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    Contractor's Secretary Does Everything Including Bookkeeping!

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Sat, Mar 09, 2013

    Some Contractors Hire Part Time Secretaries to do everything including construction bookkeeping and then wonder why their company debts keep growing and crushing them.

    The thinking appears to be: "I have low price work so I need to cut costs by hiring a part-time secretary that can do everything including my construction bookkeeping. No experience needed, anyone who can fog a mirror can do construction bookkeeping"

    The Top Twelve Things We Hear Most Often

    My Secretary Should Have Been On Top Of These Things:

    1. Making sure that I get paid from my customers

    2. Sending the Notice to Owner of Intent To Lien to protect my financial interests

    3. Getting field employee time cards for every job with breakdown for time spent on each task

    4. Having all the job costs sorted and linked to each job in QuickBooks for Contractors

    5. Tracking change orders in QuickBooks for Contractors for each job

    6. Double checking to make sure the contractor gets paid for all change orders

    7. Following up to be sure a written estimate has been sent to every customer

    8. Collecting a job deposit before the work starts

    9. Verifying the signed contract is in place

    10. Creating a proper invoice for the job and getting it to the customer

    11. Asking the customer for progress payments

    12. Explaining to the customer why the contractor refuses to take credit cards

    Working Part-Time With Only A Few Things To Do Why Can't Your Secretary Get Everything Done Right And On Time?

    Twelve General Office Duties:

    1. Be the receptionist

    2. Make coffee

    3. Answer the phone

    4. Make calls to chase down paperwork

    5. Sooth angry customers, employees and suppliers

    6. Fill out every new form that arrives in the office

    7. Clean the office, the restroom and general housekeeping chores

    8. Maintain the computers, keep paper and toner in the printers

    9. Get construction workers to fill out paperwork

    10. Sort and open the mail

    11. Be the project administrator

    12. Ride herd over the construction workers

    Fifty Construction Bookkeeping Services That Need To Be Done:

    1. Setup QuickBooks For Contractors to provide the reports the contractor will need

    2. Search for lost and missing paperwork in company cars, trucks and vans:

      • On the dashboard

      • On the seats, under the seats and behind the seats

      • Inside boxes, crates and toolboxes

      • In the coffee cup holders and tucked in the sun visors

    3. Continually ask construction workers for paperwork, bills, receipts and packing slips

    4. Enter new employee contact information, W-4, wage rates, tax rates and garnishments

    5. Chase down employee time cards and ask for missing job cost information

    6. Enter everyone's time cards into QuickBooks and assign job names

    7. Keep track of loans to employees

    8. Keep track of employee reimbursements

    9. Process payroll and include reimbursements, health insurance, loans and garnishments

    10. Enter small receipts for fuel, dump, repairs, supplies, expenses, office supplies, meals

    11. Maintain and update vendor list with contact information, account numbers and terms

    12. Enter purchases of material, supplies, equipment rental, tools and other items

    13. Enter vehicle payments with separate transaction lines for principal and interest

    14. Maintain a fixed asset list with depreciation schedule

    15. Enter banking transactions including EFT, ACH, NSF, checks, debits and automatic payments

    16. Enter banking transfers between checking and savings accounts

    17. Separate direct and indirect job costs from overhead

    18. Keep track of which customers pay sales tax and which ones are not taxable

    19. Enter credit and debit card transactions and keep the contractors business and personal charges separate

    20. Enter other business, personal, employee, non-partner card transactions

    21. Maintain accurate credit card register balances for company debit and credit cards

    22. Maintain accurate register balances for special credit cards like Home Depot and Lowes

    23. Maintain accurate records of personal debit and credit cards used for company purchases

    24. Keep track of online payments and purchases

    25. Watch for fraudulent charges on bank and credit card statements

    26. Keep track of job deposits and apply them to the proper customer invoices

    27. Keep track of customer payments, refunds, charge backs and over payments

    28. Reconcile checking, bank & vendor credit cards, vendor statements

    29. Search emails, scraps of paper, voice mails and social media for missing paperwork

    30. Enter customer invoice details from whatever paperwork they can find

    31. Create new invoices to send to the customer so the contractor can get paid

    32. Record and maintain accurate records of customer Payments and job deposits

    33. Enter Schedule of values for new jobs

    34. Maintain the petty cash journal

    35. Generate Job Cost Reports for the contractor

    36. Enter estimates from scraps of paper and emails from the contractor

    37. Do progress billing on large jobs including Payment Applications

    38. Add customer names and contact information

    39. Maintain records for changes in estimates, schedule of values and payment terms

    40. Add vendor names and contact information

    41. Record payments from customers

    42. Enter bank deposits

    43. Enter bills

    44. Pay bills

    45. Fill out and file Labor and Industries quarterly tax returns

    46. Fill out and file Sales Tax quarterly tax returns

    47. Fill out and file Employment Security quarterly tax returns

    48. Fill out and file Payroll 941 Tax quarterly tax returns

    49. Keep everything organized and easy to find in filing cabinets, boxes and other storage systems

    50. Know exactly where every bit of paperwork is so it can be retrieved on command

    Four Shop Duties Contractors Give Their Secretary:

    1. Accept deliveries of tools, equipment and materials

    2. Clean the shop

    3. Organize loose materials

    4. Organize small tools and equipment

    Fast Easy Accounting 206 361 3950 Shows Contractors A Better Way To Do More With LessFive Errands Contractors Expect Their Secretary To Do On Their Lunch Break:

    1. Run personal errands for the contractor

    2. Shop for office supplies

    3. Deliver stuff to job sites

    4. Go to the bank

    5. Go to the post office

    Contractors say they are hiring a secretary then adding the construction bookkeeping as one more thing; because it is just a few keystrokes.

    Contractors get frustrated because the results are not what they expected and they are always short on money coming in and long on money going out.

    The Seven Deadly Results To Your Construction Company From Overloading Your Secretary:

    1. Customers don't pay you because they didn't get an invoice

    2. The invoice didn't show credit for down payments, job deposits or past payments

    3. Change orders were done but not invoiced and paid which hurts cash flow and profits

    4. Payroll is late which means construction workers are taking your tools to the pawn shop

    5. Tax returns filed late or not at which adds penalties and fines which hurts cash flow

    6. Checks start bouncing which adds more fees and hurts cash flow

    7. Bank reconciliations are wrong which means contractors don't know their cash position

    There Is A Better Way...

    QuickBooks Expert Specializing In Construction Bookkeeping Services

    About The Author:

    Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And 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 and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank.

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