Intelligent new bookkeeper & Scope of work (SOW)


Join me in welcoming Denine Vajja  as a bookkeeper for QC Computing. She's skilled, intelligent and insightful. Of all the questions bookkeepers ask me, no one has ever asked me such an intelligent question.
                She wanted to know if I wrote up a formal Scope of Work (SOW) with clients and if so, what did it say?
                First of all, what is a scope of work? It's a document that outlines what the accountant will do for the client. If your accountant bills you an agreed upon rate, say $1K a monthy, they've given you a scope of work. Last time I offered a client a fixed price for the day, he kept me there for an 18 hour day! My goal is to offer that comprehensive scope of services, just not all in one day, and not at a rate where we lose money. That's why we charge hourly.

Our clients' businesses are small. By problem solving, creating organization, outsourcing payroll, engaging technology, and writing documentation I've dialed in their monthly bookkeeping so that it only takes a few hours a month. An hourly rate passes the savings onto the client. Ironically, our Scope of Work is unlimited. Denine understands that very well as she's been the one and only full time accountant for a corporation, so she can now bring that full level of service to your small business.

Income from a Property Management Company or Use Sales Receipts for Depositing Income

Almost every day I learn something new. Today is was how to enter in income from property that you own that is managed by a property management company.

Every month the owner of the property will get from the property management company a statement similar to the following:

Rental Income $1000
- Property Management Fees $100
- Repairs this month $45
= Total Check (direct deposit)  $855.00

Typically bookkeepers enter these 3 lines directly in the "Make Deposits" window in QuickBooks. Unfortunately, it won't appear connected to the customer in the customer center because QuickBooks is "forms based" software. A sales receipt is a form, so if you enter it there, instead of directly into the deposit screen, the data will be attached to the customer.

Your customer is the Property Management Company.

Add 3 lines items in the Products and Services List for each property.
1. Location Rental Income (default amount to rent), posts to Rent Income
2. Name of Property Management Company fees (default amount to their monthly fees), Posts to expense account Property Management Fees. 
3. Location Repairs, Posts to expense account Property Repairs. 

Every month, enter the deposit using a Sales Receipt with these 3 line items.
Location Rental Income is positive.
Name of Property Management Company Fees as a negative
If there are repairs, Location Repairs will be negative too.
The total of the Sales Receipt is the amount of the check.

Note on the accounting: While it may seem counter intuitive to post a negative line item to an expense account it works out perfectly, because a double negative is a positive, so your rent income is positive, and your expenses are positive on the P&L too.

Enter the check # into your Sales receipt. If the money is direct deposited, you can deposit it directly from the sales receipt. And it all shows up under the customer center!

This is a terrific solution, because I'm wondering if one property management company overcharged my client? Now I'll be able to show him clearly what happened and let him sort it out.

Isn't this the coolest solution ever?



2018 WA State Paid Sick Leave Policy


The Low-Down 

Employers must provide a one-time notification to each employee of their paid sick leave rights. WA L&I has developed the employee paid sick leave notification form. Below is a sample form we created from their requirements. 

Employees must provide a “reasonable notice” for an absence from work for the use of paid sick leave for an authorized purpose. 

An employer may choose whether to provide a financial or other reimbursement after 40 hours accrued for the following year.  (ie- if the employee has 52 hours accrued, you may cash out the 12 remaining hours).  

Sample Form: Employee Paid Sick Leave Notification 

Cut and paste the following or just copy the words to create your own company form for employees to sign, and for you to keep in their employee file.

MyCompanyName Employee Paid Sick Leave Notification

Sick leave will accrue at one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours you work starting 1/1/2018. You are entitled to use this accrued paid sick leave beginning 90 calendar days after the start of your employment, for any of the following reasons (as outlined at RCW 49.46.210(1)(b) and (c)):
  • To care for yourself or a family member;
  • When you or a family member is the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking; and
  • In the event our business or your child's school or place of care is closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason.
  • Accrued, unused paid sick leave balances of 40 hours or less will be carried over to the following year.
 Signed: ______________________________  Date: ___________________

Retaliation against you by Company name for using paid sick leave for authorized purposes, or for the exercise of any rights under the Minimum Wage Act (chapter 49.46 RCW), is prohibited.                       



Sample Form: Employee Extended Sick Leave Verification


The state of WA says that if the employee wants more than 3 sick days off in a row, they need to provide you with some proof. of sickness. Here is the WA L&I official form for that possibility, attached, for you to download: 
Sample Form Employee Extended Sick Leave Verification 


The research for this blog post is credited to Shelly Tutt, bookkeeper @ QC Computing LLC. 


