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  • Writer's pictureA Bigger Bottom Line, LLC

Need us to clean up your books? Then we NEED access to your documents from the START.

Updated: Mar 14, 2023


If you want your books cleaned up then you MUST give us ALL the information we ask for from the start. You'll see what we require in the client portal over in the To Do's section.


Help us, Help you!


Statements, Checks, & Deposit Images

Start with all the bank, credit card, and loan STATEMENTS you can get access to.

Next, find all CHECK images and DEPOSIT images you can get access to.


· The PDF Statement is what we need monthly reconcile to.

The statements show us what your start and end balance should be each month. Your bank feed transactions in QuickBooks can't tell us this, especially if any transactions are missing or duplicated. So statements are always required for bookkeeping cleanup and monthly work.

· The CSV version of the same statements are what we need for back work

We can’t sort or filter information in a PDF, but a CSV can be opened in Excel and organized to make it super fast and easy to find anything that is missing or off. Also, QuickBooks will only pull in bank feed transactions from up to two years or 18 months in the past. So CSV files are required when doing clean-up back work beyond 18 months in the past. This way we can ensure nothing is missed.

· The CHECK images are required if you ever write checks

· The DEPOSIT images are required if you deposit checks or multiple payments at once




Q: What’s the fastest way to provide all the statements, checks, and deposit images to your bookkeeper?


A: Grant your bookkeeper login access to all your accounts.





Connect your bank accounts to HubDoc or Ledger Sync.


HUBDOC

If you use Bank of America, Wells Fargo, or Stripe HubDoc can be connected to these 3 banking tools to automagically import all your past 2 years of statements plus any monthly ongoing statements in the future.

Rather than spending half a day downloading all this yourself from your bank account, you can simply add your banking login info to HubDoc. Not only will your info be pulled in from the past, but your bookkeeper also won’t have to bug you each month for this in a To Do as it will import itself automatically to this shared system.


LEDGER SYNC

If you use other banks or credit cards, then Ledger Sync might be able to do the same thing as HubDoc. Ledger Sync has a larger list of bank and credit card companies that work with Ledger Sync software to fetch your statements. However, all bank fetch systems have bugs these days


What if I already have all this info saved to a folder? Can’t I just upload it online?

Sure, if you have a bunch of info organized and saved nicely in a folder you can simply upload it to us either inside HubDoc once your account is activated OR simply upload it to our Sharefile account (for one time big uploads). The link can be found on our website on the Uploads tab.


What if I have all this, and a bunch of other info, in paper format; but, I don’t have time to scan it all and upload it to you? Can I mail it in?

Yes, for a fee, you may mail your paperwork to us provided that you supply a cover letter (could be handwritten) that states your Company Name and a basic outline of the contents you are mailing us. We will scan everything within a week then we will upload this set of scanned items to your HubDoc file where you can view everything online. If you want your paperwork mailed back to you, the cost is usually between $30 to $50 to have it shipped back to you depending on the size of the envelope/box you send. Otherwise, after the items are scanned they will be shredded a month later, but you'll always have the scanned versions. We've had clients do this when they begin their blackwork and cleanup projects, but after that everyone pretty much gets on board with the scanning and photo capturing using their phones or Scanners.



What we need to get your books initially caught up are the statements, checks, and deposit images. It goes on from there into the next major phase of catch-up, all depending on the complexity of your bookkeeping...



CUSTOMER INVOICES (ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE)

If you send (or sent) invoices to your customer for the time period that needs to be cleaned up, we will need either a list of ALL CUSTOMER INVOICES, preferably broken down by PAID verses UN-PAID status, and/or ALL ORIGINAL CUSTOMER INVOICES that you sent to your customers. Remember, if you sent your clients an invoice last year that was still UN-PAID as of this year THOSE NEED TO BE INCLUDED. If your customer pays you this year for an invoice that was sent to them last year, then that MUST go into this year's bookkeeping (for Cash basis and other reporting).


As bookkeepers, we have to get your Jan 1st Accounts Receivable Aging report (aka UnPaid Customer Invoices report by past due date), to show ALL open invoices as of the first day of this year in order to clean things up.


If you are not sure which ones are paid verse un-paid we can discuss this in the client portal and meetings. We'll be making a To Do for this project if it's needed so we can have discussions on the progress and what we're still missing. Ideally, if you can at least just provide us with a list of all customer invoices you know of, then we can work with your data to reach some fact-based conclusions about what we think might be paid & Un-paid after we've reviewed all your statements, checks, and deposits as well. If you use QuickBooks already to do your invoicing then we'll provide you with an Excel (Google Sheet) version of the open invoices in QuickBooks for you to review and provide feedback on.


