Name: Lynda Artesani
QB Community member name: lynda
Business: Artesani Bookkeeping
Location: Estero, Florida
Launched: 1999 as Rhode Island Bookkeeping; 2007 as Artesani Bookkeeping
If you’ve spent any time in here in the QB Community, you’ll be familiar with Lynda, one of our most active and engaged members. Chances are, if you’ve asked a QuickBooks-related question, Lynda, a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, has answered it. Why is Lynda so generous with what she knows? It’s simple. She likes helping others, and she loves what she does.
We spoke with Lynda about keeping books for other people and running her own side business, too. Plus, she shares hot tips for dealing with Self-Employed Taxes.
Lynda, how did you become a bookkeeping entrepreneur?
Accounting was always my thing, even way back in high school. Later, when my children were small, I had several jobs as a bookkeeper. I ended up working full-time as a building manager in Providence, RI, managing 300 units in an office park. I also worked part-time as a bookkeeper for another residential-apartment rental company.
The building manager job ran me down. It was a salaried position, and the owner of the property took advantage of that. He had me working 50-60 hours a week but paid me for 40. It was such a terrible job with a difficult boss that it ultimately inspired me to work for myself. I decided to focus on what gave me the most joy and fulfillment: bookkeeping.
When I moved to Florida in 2007 I reopened my business under its current name. Florida is a very business-friendly state, so I was quick to become a business here.
What do you love about your work?
Helping people. I love showing people how to use QuickBooks to fit their needs. Some of my customers do their own work, some have me do the work for them or I do a combination of both. Many clients are experts in their field but struggle with the bookkeeping side. I always remind them, “You’re good at your job, and I’m good at bookkeeping. Let me do what I do best, so you have more time to do what you do best!”
What do you struggle with at your work?
Not having enough time in my day. That’s probably the biggest complaint from most of us during tax preparation season. I want to help everyone, and it’s not always possible.
What’s the most common issue your clients come to you with?
Undeposited funds. Many businesses know how to invoice and then enter a customer payment. Then they put the money into an undeposited-fund account, click “deposit” and add it to their income account. I have had several new clients who had pages and pages of undeposited fund transactions in the program. They didn’t realize it till they ran their Profit and Loss account and noticed their income had doubled.
To avoid this hiccup in the first place, follow the proper flow of invoicing and entering payments: invoice > customer payment > bank deposit > match the banking deposit to the transaction entered in your accounting platform. Do not enter deposits into sales, always match them.
Our QB Community members know all about paying quarterly taxes. What are your tips for staying organized, paying on time and writing off the right expenses?
Use the QB Self Employed product. I say this from personal experience. I teach yoga as a side job -- it’s a sole proprietorship. I use my personal bank account and savings account. Both are hooked up to QBSE, and so is the credit card I use for my yoga job. I add any purchases related to my teaching yoga.
As a yoga instructor, we are paid per-student, so it’s not a set amount for each class. I just keep an eye on my earnings and, at the end of the quarter, I pay my taxes. I always upload my scanned receipts and am proud of my paperless office.
QBSE lets me monitor my income, pay exactly what I need in taxes each quarter and track my self-employment income. Even though this is my “fun” part-time job, it is nice to be able to see where I am at with it financially.
What tax/bookkeeping tips would you offer to someone who is brand new to self-employment?
I’d say to use QuickBooks Self Employed from the day of your first sale. Don’t delay! So much happens in your first year of business, and QBSE lets you know exactly where you are financially and how to best manage your new endeavor. My bookkeeping business grew very quickly from a part-time job to full-time one in a single year.
I’d also say this: It’s scary to quit a full-time job and go self-employed! It takes a lot of courage to start your own business. But there’s nothing like doing what you love, getting paid for it and managing your own schedule.
You may be the most involved member of the QB Community. What do you get out of using this forum?
I love helping people. I know how it feels when something isn’t working smoothly. Frustration can build so quickly. Here, on the site, I can help alleviate that frustration. Sometimes it’s as simple as pointing out a button or a function someone never noticed. Maybe it’s the “yogi” in me that makes me want to help, but It feels good to give back.
Before you go
QB Community members, what was the most helpful thing someone told you when you were newly self-employed?
I have to agree! @lynda definitely knows bookkeeping and has helped me so many times. Thanks so much, Lynda! Nice getting to know more about you!
@lynda, you've been such a fantastic resource for so many QB Community members. Thanks for all that you do to make our community a warm, welcoming place for small-business owners to find valuable information and support. You rock!