QuickBooks Online Expenses by Vendor Detail Report - How to Create

The Expenses by Vendor Detail Report is one of the most useful reports in QuickBooks desktop, but it does not exist in QB Online. In QB Desktop it's located under Financial Reports. Here is how I use it:

  1. To make sure I've posted things correctly (because any given vendor tends to offer the same functionality every time)
  2. To see if I've paid a bill (because this is the quickest way to figure that out)
  3. To see how much I've spent with a vendor for analysis purposes
  4. Sometimes, I'll filter this report for one vendor, print that report out, and show it to the vendor. so that when they see how much money I've spent with them already, they'll qualify me for a discount, no restocking fee, or some other benefit. 

QB Online does have a vendor report, but it doesn't provide me with totals for one thing. So I figured out how to get this report in QB Online. If you can get Accountant Access to QB Online, you can do it too. Here are the instructions:


Under Accountant Reports
Select Transaction Detail by Account
Customize it the following way
Rows/Columns –> Group by Vendor
Filter -> Select Distribution Account = All Expense Accounts
Change Columns -> Uncheck the following boxes: Name, Adj, Split, Balance; then Add the following: Account (I like to move Account up to the space before the Memo. I think the report looks better this way).
Header/Footer -> Report Title= Expenses by Vendor Detail

Viola!

Madeline Bailey gains QuickBooks ProAdvisor Advanced Online Certification

As the principal of QC Computing, I've been certified in QuickBooks Online for many years now, but only recently had time to pass the ADVANCED Online Certification.
Passing this test required a broad range of advanced accounting sills and months of in-depth study on the features and capabilities of Intuit QuickBooks Online Accounting Software. It was harder than that even. I joke that clients tell me what they want. I had to figure out what the test questioner wanted all on my own.
A recent survey found that there are less than 15 Advanced Online Certified ProAdvisors in the greater Seattle area, out of about 100 total ProAdvisors of all varieties (such as consultant, bookkeeper only, tax preparer, etc.)
Advanced QB ProAdvisors Consultants are uniquely qualified to offer you great value in designing and implementing systems, customizing training to your specific needs, utilizing lesser-known program features, and thereby dramatically increasing productivity and profitability.

Rolling out the QuickBooks Online New Reconciliation Screens

QuickBooks will have a new reconciliation screen soon. It's already rolled out for Accountants, so I've gotten a chance to use it. Here are some tips and things to watch out for. 

First up, I would forget I was working in 2016, and enter in a statement ending date of 2017. Instead of seeing just the month of transactions one sees the entire year. When I went back to fix my mistake to the correct 2016 ending date, it would still show me the entire year, not fewer transactions. That feature is now controlled by a funnel, where one has the choice to say, "Limit what I see to statement ending date". Look for the funnel icon to the top right of your reconciliation screen for this feature. 

Next up, I'd have to leave my work for awhile, so I'd select "Leave" on the reconcile screen and close down the software. When I returned, my opening balance would be off. What the heck? Turns out, QuickBooks automatically enters an opening balance entry and reconciles it for you. I learned to do a Find by Amount, find the reconciled entry, and delete it to get my opening balance back to the correct amount. It's supposedly a feature to help you start a new reconcile on a new account, but at this point it's a bug.

Last up, I learned that the reconcile goes faster, i.e. more accuracy, if one selects the Deposits screen first to click off all the deposits, then Expenses screen next to click off the expenses. Apparently, that's how it was coded and tested, because it works better. I always respect the software and give it what it wants. As one friend says, "That's how I roll". 

"How I roll" is that I learn these things the hard way so that I can make it look easy for you. 

Update your Salestax Rates

Effective TODAY. This is not an April Fools Joke.

Many cities in King County, WA now have 10% and higher sales tax rates. It's now 10% in Issaquah, 10.3% in Bothell, 10.1% in Seattle.

Here is the link to the new rate sheet for you to print out and update your QuickBooks.

New Salestax Rates


Salestax rates are found on the item list for Desktop, in the Salestax area for QuickBooks Online.
Do not just update your QuickBooks salestax rates in-line.
Add new rates codes, and leave the old ones as is for reporting and auditing purposes.
If we're doing it, we'll rename the old ones first, so the new names will be the same names you're familiar with.
I or one of my bookkeepers can come out and fix this for your business, plus anything else you want help with.

Looking forward to making sure you make more profit!