Upload your list and any and ALL PDF copies of each and every individual customer invoice to either HubDoc or the 'To Do' where we're requesting this info in the client portal. If you used QuickBooks to send the invoice then no need to upload as we'll see those in the software. We just need the original invoices or access to any program you use to send the invoices to your customers if it's not QuickBooks already.


No time to scan or take photos with your phone? You can mail these to us. Also, we have a variety of tools that can allow us to import invoices to QuickBooks once we get them into a particular format. But when we say we need ALL customer invoices for the period we're helping with we mean ALL customer invoices.

Don't skip this step! CUSTOMER INVOICES ARE ONE OF THE MORE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS WE NEED TO CLEAN UP YOUR BOOKS! If you don't send customer invoices, like all you real estate and e-commerce companies, then no worries here for you. Though the rest of you professional service companies and contractors out there should listen up.


Not sending us your customer invoices to your bookkeeper when they ask for them will delay the entire clean-up process and ongoing work by weeks, months, or even years! So don't delay. Work hard to get them all to the bookkeeper, because they have to do the NEXT phase for you which is HARDER. AFTER your bookkeeper gets all your invoices the next phase is the backwork they have to do, sorting through your transactions, checks, and deposits to find all the payments that relate to these invoices. This part can be like 'finding a needle in a haystack'. The obvious ones get matched first but then the remainders become harder to find. There's always a handful of customer invoices that you will know are "paid" but they will show as open and un-paid until their exact payment deposit is found. Many times these can't be found, initially, because the deposit does not list all the info, or you can't recall when the deposit payment was received, how much the customer paid, if the payments were for partial amounts or full amounts, if the customer invoice amount change and so the subsequent payment amounts changed, or if the payments were deposited with other customer payments and can't be easily split out from the deposit info received. So be sure you allow your bookkeeper to have all pieces to your financial puzzle, because putting them together is a big job.


VENDOR BILLS (ACCOUNTS PAYABLE)

If you received BILLS from any vendors, we need a list of ALL VENDOR BILLS, preferably broken down by PAID verses UN-PAID status, and/or just all the source documents for these bills (the PDFs, Emails, or other proof of their existence). If you are not sure which ones are paid verse un-paid then at least just provide us with a list of all vendor bills you know of and we can work with your data to reach some fact based conclusions about what we think might be paid & Un-paid and review our finding with you.

Upload your list and any and ALL PDF copies of each and every individual vendor bill. HubDoc is the best place to upload these are we'll post them to QuickBooks for you directly from HubDoc, but feel free to upload these tot he portal if that's easier or if that's where we're asking for these.

No time to scan? Mail these to us, and for an extra fee we'll do the scanning for you.

Sames as with the customer invoices, if any bills were open last year but then paid this year, we need those too as they will shows as OPEN and UN-Paid on your Accounts Payable Aging report as of Jan 1st this year.


PAYROLL

If you use an outside payroll service then we need login access to your current payroll provider account online so we can get the reports that we need to true up your payroll numbers in QuickBooks. This is almost always wrong on almost every set of books we look at and it can be difficult to know how many different types of reports we'll need from your payroll provider to get things right. Getting the login is a way more efficient use of time both during the clean-up and ongoing work because it can be difficult to describe to you all the different types of reports and mapping setups we may need at different times. Rather than trying to explain to you all the reports we need from these systems (Payroll Journal Details, 941's, DE9s, DE9C's, Wages Reporting, Paystubs, W4 & I9 info, Benefits contributions, Garnishments reporting accruals and balances, Vacation and Sick pay accruals and balances, Employer versus Employee portions of tax, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, and all annual reporting, etc.) – we know how to navigate these systems such as ADP, Paychex, Gusto, and many more so that you don't have to. We have essentially "lived" in these payroll platforms for years, so let our fingers do the walking for you. You've got better things to do. Plus, won't it be nice when you need a payroll related report and you can just ask US to get it for you? Better yet, we'll make sure these reports are always downloaded and saved to your client portal in the payroll taxes and reportings folder so you're always covered when your CPA or Insurance company wants to see them.


