your Recovery Plan In Event Of A Disaster?
What would happen if a flood, fire, landslide, earthquake, burglary or any other event wiped out the bookkeeper's place of business?
Do they have a contingency plan in place to restore your contracting company records and if so how long would it take? Or are they just hoping nothing will happen? Worse yet have they never even considered it?
If Your Company Records Are Destroyed You're Out Of Business!
We have a contingency plan. Everything backed up offsite at a minimum of 1,000 miles from our headquarters in Lynnwood Washington but inside the U.S.A. All of our live QuickBooks files are resting on an Intuit Approved Commercial Hosting Services Provider.
They backup everything offsite everyday. This means every bit of work on your QuickBooks file is saved automatically the split second we finish pressing a key on one of our keyboards. No fuss, no muss, no having to think about it.
All important documents we receive are uploaded into secure paperless servers a minimum of 1,000 miles from our headquarters in Lynnwood Washington but inside the U.S.A.
One of our contractor
clients experienced the need for this service first hand. Here is
his story in his own words:
Remodel Contractor - Edmonds, WA
"On July 27, 2008, Sunday evening around 6:30 pm my girlfriend and I just got home from an overnight hiking trip.
When we arrived home we had discovered that we had been robbed. We immediately called 911.
As we walked through the house we discovered that our computer was gone along with many other valuables. The computer had all the company business on it.
QuickBooks, invoices, all the subcontractors’ info, and everything to keep the company books.
We were at a loss for what to do. But as luck would have it, we had Randal DeHart as our accountant. He had all our info on a back-up system somewhere in a huge server.
So we called Randal to let him know that we would get a new computer as soon as the insurance company paid us.
Randal called us the next day, July 28th, 2008 and told us to come to his office. To our surprise he had gone to Office Depot and purchased a new computer and loaded it with QuickBooks and restored all our business information.
We are so appreciative that Randal had our backs, so to speak. We had told him that we would pay him for the computer as so as possible. But you know what he said……….
“No thanks are necessary and that if we just Pay-It-Forward, that’s all he asked.”
How’s that for a Good Accountant?
#5 - Can I Get To My QuickBooks File While You Have It?
With our contractors bookkeeping service you can access your QuickBooks file anytime anywhere 24/7/365 with any web-enabled device including iPhone, iPad, PC, Smartphone, Tablet.
You can generate reports and do almost anything you would do if it was on your desktop except keep it updated with the latest software patches because that is done for you automatically. And you can access MS Word and MS Excel desktop version as well.
QuickBooks Is 1,000+ Miles Away Running On High-Speed
Tucked Securely In A Building With Armed Guards
With Highly Skilled Technicians Maintaining It
All QuickBooks Files Are Backed Up Every Night On A Secured
Access Windows QuickBooks Desktop Version From PC or Mac
English Speaking, U.S. Based Technicians Maintain The Server
QuickBooks Software Updates Are Automatically Applied
We Provide Your QuickBooks Maintenance And Support
An added bonus you can create an invoice using your Smartphone and email it to your customer and they can pay you via credit card before you leave the jobsite! Click Here To Learn More
#6 - How Do I Get Paperwork To You?
As a contractor your time is precious and limited so the more ways to get paperwork to your bookkeeper the better.
Any bookkeeper or bookkeeping service that only has one option which is you to bring it all too them costs you time and money and why should you bear the burden?
Worse yet are the bookkeepers who want to "Come to your home or office" and either pick up the paperwork or do the work on your computer. This is never a good idea on so many levels, not just the liability exposure of someone injuring themselves on your property and you being liable.
What happens if they wipe out important files on your computer or spill coffee on it and fry everything? The risks far outweigh the benefits.
We offer several options to get paperwork to us and you don't even need to organize it because we have a system from having owned and operated several construction companies in the past.
