Money, for many, is the pebble in our shoe that irrates enough to annoy, but not enough for us to make a fundemental change. And if our accounting systems mirror our confusion or conflict around finances, then that adds more one more thing that we’d prefer not to think too much that will undoubtly circle back and be a source of suffering.
A good accounting system, and the basic understanding of the principles involved can save us a lot of trouble. And it’s not that difficult. If you can learn Chinese medicine, you can certainly grasp the fundemental accounting principles that will help you to better understand the financial health of your practice.
Listen in to this discussion on basic accounting for acupuncturists, embracing financial responsibility and why the 80/20 rule is your friend.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- A brief history of QuickBooks
- Set your system up right in the first place
- Accounting language 101
- The difference between management information and accounting information
- Suggestions for when you first start out— keep it simple
- What to look for in an accounting professional
- Taking a mess and turning into order
- Difference between an account and a bookkeeper
- If you have a clinic, you’re an entrepreneur
- Solving problems you don’t know how to solve
- How to get good tech support
- Getting over the fear of asking for money
- You need to know your true costs
- It can be scary to see what a budget tells you about yourself
- What happens if I make more money than I think I’m worth?
- Client Relationship Management systems
- Get your infrastructure right
- Get the 80/20 rule working in your favor
Keep It Simple. Track the information that is meaningful and for the things that you can actually control. Most of the time, when I go in to fix an existing QuickBooks setup, the first thing I do is cut down the number of accounts by about half. Just by doing that, it simplifies the processes, eliminates a lot of errors and gives the owner much better information that he or she can really use to help manage the business.
Hi, my name is Beverly Hacker and I'm the owner of BeanCounter.Solutions, a consulting firm that helps small businesses set up or clean up their QuickBooks accounting systems and then teaches them how to make the best use of this powerful platform. I started my career as a bookkeeper, then went back to school to get an accounting degree and becoming a Certified Public Accountant. The timing was perfect, because my joining a small accounting firm coincided with the introduction of personal computers in business and the creation of the original QuickBooks system – that would be in the early 1980s. Since I have a very strong geek streak, I jumped right into the whole idea of doing accounting on computers, and I've been doing it ever since.
I'm one of those folks that did a mid-career switch by becoming the executive director of a community radio station that was operated by a local nonprofit. That meant that I had to use what I knew about accounting and business management and add more skills like fundraising, media programming, and volunteer training. That also sent me back to school for a degree in Media Literacy and teaching media studies at Webster and Lindenwood Universities.
With BeanCounter.Solutions, I've combined all of my interests in computers, accounting, teaching and helping small businesses. One of the things that I've noticed as I've worked with a variety of small businesses and nonprofits is that they very often are frustrated with their accounting systems and feel that not only is it too difficult, but they don't think they are getting any value from the work they put in. I also see that in nearly all cases, that frustration can be alleviated, but finding out exactly how they do business, what kind of information they are looking for and then setting up the system to fit those needs. But that is just the beginning – they also need to learn how to get their information into the system in the most efficient way and they need to know when it's time to call on outside experts for help. So, I use a ‘teach a man to fish' philosophy. My goal is to get folks set up and trained to do as much as they want to on their own and help them when they need it after that. It's a bit of a crazy business model, because if I do it well, I actually work myself out of a job. That's OK with me, because I know that will enable me to help another client in the same way.