48 episodes

I Love Bookkeeping is a global community of Bookkeeping Professionals. We all bleed bookkeeping and want to grow and prosper our businesses. This podcast is for Bookkeeping Professionals who serve clients, and it's for the woman or man who aspires to join our great industry. Join Ben Robinson every Tuesday to geek out on Bookkeeping.

I Love Bookkeeping Ben Robinson

    • Careers

I Love Bookkeeping is a global community of Bookkeeping Professionals. We all bleed bookkeeping and want to grow and prosper our businesses. This podcast is for Bookkeeping Professionals who serve clients, and it's for the woman or man who aspires to join our great industry. Join Ben Robinson every Tuesday to geek out on Bookkeeping.

    F#¢k Busy Season - It doesn't have to be like this

    F#¢k Busy Season - It doesn't have to be like this

    Busy season doesn’t have to be busy. We should always be looking at the way things have been done “traditionally” and questioning why they are that way.
    [1:05] Things aren’t set in stone, we just get stuck in a rut doing the work the way that everyone else does it. You don’t have to have a busy season, you can spread your work out over the year, but it can’t be done overnight.
    [1:30] Being a digital bookkeeper means going to a higher level with your clients and becoming a trusted advisor. When we add value to our relationships, the more we get paid.
    [1:55] We want to go deep with a few clients and help them to look forward instead of just looking backwards. Working with fewer clients that pay you more allows you to avoid the highs and lows of busy season.
    [2:40] Question the way things are. Do you really have to suffer through the chaos of busy season? There is a way out and you don’t have to sacrifice the income.
    [3:30] Everything starts with the type of client you serve. Your marketing, sales, and delivery all stems from the kinds of clients you serve. Keep in mind that marketing is not just for new clients, you have to continually resell yourself to your clients in every interaction with them.
    [4:10] Set aside 20 minutes this week to think outside the box proactively. Ask yourself the big questions like, “How could I forget about busy season?,” “How can I make more money?” and “How can I serve my clients at a deeper level?” Doing this every single week will have a tremendous impact on your business.

    • 6 min
    The RIGHT Way to Present Financial Statements to Clients

    The RIGHT Way to Present Financial Statements to Clients

    There are a lot of poor practices when it comes to presenting financial statements. When you present financial statements to your clients, you should always present three documents: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows.
    [2:35] All three are crucial. If you are only presenting the balance sheet and the income statement, you are leaving out a critical element. Analyzing the cash flow is the lifeblood of the business. If you’re not currently presenting the statement of cash flows, your first step is to learn how to create it and start presenting it to your clients.
    [3:55] The second thing is to present the statements using the accrual basis even if the business uses the cash basis for tax. Timing is the difference in the accrual basis because it gives you an accurate picture of the financial health of the business that can’t be manipulated.
    [5:40] One challenge that bookkeepers encounter is when Quickbooks presents the balance sheet one way, they assume that’s the right way. It’s up to you to customize them so they are accurate.
    [6:25] You should also use a multistep income statement that includes all the business’ relevant numbers. It’s important to separate out direct and indirect costs once you start doing financial analysis. Putting everything into one expense category is a common mistake.
    [8:30] The statement of cash flows goes through the business from operating, investment, and financial perspectives. The key metric for any business is the cash flow from operating activities.
    [9:40] The most important thing is to present the financial statements and interpret them for your client, don’t just give them to them. Help the client see what the numbers mean in a way that they can understand.

    • 12 min
    How to do Referral Marketing

    How to do Referral Marketing

    You have a true business once you have a marketing system that delivers quality clients in a predictable and consistent manner.
    [1:25] Marketing comes down to three fundamental elements: your market, your message, and your medium. Most people focus on the medium first which is a major mistake, the first thing you must do when it comes to marketing is to focus on your market. Understand the things they want to experience, the jobs they do, and the pains they are trying to avoid.
    [2:50] The number one mistake people make with referral marketing is going into it saying “what’s in it for me?” Instead of leading by being selfish, we should flip that around and think more about what we can offer your referral partner.
    [4:00] Ask them about how you can help them and listen to the conversation to identify the same jobs, pains, and gains as you look for in your market. You need to see referral partners like you do your clients because in many ways they are.
    [5:05] One of the struggles of commercial bankers is having a business with a loan that has incomplete or nonexistent financial statements. This is a problem that you as a professional bookkeeper can solve for them.
    [6:20] You can use the same framework to identify good referral partners in all sorts of industries. The key action item is to change your mindset around referral partners and lead by bringing value to the relationship first.
    [7:15] Make a list of the roles that have the eyeballs of the niche that your business serves. Ask your clients who they work with and pay attention to, those are great candidates for referral partners.
    [8:30] Like all marketing, referral partners won’t yield results immediately but will pay off long term and lead to greater success in your bookkeeping business.

