In the last bookkeeping business advice article, we agreed that tracking your time with QuickBooks Timesheets or QuickBooks Pro Timer is the first step to becoming successful in your bookkeeping business. When you start tracking all of your daily time -- and detailing what you did in the "note" section of the timesheet - it is easier to put value to your time.
In my own QuickBooks file, I set my own business mentoring company up as a customer with sub-accounts. Some of those sub-accounts are Marketing, Paid Time Off, Education, Administration Time, Letters/Contracts and Bookkeeping -- to use when I work on my own company's bookkeeping. Breaking it out this way has helped me with my hiring process by calculating the administrative cost to run my company. It has helped me determine how many new clients I can take on, and the value of my unpaid time.
If you are an individual bookkeeper like many of my business mentoring clients, you can enable the timesheets in QuickBooks and use them to keep track of your time and run reports. If you have more than one person in the office, as in my firm, use the QuickBooks Time Tracker, which comes on your QuickBooks Installation CD.
So now what do you do with the information after it is entered? How many of you actually know what your profitability is per client? One of the common practices that I see as a bookkeeping business coach is bookkeeping service owners do not attach a value to their time. Most bookkeeping business owners are 'dba's or 'LLC's. As you know, owners of these types of business do not take paychecks, they take draws. So how do you put the value to your time?
Before we get started setting this up in QuickBooks, you need to think of how much money you want to make this year in your bookkeeping service business and break it down to an hourly rate. Then you want to set yourself up as a vendor in the list and set a rate and code in the item field for each service you provide. Next, link the expense side to a payroll account or an owner's wage account.
From this window in QuickBooks create a check and allow it to pull your time from your timesheets. If you notice that all the details post to the "item" tab, just keep in mind that we are not going to pay this entire amount.
Next click on the "expense" tab and post a negative dollar amount to the payroll account.
Save and close the transaction. You have now put value to your time with a zero dollar check.
Now, when you run your 'Job Profitability Summary' you have actual cost for your time and you can see if your margins are within 70% of what you billed. If they are not, your pricing is not high enough. I tell my business mentoring clients to always keep in mind that 1/3 of cost goes to overhead, 1/3 of cost goes toward direct cost and the remainder 1/3 goes to the owner.
By using QuickBooks, bookkeeping service owners can put a value to their time, analyze their pricing and manage their time more efficiently.
Stay tuned. In the next bookkeeping business coaching article we will go over how to streamline your invoicing process by pulling data from your time records.
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