LOANS

If you have loans, we need all loan statements, and the original loan agreement. This will help us confirm the loan amount, interest rate, the principal being paid versus interest and other fees being paid each month, and ultimately what the right loan balance due is as of today, and all prior periods. It will also help us find all the loan payments that have been made previously and split them out correctly to the principal loan balance on your balance sheet (now we're getting technical) and the interest paid portion which should go on your Profit and Loss as write-off. You could be missing big writeoff each year if you're not giving your bookkeepers all those monthly loan statements and original contracts paperwork. It isn’t enough just to know what the balance is now. That will only help us get today’s books sort of in the ballpark. We need the entire history so that the balance and transactions are accurate for every year before and after we start your cleanup. Upload these to HubDoc or the client portal for us and we'll also save these to the #Documents for you in the Loans folder. Or better yet, provide us login access to download all these loan documents for you and get them on your behalf every month as well. You can take the time back that you would have been downloading statements to focus on sales and marketing instead, how about that?


FIXED ASSETS, VEHICLES, EQUIPMENT

If you bought a vehicle or other fixed asset, then we need a bill of sale with all of the terms. There is often a loan that goes along with buying big assets so we'll need both the purchase info and the loan info. Upload this info to HubDoc or the client portal to the To Do where it is being requested from you.



We will never get your books right if we don’t have the complete documentation.

Then this same documentation is what makes the books bulletproof, because that’s how we prove our numbers are 100% accurate.

Not 90%.

Not “good enough for government work.”

100% bulletproof.



How far back do we need to go?

The basic rule is to go back to when the last income tax return was filed.

This means we need the last filed tax return when we start, and then each year we need a copy of the tax return once it is filed. There are often little things that change, affecting the prior year so that by the time the return is filed there are differences from the books to taxes. The books SHOULD be closed once the tax preparer gets started. That’s how you prevent these differences and changes after the fact.

Regardless, and no matter how careful we are, we always want to check this, and adjust the books as necessary to keep them in compliance with any filed returns.

From that point, we will adjust the books to agree to that tax return. There is no point in going back further unless you plan to amend the returns or really need to see your businesss history maybe because you plan to sell the business or want to get funding.


Hey Business Owners!

When we ask for this kind of documentation it’s not because we're trying to pick on you, make your life difficult, or make you feel bad. It is because we want to get your books right. Which is why you hired us, right?


And when you complain and ask us why we need all of this, or that you'll only give us access to this account but not that account, it HONESTLY makes us NOT want to do the work for you.


You hired us to do the work and get the books right. Why would you then give us a hard time when we ask for the things we need to do the job you hired us for?

We need your cooperation, and we can’t bear to care about your business more than you do. We know you are busy. So are we. We know you worry about security. So do we. And we would rather focus on our clients who care about their businesses' finances and their security at least as much as we do. These clients have zero issues with granting us access because they know they can trust us its worth every ounce of delegated control.


The last thing we want to do is waste your time or ours.

All you have to do - in the end - is send us the info we're asking for.

We're the ones who have to process it all once we finally get it, with deadlines in mind, then go back and forth with you in as many discussions as it takes to try to answer your questions, to help you understand, and ultimately we suffer the pain of doing the accounting which is can be a very tedious and thankless job for the most part. However, then these hard-earned accurate numbers turn into ACCURATE financial reports. All the pretty charts and graphs and colors and KPI's will all be CORRECT! You'll be working with ACCURATE data so you can make good business decisions. All good reporting comes from good bookkeeping. Otherwise, it's garbage in, garbage out. So help us get access to what we need to do this job right, the first time.


Truth is, we as Firm of the Future bookkeeping firm pay for cyber security insurance along with all the other professional insurances, we do monthly security awareness training with our whole team, simulate phishing scams so we're ahead of the curve, we only use the best in class secured password protectors with numberous controls so you data stays safe, we have our IT company safeguard and protect all our staff computers, we set internal controls and standards against fraud or misuse of funds (things we can teach you and your company about if you'll allow us), we only use bank-level 256-bit encrypted software to manage all your finances and sensitive documents, we never compromise on price when it comes to getting the best technology with the best security setting for our clients, we don't go for any of that "free stuff" out there, we pay premiums to get the best, and we always go the extra mile to keep your sensitive data safe, even if that means having to deal with the inconvenience of client portals and secure system tools.


Question is, if you're worried about our security, what are you doing to protect YOUR data right now? As much as we are? Or do you think you're being secure because you're not doing anything about it? Are you sticking your head in the sand? Too afraid to even login to your bank account to face the numbers? Can't even remember your password to your bank account because you still have not put a good password system in place? Don't fool yourself. Most of the time, not facing something is way worse than asking for help.



Want to speed things up?

Give us the access. Yes, logins. Most banks will allow you to give us read-only or limited access so their no way to actually touch the funds. We just need the ability to see everything that we can't see in QuickBooks.


