I'll tell you a secret: There was a time not so long ago when I was still sending PDF invoices and keeping printouts in a binder (I know, I know!). There comes a moment in every self-employed life when you realize you can't afford not to invest in the right tools to keep track of your finances. When did you decide you needed a reliable financial management platform? Did you reach a certain milestone in terms of sales, clients, accounts? Or did you just hit a wall?
@LeahIlanah shoeboxes indeed! I bet you've heard some pretty good stories from first-time clients
Yes, but it is not really all that funny.
In fact, running a business takes a lot out of a small business owner or entrepreneur. Just think of all the tasks you have to master - starting from writing a business plan, to be present in the shop, in the marketing department, being a customer relation specialist, a human resource specialist, watching trends in the market, networking, you name it.
Bookkeeping and accounting often come as an afterthought. Something that we'll fix comes tax season around. By that time you already incurred penalties and interest for sales tax and payroll taxes you forgot to pay on time, and you may overlook a lot of deductible expenses that could reduce your tax liability on your business return.
From what my clients tell me, one of the most valuable things for them is that I take care of all this. That we can produce real-time financial reports to see at any time where the business stands financially, what financial resources there might be, what we may need to change, or simply take them to the bank, and apply for a loan if need be, or stay in compliance with your loan officer after you took out a loan.
They actually see me as a team member, and a trusted advisor all around.
@LeahIlanah, you're absolutely right. The "aha" moment for most small business owners is often an especially painful or challenging one in terms of their operations. I was wondering if any specific examples or stories came to mind for you.
You bring up a really good point about being a member of the team. A very good friend of mine recently discovered that she owed quite a bit in business taxes because she failed to ask her (short-lived) new accountant the "right questions." It's essential to find a trusted advisor who will offer strategic guidance rather than simply answer questions as they come up. Your clients are lucky to have you!