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Why Professional Bookkeepers Cost Less Than Bad Bookkeepers

Posted by Randal DeHart on Wed, Sep 14, 2011

The First Thing You Need To Know Is Bad Bookkeepers Have A Code Of Misconduct:

Rule #1 - Work expands to fill the time allowed for it or the outer edge of what business owner will tolerate

Rule #2 - If the boss piles on too much work slowdown, demand overtime and additional staff

Rule #3 - Bookkeepers are underpaid and overworked

Rule #4 - It is O.K. to come to work late, leave early, take lots of breaks and long lunches

Rule #5 - Bookkeepers have a duty to Train Their Boss Like Organ Grinders Train Monkeys!

Some History To Help You Understand Bookkeepers

What Do You Remember - About filing out the Income Tax Return when you were growing up? Most of remember our parents or guardians at the kitchen table with a pile of papers, receipts and W-2’s trying to finish the Income Tax Return so it could be mailed before midnight on April 15th.

As Adults - We learned the rituals of filling out tax returns, applications, and paperwork in general and most of us don’t like it one bit.

Negative Energy - Is connected to bookkeeping and hardly anyone said they wanted to be a bookkeeper when they grew up; except me of course and a few other people. This brings us to the story of the Two Types Of Bookkeepers, Professional And Bad. Good Bookkeepers cost money and Bad Bookkeepers work cheap!

Professional Bookkeepers

Are Lucky People - Who answered their life’s calling and made a conscious decision to pursue bookkeeping as a profession and they have an extreme passion for bookkeeping.

Education And Training - Have invested the 10,000 hours it takes to master their profession in bookkeeping and accounting. As time goes by we tend to specialize in a particular industry and we invest more time to go deeper and master the complexities of whatever bookkeeping specialty we are most passionate about. We happen to love construction accounting!

We Are Passionate As Sports Stars - About our profession and we love being part of a team that works together to generate lots of money for our employers because we know when that happens they will share some of it with us.

You Will Know Us - When you meet us because we have traits and habits we cannot hide:

  • We Have A Thirst - For knowledge and can never get enough. So we attend classes, seminars, webinars, workshops, live lectures, read books, join discussion groups, get certifications, awards, licenses and earn the right to have letters behind our name and eventually it hits us like a ton of bricks!

  • We Will Never - Be expert; also known as "Has Been Drip Under Pressure" because no matter how long we are doing it or how much we learn everything changes. So we become specialists (always learning) in one industry; I chose construction accounting.

Bad Bookkeepers

Are Easy To Identify -If you know what to look for and to help you here click here for the list.

Are Poor Unfortunate Souls - Who drift aimlessly in a sea of dead end jobs surrounded and happen to wash up on the shores of Bookkeeping Island; due north of the Island of the Blind where the the One Eyed Man is King!

Most of them have no training - No real bookkeeping skills; they simply drifted into bookkeeping without realizing the ramifications of not having the foundation skillsets because it may have been thrust upon them as an entry level position by a business owner who had childhood issues with bookkeeping.

Being Self-Taught - The bad bookkeepers develop a collection of bad habits and paradigms which cause them to slowly sink into quagmire of quiet desperation. In order to keep a job they become cheap bookkeepers.

After Being - In bookkeeping a while they feel trapped because there are few if any chances to be promoted to better paying positions. 

Attending Classes - Seminars, lectures or seeking continuing education could give them more skills and make them more valuable; however, their lack of a proper foundation in the principles of accounting will reveal their MOAS (Mother of All Secrets).

Bookkeepers With Retail Store Experience - Hired to do the bookkeeping for construction companies create some of the worst messes in QuickBooks that we see and clean up....Not a pretty picture...kind of like a train wreck!

As Time Goes By - The bad bookkeeper slides deeper and deeper into being an even cheaper bookkeeper bouncing from one job to the next.

When Things Really Go Bad - They open their own bookkeeping service. Unfortunately it seems construction business owners searching for the lowest price hire them because they do not understand the true cost of hiring professionals until it is too late….at the auction where their businesses assets are being sold to the highest bidder at the lowest price possible.

The First Mistake Is - Attempting to setup QuickBooks without and understanding of Construction Bookkeeping and Accounting by doing the same way it was done at their previous job where that business owner is bankrupt.

Disaster Waiting To Happen - Because setting up QuickBooks for construction is totally different from every other industry, especially retail.

In The End - The bad bookkeeper usually does not get paid because the contractor goes bankrupt and leaves a pile of unpaid suppliers, creditors and employees. It is a shame because in most cases when a business goes bankrupt it can be traced back to bad bookkeeping and no KPI Reports

What Type of Bookkeeper Do You Have?

Professional Bookkeepers:

  • Arrive on time and leave on time

  • Care about you as a person, your company, your staff, your suppliers

  • Cheerful, thinking, responsible adults

  • Continually learning new skill sets because they take pride in their work

  • Embrace processes and procedures that allow everyone to succeed

  • Produce reliable results early and often

  • Take a lunch break to recharge their minds and bodies

  • Take reasonable breaks during the day to clear their mind

  • Team players working to maintain the integrity of your QuickBooks

What Is Required To Find And Keep A Professional Bookkeeper?