As bookkeepers, we're tired of waiting for busy business owners who always promise that they will send us the statements and THEN NEVER DO; because, (NO SURPRISE) they are TOO BUSY. Then when we follow up to get this info so we can start working on they books they reply with the obvious excuse that "they were too busy". Then try to back peddle and downplay things by trying to tell us - the experts - that, "this is not that important, right? Can't we just review the financials without all this banking stuff?".

Right, the financials. THE FINANCIALS THAT ARE WRONG because we don't have all the info we need from you to do them right? THOSE FINANCIALS? What's the point of looking at bad financials? So you can just sit there and be confused and upset the entire meeting? Hello? Mcfly? We needed the bank info from you BEFORE THE MEETING. Look, WE KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO TELL US YOU'RE TOO BUSY TO DO THIS - SO YOU NEED TO BE FIRED FROM THIS TASK ON DAY ONE! Trust us, you want to be fired from this task. We don't want to work with business owners who play this game. It undermines our ability to help them.


Ask yourself, do you want to live in a world where:


a) You are the only one that can access your bank account, you feel you have total control, but because you're the only one who has access you're also the only one who can catch any fraud or cashflow issues, which you DON'T end up catching because YOU'RE TOO BUSY, and this results in your bank account actually getting SMALLER? OR,


b) You have a trusted bookkeeper who shares access to your bank accounts, if ever you wonder about your accounts you just look at your financials or bank account to get peace of mind. Your bookkeeper can see and alert you and your financial team to any fraudulent charges or cashflow issues, while there's still time to react and take action before it's too late. Meanwhile, you're busy generating sales and doing other more important activities, while your bookkeeper is downloading all the recent statements, checks images, and deposit details. She never has to interrupt you with a question or a code because they have everything they need to do the financials accurately and because of this you get your financials faster than anyone else. The reports are clean both in your portal and the meetings you have which allows you to quickly spot opportunities for growth, or risk, and take swift action. Instead of downloading statements or getting bank codes, you're making wise sales moves to improve your business which results in exponentially increasing your bank account because you trusted and allowed a team of financial professionals to help you see your financial picture in full clarity and make better business and financial decisions on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?


The choice is yours.


All business owners want great financials, but most really don't understand that without access to all their banking and financial accounts (in real-time), they can NEVER HAVE THEM. So if you want good clean consistent numbers, GIVE YOUR BOOKKEEPERS ACCESS TO ALL YOUR STUFF! Allow your bookkeepers to work with your financial advisors, and use their secure tools to keep everything safe. Find a team you can trust, vet them, vet their systems, then let them get down to business. Read "The Speed of Trust", by Steven Covey for more examples as to why properly vetted TRUST is the key to your success.


If you came to us for help, then let us help you. We know you are too busy to do this because you're hiring a bookkeeper! If the goal is to automate your business, then automate and delegate. If you want to automate your business but don't want to give your bookkeepers access to your accounts, then you won't have automation at all. Trust us, you'll end up a slave to your bookkeepers' constant requests for bank statements, security codes, and unproductive financial meetings spent logging into your bank and credit card accounts downloading statements, check images, deposits images, and everything else that the bookkeeper could have retrieved themselves - instead of focusing on what the accurate reports are telling you.


But I already connected everything in HubDoc or Ledger Sync, why do you need the logins too?

Only SOME banks will release extra’s like Deposit images to HubDoc. If your bank does not, then we’ll be bugging you for this info every week & month. Also, pending charges sometimes need to be reviewed in the bank. Finally, many times the connection needs to be redone. If you don’t want your bookkeeping bottled necked by any of this, just give us our own limited access or read-only login and we can handle all the above without bothering you or slowing us down. Banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and most other business bank accounts will allow you to add users so your bookkeeper can be one of them. Personal bank accounts won't though and neither will certain business bank account


But I have security concerns.

The security level of encryption that HubDoc, QuickBooks, LastPass, and Qount use is the same level as your bank.


So if you are ok with your banks online banking level of security, then, we could argue that, you are already ok with the security of the systems we use because it's the same level of security your bank already is using that you are ok with.


If you are still concerned, well, by all means, go full analog. Pull all your money out of your bank, put it under your mattress, and start doing handwritten bookkeeping...but I doubt your business will thrive in that environment.


Look. It's not the 90's anymore.