    • 10 min
    Mindset: The Most Important Component of Success

    Mindset: The Most Important Component of Success

    Mindset is one of the most important things you can learn about. It basically boils down to how to get the things that you want and avoid the things you don’t want.
    [0:40] When you work for yourself, everything comes down to you and staying motivated is important. Motivation is a form of energy and we have to watch our energy levels and do things that energize us to recharge our batteries.
    [1:35] As you go throughout your week, are you doing things that recharge your battery or are you just depleting it? This is where understanding your Unique Ability comes into play. You need to become intentional about scheduling in activities that replenish your motivational energy.
    [2:55] Thoughts are crucial to how your life plays out. The genesis of how you go about getting the things you want is to think about them first. One way of accomplishing that is through affirmations.
    [3:45] We can’t lie to ourselves with affirmations. Think about the attributes of the things you want in your life instead of trying to pretend your life is something that it’s not. Think about the future and what you want it to look like.
    [4:20] Plenty of people believe they will never get out of debt, and that belief will create their reality.
    [5:15] Most of us haven’t actually thought about what we really want. We need to be more intentional with our desires and how we will go about achieving them. Your mindset is the most important thing you can work on in your business. It’s going to drive all your other successes or failures.

    • 7 min
    How to Not Suck at Marketing: the 3 Ms

    How to Not Suck at Marketing: the 3 Ms

    Most people get marketing wrong because they don’t understand the fundamentals. The three essential components of marketing are your market, your message, and your medium.
    [1:30] The very first thing you need to get solid on is your market. 40% of your success in marketing is about the market, another 40% is your message, and only 20% comes from your medium.
    [1:55] It’s important that you focus on a niche and really drill down on one specific market. When you niche down you become a specialist and can speak that market’s language.
    [3:00] Value building boils down to helping your market to achieve and define their goals. Most people go wrong by trying to serve too large a market. Small business owners are not a niche because of all the different variations that can occur between businesses.
    [3:30] Jobs, Pains, and Gains is a formula that you can use to understand what your niche really needs. What jobs do they do, what are the pain points that you can help alleviate, what are the things they want from their business that you can help them achieve?
    [5:05] This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it thing. You will be constantly refining your idea of who your market is. It’s vital that you get clear on your market before you do any sort of marketing.
    [6:45] If you’re going to advertise or network it’s important that you understand what your market wants and that you convey that message to them. This is your value proposition statement.
    [7:30] Your value proposition statement is not something that stays static, it’s something that evolves and gets better and better over the course of your career. Refine the message by listening to your clients.
    [8:20] The medium is where many bookkeeping professionals go wrong. The first thing you have to think about is where your market spends its time. They are going to be in a number of places and you want to intercept them wherever they are. Get in there with a value-first mentality.
    [10:25] Don’t throw away your existing clients once you identify your niche if they don’t fit. Start to market to new clients in the niche you’ve chosen and allow your business to evolve over time.
    [11:00] Get focused and learn the ABC’s of marketing because it’s going to save you a lot of time, it’s going to save you a lot of money and stress, and most importantly, it’s going to attract those quality clients.

    • 12 min
    What to Do With Shady Clients (How to fire them with tact)

    What to Do With Shady Clients (How to fire them with tact)

    We’ve all had shady clients. The question is what you should do when encounter one? For Ben, he gets rid of them as quickly as possible.
    [1:15] There isn’t an easy solution if a shady client makes up a good portion of your business’s revenue, but working with an unscrupulous person can put your business in jeopardy.
    [1:45] The first signs of a shady client will come up when you’re marketing. When you connect with a potential client, you should try and get a sense of how they feel about taxes.
    [2:10] Everybody should avoid taxes as much as possible, but there’s a big difference between avoidance and evasion. If the person insinuates an interest in evading taxes, walk away.
    [3:10] If your potential client is hiding something, that means they are lying, and if they are lying to the IRS, do you think they are going to have a problem lying to you?
    [3:30] When you’re consulting with these clients, look for things that are off. But if they are already a client and things start to feel wrong, there are some steps you can take.
    [4:00] If you start to see warning signs, the first thing to do is to document it and bring it to their attention. First, assume they don’t know and get them on the phone. It may be an innocent mistake, but if it’s not, you’re going to want to call out your client immediately.
    [6:15] Ben’s general rule of thumb is one mistake can slide, but if they make a second “mistake”, that’s a pattern and that’s the end of the relationship. Even if the shady things seem small, if you’re seeing them more than once, you should end your relationship with that client.
    [7:00] It’s okay to get rid of shady clients. You don’t need to serve them. Most people are fine, but for people that want to pull something over, it’s okay to turn them down. Handle them with care when severing the relationship, and consult an attorney if you need to.
    [8:20] You want to work with quality clients that respect you, that respect the laws, and obey everything that they are supposed to.

    • 10 min

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