This discussion falls under the category of what I do in my practice. You are probably a better accountant than I am, so who am I to advise on this topic? Additionally, this is geared more toward the brand-new CFO starting a consulting practice.
The Reason I Use QuickBooks
I didn’t always use QuickBooks. I implemented Peachtree for my first client in 1993 while working full-time for another employer. I implemented it again in 2000 for another business. I never saw QuickBooks until 2001, and I hated it. I never bought into the program until about two years later.
You can probably guess that I used Peachtree when I started my practice full-time in 2001. I made the switch to QuickBooks near the end of 2003. I still didn’t love the program, but Intuit is great at marketing, and I saw the small business CPA world moving in that direction. Plus, Peachtree wasn’t getting any better.
Even if I didn’t use QuickBooks, I’d still use an accounting system instead of tracking costs in Excel or a database like Access. I also like having balance sheet reporting as I have other investments outside my practice that my brand owns.
Frequently Asked Questions
I will do my best to answer every question you might have. If not, leave me a message in the comments section, and I’ll add the question and answer to the list below.
Don’t Forget the Month-End Close
This may seem overkill, but I use a short checklist which means I do my accounting quickly and move on to real work afterward. I despise admin work, but I have no desire to delegate this work. Plus, I can do my monthly administration in about 30 minutes or less.
If you set up your credit card charges and cash transactions to hit your account automatically, there’s very little data entry you have to do. Here’s my short monthly checklist:
- Ensure all transactions have been entered.
- Reconcile the two cash accounts, MMA and brokerage accounts.
- Reconcile credit card accounts.
- Bill clients (I do this once a month only).
- Clear out any bill payments in Outlook and convert to PDF and save.
I wish I didn’t have to do any of the above. Administration is not my thing, and I bet it isn’t yours either. But everything I’ve done above leads to peace of mind, and it helps that I have a simplified system that works for me. Customize your administrative practices accordingly.