We live in the 2020's and EVERYONE uses computers and the internet now to run their businesses. This is the way. If you have not come to peace with this yet, and if you're not already doing what you need to do to work safely in the cloud - then you're taking bookkeeping and business advice from the wrong source. Maybe it's time to join the Amish. I don't know; but, for those of you who want to move forward in life and be successful in today's world, read on.


Listen, we are bookkeepers, we are not going to steal your money.


One, we have plenty of money of our own, and two, stealing yours would likely diminish or eliminate our capacity for earning more when we are caught and thrown in Jail.


In short. It just isn’t worth it. Plus, we're here to show you where all your money goes. So if we are taking it, we will have to show you that too.


The best way to prevent theft or wrongdoing with your money is to keep it ORGANIZED and LOOK at your numbers REGULARLY.


This is the best line of defense that you have against fraud. Keep your books clean and look at your bank & credit card accounts often.


You can always call your bank or credit card to put in a stop payment or cancel a card if you suspect any foul play. The hard truth is, more business owners don't look at their accounts as much as their bookkeepers do.


Your ability to trust us is our greatest asset. It helps us get the job done. And it helps you get peace of mind!



If you haven’t had a good look under the hood of all your accounts lately or last year's books yet, now is the time.


If you still aren’t ready to file your tax return, what are you waiting for?

Even with an extension your CPA will still need a complete set of books by August 1, so they can prepare and file your returns by September 15.

Remember that it isn’t only your returns they are filing. They likely have a pile of returns waiting to be prepared all by Sept 15.

Many CPA’s are getting smart. They are sending notices that if they don’t have a properly compiled set of books by their due dates, they cannot guarantee your returns will be filed on time. That leaves you on the hook for any late filing penalties etc…

So start now.


How do I start?

Book a free consultation on our website and answer some questions so we know what you need and if we'll be a good fit. We do all meetings via Zoom for your convenience.


Why do I have to schedule time to work together? Can't I just call you?

We don’t work “on call”.

We work in the background for you, A LOT, but if you need to ask a question over the phone, or review questions you have in your books, then that’s why we provide you with an easy way to schedule meetings with us. Typically, the answers are in a shared screen environment anyway on the computer, where we can show you what's going on.

We respect SCHEDULED time which has been carefully blocked out in advance.

How would you like it if we put you on hold 5 times during our call to take other people's calls? How productive do you think our call would be? Also, how well do think we would be able to answer your question if we were taking your call while busy driving or away from our computers? Especially since the questions 90% of time are directly related to something that is in the QuickBooks full version software (not the phone app version). Trust us, you want these meetings to be scheduled and at our desk.


Scheduled time solves this.


It means that we are 100% focused on you and your business books during that time. It also means that you are focused as well.

We generally can’t answer all your questions in a one-hour meeting either, or a short email. You must understand that this is a journey, and as your initial questions are answered you’ll enviably have more (data begets data, just as answers produce more questions). We want to be with you for the long haul. This is a relationship and your full story will unfold over time. There are seldom any "quick questions" in our line of work.

So make sure you plan ahead and schedule your meetings in advance.


Schedule re-occurring meetings to keep yourself in the game if needed. Our scheduler app allows you to book up to 24 re-occuring meetings in advance. You can always reschedule any upcoming appointments if you need to make changes. If you miss a session don’t worry, just book another one. You are not charged if you miss meetings, just re-schedule them. We will stay in the meeting for the entire duration of the appointment time so even if you jump in late (and in some cases we can be late too) we just stick around in case you pop in. This allow allocates our time that day to focus on your work and catch up on any messages. If you don’t show we will just figure you are busy and will reschedule.



How come all my financials are not perfect yet?

You can’t pick the fruit the day you plant the seed.


Patience will be required and two-way conversations will be needed to get everything cleaned up and in line. We can assure you, we will get there, if you stick with us and provide us with what we asked for and answer our questions.


With your feedback from To Do requests, and the access to the DOCUMENTATION we asked for, we can determine what the majority of the transactions are for. However, new situations and nuances always happen as you grow your business. Good communication and adaptation to our portals and tools bridge these gaps.

We are only as good as the information you give us and the time you spend with us.


But I thought you knew how to post that charge without me telling you what it was for?

We are not mind readers.

Sure, we can professionally GUESS about what a charge should be categorized as, but without your feedback and review, it is simply a guess.





Do you want guesses or hard answers on your numbers? No one ever won in an IRS audit with the excuse, “that’s what my bookkeeper guessed it was for”. You must take responsibility for ALL numbers on your financials when you use them to do your tax return. So YOU need to review them to ensure they are posted accurately. You just don’t have to do all the work that is involved to manually enter all this info if you hire a bookkeeper. However, you STILL have to REVIEW IT for accuracy and UNDERSTAND your financials.