You Can Put It All In Boxes, Bags Or Cartons:
· Send it by taxi cab
· Send it by messenger service
· Fax it
· Email it
· FedEx It
· UPS it
· In some case we will send someone to get it
· Mail it to us 19909 64th Ave West, Suite 201 Lynnwood, WA 98036
· Bring it to our office during regular office hours or our special office hours for contractors
· Members of The SnoKing Contractors Center have 24/7/365 access to meeting rooms and leave paperwork in the lockbox
· Put us on your vendor list to have bills and statements emailed directly to us
· Drag and Drop from your desktop or email. Click here to find out how
· Use one of our recommended scanners and send paperwork by pushing one button
· Take a picture with your iPhone or Smartphone and email it to us
· Scan it and it will automatically be uploaded to our paperless server
We have a Construction Bookkeeping System with documented workflow processes for everything including paper sorting. Which means once it arrives no matter how organized or disorganized it is we need to pre-process everything before it enters our workflow where it is scanned and uploaded into paperless servers in the cloud.
Hopefully you not having to sort anything will save you time and
Construction paperwork is like an apprentice; left unattended it tends to wander off and get lost so here are a few helpful hints where paperwork hides
In The Contractors Mobile Construction Office Command Center, The Truck:
· On the dashboard
· Behind the seat
· Under the seat
· In the console between the seats
· In the glove box
· Under the spare tire
· In the box you got from the supplier warehouse
Outside Your Mobile Office:
· In you post office box
· Stuffed in manila envelopes
· On the night stand
· Piled on your desk
· In your wallet
· Inside your portfolio
· Stuffed in all your pants pockets
· In your computer bag
· Stuffed in all your shirt pockets
Coffee stained paperwork is optional. We prefer a dark roast, double foam, shot of mint, with a hint of cinnamon. However, plain old black coffee is O.K. too!
Don't be concerned about where the paperwork has been when we owned and operated our plumbing service, repair and drain cleaning company we had seven trucks and over twenty employees. We processed paperwork that had been places you can only imagine with no problem.
Don't sort the paper and let it aggravate you just get a big box, file box, and scoop it all into the box, close the box, bring us the box. To you, the contractor, every piece of paper has a story.
In fact we prefer you not pre-sort any of it because in the end it will save us time and money. You can put it all in a bag, box, ox cart or whatever works for you and bring it in. You can fax it, email it, scan it into our paperless server, again whatever works for you!
This means every time you touch it, see it, sort it, smell it, put it into QuickBooks for Contractors or just look at it your protective conditioned mind and its fear creating mechanisms will replay the entire story which will slow you down and in turn drag out the entire construction bookkeeping process.
Furthermore it could possibly release serotonin which causes the blood vessels in your head to contract and lower your pain threshold.
It's a fact that doing something you don't like or understand like construction bookkeeping can be painful and in the end when you try to "Power Through The Pain" like Olympic athletes you end up losing money because after powering through the pain you typically do not have the luxury of a vacation and rest period you have to go see that next customer, close the next sale or manage the next job and when you are not at your peak performance you lose, big time!
Your Contractors Bookkeeping paperwork has been over handled long before we get it and since we don't have any emotional attachment to we can reduce input time by at least 40% and we pass the savings on to you so that everybody wins.
That is all I have for now and if you have listened this far please do me the honor of commenting and rating podcast www.FastEasyAccounting.com/podcast Tell me what you liked, did not like, tell it as you see it because your feedback is crucial and I thank you in advance.
I trust this will be of value to you and your feedback is always welcome at www.FastEasyAccounting.com/podcast
This is one more example of how Fast Easy Accounting is helping construction company owners across the USA including Alaska and Hawaii put more money in the bank to operate and grow your construction company. Construction accounting is not rocket science; it is a lot harder than that and a lot more valuable to construction contractors like you so stop missing out and call Sharie 206-361-3950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thinking About Outsourcing Your Contractors Bookkeeping Services?
Click On The Link Below:
Need Help Now?
Call Sharie 206-361-3950
In closing, I want to caution you that we may or may not be a good fit for your contracting company. This guide will help you learn what to look for in outsourced construction accounting.
Thank you very much and I hope you understand we really do care
about you and all contractors regardless of whether or not you ever
hire our services.
Bye for now until our next episode here on the Contractors Success MAP Podcast.
Randal DeHart | Contractors Accountant