  • A living wage with benefits

  • Air Conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter

  • Company paid training to continually update their skill sets

  • Do not expect them to ANSWER THE PHONE

  • Good lighting in their office and the building in general

  • Kitchenette with free beverages, snacks, frozen foods and a microwave

  • Knowledge base available only to qualified Bookkeepers

  • Lots of room to spread out paper and assorted files

  • Private office with a door so they can work in quiet and think

Fast Easy Accounting Staff Office

  • Provide them with 24-7 technical English speaking U.S. based phone support

  • The latest in computer hardware and software with lots of power

  • Two large flat screen monitors with DVI inputs and high resolution

  • Understand and implement Deming’s 14 points, Covey’s 7 Habits and Good To Great

  • Your QuickBooks continually backed up so there is no worry about losing data

Cheap Bookkeepers:

  • Arrive late and leave early to make up for it

  • Are Time and Effort Driven / Not Results Driven like selfish, greedy, rich, business owners

  • Avoid learning new skill sets because there is nobody to check the books and look for problems

  • Change jobs while the tax return is being prepared since the books are a mess; and the jig is up

  • Come in a little bit late and leaving a little bit early to make up for it to find your tolerance limit

  • Do not care about you, your company or anyone else associated with your company

  • Get even with you for every perceived injustice against themselves and society as a whole

  • If you insult them it is like insulting the cook; use your imagination, and be very afraid

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

  • Let you think you in control of the bookkeeper and the accounting until it is too late

  • Make you believe they are looking out the best interest of the company, LOL!

  • Make work expand to fill whatever time you are willing to pay them to get it done

  • Most popular parting comment: “Chaos, panic and disorder...my work here is done”

  • Negotiate for additional perks, benefits, changes, and elimination of personal accountability

  • Network for a better job with your clients, suppliers, vendors, and competitors

  • Represent themselves to outsiders as the owner or manager with decision making authority

  • Spend company time on texting, messaging, e-mailing, web surfing, cell phones, and socializing

  • Take lots of long breaks to waste time, grumble and complain about everything under the sun

  • Train you to leave them alone by getting upset or angry whenever you ask for a QuickBooks report

  • Want the business to be fair--- a place where the owners do not earn more than Bookkeepers by redistributing your wealth

  • When the business closes its doors they proudly declare the boss was incompetent and stupid

  • Work in a chaotic, neurotic, psychotic, selfish, disorganized, blame game environment

  • Work through lunch to leave early (Be at the office for 7 hours and get paid for 8)

What Is Required To Attract And Keep A Cheap Bookkeeper? 

  • A miserable, overworked, untrained, underpaid, Bookkeeper waking up every day hating life

  • A substandard wage slightly above working in a fast food restaurant

  • An antique computer with one monitor and a slow printer

  • Make sure to have low wattage bad lighting in their workspace

  • Have them answer the phone and greet customers

  • A cramped little space for the bookkeeper to work

  • Have them run errands using their vehicle don't pay for it

  • Little or no continuing education in accounting or QuickBooks

  • Nobody to ask for help with complex Accounting and accounting issues

  • Put them in a public noisy environment with lots of interruptions

  • QuickBooks tech support coming from someone who barely understands English

  • Pay for their training because all their learning is by experience

  • Wonder if they are trying to run you out of business; in most cases...yes they are

  • Wonder what is wrong with them, where are the reports you need to run your company

  • Either no restroom for them to use or if you have one make sure it is never cleaned and don't restock the toilet paper

  • No break room, no snacks and no coffee...unless it is the cheapest coffee available

If any of this makes you laugh, gasp, cry or unhappy let me know. Your comments are always welcome. 

Tell me your stories about being a bookkeeper, what was it like?

Tell me your stories about having a bookkeeper, what was it like?

Tell me your story, because I am sincerely interested in you and I will read it and respond with kindness and respect.

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This Is One More Example of how Fast Easy Accounting is helping construction company owners all across the USA including Alaska and Hawaii put more money in the bank to operate and grow your construction company. Construction accounting is not rocket science; it is a lot harder than that and a lot more valuable to people like you so stop missing out! Call Sharie 206-361-3950 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com and schedule your no charge one-hour consultation.

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Profitable Contractors and Construction Company owners have known about the value of outsourced bookkeeping services and contractor coaching services like ours for a long time and now you know about it too! 

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About The Author:

Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA The Construction AccountantRandal 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. 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 http://www.fasteasyaccounting.com/randal-dehart/ 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. Check out our Contractor Success Map Podcast on iTunes and Follow Randal on Google+

Topics: Bad Bookkeepers, Cheap Bookkeepers, Professional Bookkeepers, Seattle, Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping Services, QuickBooks For Contractors, Construction Accounting, Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting, QuickBooks, contractors bookkeeping and accounting, Accounting, Bookkeeper, QuickBooks Setup

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