This is not something you can PASS OFF to another person. You are required as a business owner to understand your own income and expenses. That is why documentation is so important.


We will work in the background to do what we do best with this info, to input and build your financials so you don’t have to do this very labor-intensive work (and perhaps do it all wrong).


Don’t take this work for granted or lightly.


We are experts in the software AND the accounting These are skills that take DECADES to master. Since you don’t have decades to learn this stuff you’ll be in good hands passing this info to us to enter everything CORRECTLY for you, on your behalf. It’s a huge waste for you to directly do this work.


We'll create the entire iceberg of your financial data for you, all you have to do is review the tip of the iceberg to make sure it is in line with your view and address any one-offs (and there are always a few, but hopefully only a few).


So what do I have to do?

1) Forward all paperwork to HubDoc or Upload this info your info via the client portal, in real-time as much as possible. HubDoc is best for emailing us stuff. Client portal is best for uploading stuff we're requesting from you or if you want to have a conversation about something you're uploading. Use whichever method works best for the given situation you are currently in. Sometimes email is easier, sometimes an SMS, sometimes you can use the Secure share link from an emailed request, and other times it's just better to login to the portal in order to see the full picture, start a new request, or respond to a "To Do" or "Questionnaire" that we've sent out.

  • Even if we only do the books monthly, you still need to learn the daily habit of sending in your important receipts, bills, checks, invoices, deposits, loan agreements, new payment card accounts, insurance paperwork, payroll documents, start-up documents, and all other business paperwork as quickly as possible. If not daily, shoot for weekly. Worse case, shoot for the 1st day of every month.

  • Forward any receipts, bills, or invoices that come in via your email to your custom HubDoc forwarding email address. Add a brief note to the body of the email about what the transaction was for (we'll give you more pointers on this over time and in your onboarding sessions), then click send and move on. We'll follow up later in the portal if we have any questions. If easier for you to upload these directly to the client portal then go ahead, but we find that most busy professionals just want to forward emails and then get back to work.

  • Your cell phone camera is your best friend when you are out and about. Use it. Most of the time you don't need a fancy scanner if you're just at the bank doing deposits (please take photos of all the checks you deposit and send those to us the same day) or buying something at the computer store (always get us receipts for those bigger ticket items - they might be assets, not expenses). Pull out your cell phone, snap a picture or two about the transaction you're doing, then email those photos to HubDoc with a brief description in the body of your email about what the transaction was for. This should only take 1 maybe 2 minutes. Don't overthink it, just get in the habit. You're teachable if you're trying.

  • Want an even faster solution? Use our SMS tool to text us the images with your notes. We process SMS messages slower but we will get them and route the data to the right place for you. Wait for the first text to be sent from us from our tool, then you can save that contact and thread and send us more info that way in the future.

  • Software subscription receipts don't always have to be sent in. If something is a re-occurring receipt for the same small $30 service we only recommend sending in one receipt every year so that we have at least read one detailed document about what the charge is for that year, or anytime you upgrade or downgrade your subscription and the payment amount changes. This way, when we see the charge change month over month, we can refer to any source receipt you sent in to explain the price difference.

  • Always get invoices from freelancers, contractors, and service professionals. Don't just send them a Venmo and move on. You need to get the pro's you work with acting like pro's and sending you Invoices for the services they performed before you pay them. Paypal invoices are great, just be sure your bookkeepers have access to your PayPal account as well. These are just like banks, we need access to them if you use them for business. Getting an invoice from your vendor gives you a chance to review what they are charging you for (first review done by you). Then you can forward their invoices to HubDoc (now there's a secondary review done by us), which allows us to post these as bills to be paid. Then before the payment is released you can use an approvals tool to give the bill a final check (3rd review which really mitigates risk now). You could still pay the vendor via Venmo or other payments but by first sending in their bill you'll have a lot more oversight on the whole process.

  • When you start working with a new Contractor or Freelancer, always have them fill out an Independent Contractor agreement before their first payment (we'll give you an example to use). This way you can collect important details like agreeing to how you'll work together, collecting their W9, NDA, Payment Terms, and educating them on how they will get paid. There are rules you must follow when hiring service professionals so be sure you have an onboarding process in place for all new hires (both for contractors and employees). Forward these collected documents to HubDoc (or upload to the portal) so your bookkeeper can get a jump start on the setup of these new Vendors and staff in your accounting software. Our independent contractor agreement will send itself to HubDoc for you once your vendor fills it out. Simple.

