Bad Bookkeeper Tell Tale Signs

They train the contractor like an organ grinder trains a monkey, click here to learn more

They refuse to invest time and money in continuing education because they know everything

They are passive aggressive and will study you and your staff to learn how to manipulate everyone

They are masters at gaining power over you, your staff, and new employees and outside suppliers

They hate change and will fight tooth and nail to stop it or they will destroy your company

They know you're responsible for taxes, fines, penalties and interest; so this is where they get even

They know how to increase your quarterly tax return costs, click here to learn more

They understand that bookkeeping is 90% repetitive transactions and 10% complex transactions

They don't know what to do with complex transactions, so they put them wherever they feel like

They have side jobs working for other companies or an entire bookkeeping business on the side

They decide how much integrity, if any, your company has and they tell everyone who will listen

They create a miserable work environment causing turnover in your staff which costs you money

They make your customers and clients feel unwelcome and unappreciated which costs you money

They act as if they are serving time in jail and do the minimum required to keep their job

They say things to suggest businesses are bad and construction company owners are the worst

They are jealous of your success and even more so if they ever had a failed construction business

They don't learn anything new, whys should they, nobody is reviewing the QuickBooks

They never learn anything new unless the company pays for the training and it is on the clock

They quit when the tax return is being prepared because QuickBooks is a mess and they're caught

They come in a little bit late every morning and leave a little bit early to make up for it

They bait you with drama, nasty comments and minor actions to find your tolerance limit

They get even with you for every perceived injustice against themselves and society as a whole

They keep you busy with lots of mindless crap to divert attention from why the books are a mess

They let you think you are in control of the bookkeeping and the bookkeeper until it is too late

They make you think they are looking out the best interest of the company, LOL!

They let the work expand to fill whatever time you are willing to pay them to get it done

When they quit or get fired expect to hear: “Chaos, panic and work here is done”

They become indispensable in order to take time off whenever they please and hold you hostage

They negotiates for additional perks, benefits, changes, and elimination of personal accountability

They network for a better job with your clients, suppliers, vendors and your competitors

They represent themselves to outsiders as the owner or manager with decision making authority

They text, message, e-mail, surf the web, chat on the phone and socialize on company time

They train you to leave them alone by getting upset or angry whenever you want anything

They work hard at causing just enough chaos so owner does not earn more than the bookkeeper

When your business fails they tell everyone you were incompetent and they saw it coming

They live in a chaotic, neurotic, psychotic, selfish, disorganized, blame game environment 

They work through lunch to leave earlier in the day (At the office for 7 hours and get paid for 8)

Question - What happens when the person in control of QuickBooks is unhappy with you?

Answer - The same thing that happens when the person who cooks your food is unhappy with you!  


In The End - Bad Bookkeepers will leave you with unfiled and unpaid taxes, gasping, upset, with tear stained checks, wide-eyed, stupid, mouth open, standing in the middle of the highway of business success staring at the remains of your business, crashed, rolled over, upside down, in the ditch, on fire, with flames belching from all sides with no hope in sight.

And then things get real ugly as you recall reading The General Contractor And The River Of Construction Commerce and realize all of this could have been avoided!

I have seen bad bookkeepers ruin too many businesses, especially construction businesses. In most cases it was Bookkeeper Incompetence or Bookkeeper Embezzlement and in other cases it appears to me there may have been some deliberate identity theft; however, I cannot be certain.

All I know for sure is that I have witnessed business failures that have led to divorce, families destroyed, finances wiped out and people living on the streets. In a few extreme cases I know of contractors that have taken their own lives and it needs to stop!


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You went into business for yourself for a variety of reasons and in most cases you thought all you had to do was get good jobs, do the work and you would make a lot of money. In a very short while you got a rude wake-up-call and your reality check bounced. You found out getting the jobs and doing the work was only a small part of being a contractor. What started out as an adventure turned into something not as fun as you thought it would be and then it degenerated into a nightmare as you discovered the three accounting nightmares all contractors face. #1 Calculating And Processing Payroll #2 Calculating And Filing A Slew Of Tax Returns #3 Figuring Out Which Customers And Jobs Are Profitable And Which Ones To Avoid Like The Plague

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About The Author:

Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA The Construction Accountant Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood Washington. He is the leading expert in outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services for small construction companies across the USA. He is experienced as a Contractor, Project Management Professional, Construction Accountant, Intuit ProAdvisor, QuickBooks For Contractors Expert and Xero Accounting Specialist and Bill.Com Certified Guru. This combination of experience and skill sets provides a unique perspective which allows him to see the world through the eyes of a contractor, Project Manager, Accountant and construction accountant. This quadruple understanding is what sets him apart from other Intuit ProAdvisors and Xero accountants to the benefit of all of the construction contractors he serves across the USA. Visit to learn more.

Our Co-Founder Randal DeHart - Is a Certified PMP (Project Management Professional) with several years of construction project management experience. His expertise is construction accounting systems engineering and process development. His exhaustive study of several leading experts including the work of Dr. W. Edward Deming, Michael Gerber, Walter A. Shewhart, James Lewis and dozens of others was the foundation upon which our Construction Bookkeeping System is based and continues to evolve and improve. Follow Randal on Google+

Our Co-Founder:

Sharie DeHart, QPA, is the President of  Business Consulting And Accounting (Fast Easy Accounting) in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations. She offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or