  • Always scan (or take photos of) large purchases and new loans. Such as buying a vehicle or getting an SBA loan. We need all the paperwork related to these transactions in order to get the bookkeeping right. Better to send more data than less so we'll take whatever you get and we can discuss it further in the client portal and meetings later on.

  • CC HubDoc on all customer invoices you send out if you're using something other than QuickBooks to send out your billing. We need to see all your customer invoices that you're sending out so we can be sure to match payments correctly. Just cc or blind copy your HubDoc email address on every invoice that goes out. Simple. Now you never have to "remember" to tell us about those customer invoices. Ask us how we can help you find an automation for this.


2) Wait for us to do your bookkeeping

  • After you send in your data give us some time to process things.

  • If your books are done weekly and your reports come out every Wednesday, don't wait until Wednesday to turn in your paperwork or it will be too late for that week's reporting.

  • Try to get us your paperwork at least two to 3 days before you're expecting related financials if not ooner. We need some time to process things. If you're in the habit of sending things in daily then you'll always be on time and in real-time, right?

  • We'll let you know which day of the week or month is your due date for submitting info in order for that data to hit the next reporting period. But ideally, just get in the habit of finding ways to get us this info as it is coming to you. Then you're never sitting on a pile of documents that will only create a backlog of work for us.

  • You'll know we're done with your bookkeeping when you receive your financial reports.

3) Review the Monthly (or Weekly) Reports you receive either by sending us feedback and / or meeting with us via Zoom to discuss them.


a. Send or Upload us feedback on the Monthly or Weekly Reporting via the:

  • "Send Secure" link that you'll see in the email notification with the financials (we'll train you on this in your onboarding meetings).

  • or Login directly to the portal to read and reply to the financial reports in the comments section.

  • or Forward the financials you received to HubDoc and add notes to your email or directly on the financials to provide feedback.

Many of our clients like to simply print out the reports on paper then they write notes and highlight certain transactions they have questions about, then scan and send these back to us. Our more savvy clients will do these edits with a PDF editor such as Foxit or Adobe. Then they simply upload the reports with their feedback added, back to us for updates and discussion in the client portal (on the same thread they received the drafted reports). If you prefer an Excel version of your financial reporting let us know as we can send you that too.


b. Book a Zoom Meeting to Review the report with us live.

  • Many times the review requires more of a discussion than just putting notes on a report.

  • Zoom meetings work better to review the financials while sharing screens and interactively reviewing a few different areas of the books.

  • Zoom meetings make it much easier to review all real-time updates and newly collected info that has been recently received, which may not even be on the drafted reports yet.

  • Zoom meeting make it much easier to review open Customer Invoices to follow up on, and Open Vendor bills that may need to be paid or matched to payments made already.

  • Other times we need to meet live in a Zoom meeting in order to collect real-time security codes so we can access info we did not have before.

  • In the Zoom meetings, we'll have an agenda of the top items we need to review and discuss. If you have a lot of To Do's pending before the meeting, those items will likely monopolize the session. So for more productive meetings, tackle your To Do's beforehand if you can.


Let US teach YOU how to read your Financial reports in the Zoom meetings.


This will help you to understand how financial accounting works and why certain transactions hit certain accounts and financial reports. Many times transactions that you think might be MISSING are simply reported on a different report. For example, Owner Draws & Contributions (payments to the owner personally or deposits to the company from the owner personally) should NOT be on the P&L. These hit the Balance Sheet. We can explain why in our meetings and explain many other answers to questions like this you may have. That’s why we are here. To help you get the work done, and help you interpret it so we all can make sure it is accurate.


How does the paperwork flow? Generally?

You forward any and all documents into HubDoc or upload to comment threads and To Do's in the client portal.

Then we take it from there.

Once items are in HubDoc or the Client Portal you just leave it to us.

In HubDoc will save all your documents to alphabetical folders (you'll have login access to HubDoc so you can see the documents you've sent in at any time). We will post what is needed into QuickBooks to the correct transactions that will match whats coming through the bank feeds. Some info we receive in HubDoc from you will just be reference information, so we may not push everything we receive into QuickBooks; but, we will save it to your Client Portal. We might add it to a message post to answer any questions you've sent in, or we'll simply save info you've sent to HubDoc in particular folders in the #Document area in the subjects they may relate to. For example, Taxes, Payroll, Insurance, etc. Once we've reviewed the info you've sent to HubDoc and the client portal, we'll then determine what needs to be attached to which transactions in QuickBooks. It's a lot of data management.


As your bookkeepers, we will put everything into QuickBooks for you and link items to other programs as well such as Bill Pay & Payroll depending on the type of service you have chosen. If you send us a bill or receipt we'll attach that bill or receipt to the corresponding transaction it relates to in QuickBooks. That way you can always reference the source document in QuickBooks when needed, like before paying a bill or reviewing the specifics of a particular charge. We know the flow of how to work with bank feed transactions and the paperwork we've received from your team. It all works best when you and your team send us information in real time so we can reference what you sent us before tackling your bank feed transactions.


That said, sometimes we have to post the bank feed transactions to meet our reporting deadlines (weekly and monthly financial reports) before we get the paperwork from you. In these cases, we'll first post the transactions to either a known account or an Uncategorized account if the transaction is unknown.


When your transactions go to an Uncategorized account, your financials will be inaccurate until:

  • The paperwork and feedback for the uncategorized transaction should be sent in through one of the following channels:

1. To Do's in the client portal (we'll post a Google Sheet if there are a bunch)

2. #Clairify notes in the client portal (this is an area in the portal you can use)

3. Send Secure comment responses (these come via email notifications but are a sort of in-between place between email and the full portal - we'll train you on this method of communication and you'll be commenting back to us in no time!)

4. Sent in feedback via HubDoc

  • The paperwork and or comment is then reviewed by our team at your next bookkeeping review session which would be the next month if you're on a monthly program or next week if we do your books weekly.

  • The transaction is updated in QuickBooks at this time, and then at that point any corresponding paperwork you've supplied us will be attached. We will do our best to attach the paperwork that comes in after the fact to the right QuickBooks transactions, but if your books are being kept up to date and we receive paperwork for transactions we've already posted weeks or month's prior, then you may get hit with additional BACKWORK or CATCHUP/CLEANUP charges for not submitting your paperwork on time. You should feel motivated by this to get your paperwork submitted on time so that you don't incur any additional backwork fees after we've got your books up to date (this would be after your clean-up project has ended and your regular current work has begun).








SCHEDULE YOUR MONTHLY REVIEW

Once we feel we have done our best at getting the numbers in the proper places, your part comes back when you do your MONTHLY REVIEW of the financials we’ve sent you (or weekly if paying for Weekly service).


Things we will cover during a financial review:

-Uncategorized Income, Expenses, & Assets that we still don't have feedback on

-Does total Income look accurate? (perhaps were missing some deposit images)

-Do your Expenses look accurate? (perhaps we were missing some bills or split payments)

-Is any information missing? (perhaps there’s a bank or cc not connected)

-What patterns look normal and abnormal month over month? (perhaps dates are off)


We'll share screens during the meeting so we can look at both the status monthly financial report package that was sent, but also the interactive live numbers in QuickBooks.








Why do I have to be so involved? I thought I hired you to do my books?

Think of the Monthly report, and your bookkeeping in general, this way:


Imagine you are a star college athlete. You have practice and games all day and night. You don’t have time to study or write your paper for your History class. However, your friend is really good at history and offers to help you write not just an outline but pretty nicely put together history paper that just needs some small tweaking to match the subject of history for the class you are taking.


Imagine that in your haste, you simply grab your friends outline and turn it in as your own History paper without taking any time to looking over it and make any adjustments to the subject or title of the paper.


You could imagine that the teacher would not be very impressed in this scenario and you’d likely end up with a poor grade at best, or worse in the dean’s office for plagiarism. All because you were “too busy” to even look over the paper and make a few small tweaks to it to make it your own. You may even selfishly try to put the whole blame on your friend for making such a ‘bad’ paper for you…


In this allegory, the bookkeeper is your friend who tried to help you write the paper, and you as the business owner are the star athlete.


While bookkeepers will do the heavy lifting part for you, you still have the RESPONSIBILITY of reviewing the work to make sure it is correct for YOU before using the numbers on a tax return or bank loan. Just like the History paper, in the end it is YOUR grade, Your company, not your friends or the bookkeepers. Bookkeepers are not mind readers. Bookkeepers can certainly help you with the majority of the iceberg, but you must also stay INVOLVED and provide feedback on the finer points we need.




There's an ongoing process that you have to stay consistent with every week & month in order for us to get things right. Fall off the cycle, then the questions and uncategorized transactions build up and things start to go sideways due to inconsistency. So if you get ahead of what your bookkeeper needs by just staying in the habit of sending information to us as you're receiving it or generating it, then there are less questions to answer and therefore more accurate financials generated that will drive your business forward!







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