Questions You Should Ask
Q? How do you know which bills to pay?
A. In the beginning, we work closely with you to get all bills approved before any payments are made. Over time, we will begin to pay monthly reoccurring bills on our own (with your advance approval). Specific bills will need to be approved so we know the vendor delivered what was promised before they are paid.
Q? How do you work efficiently off-site? Seems to me you need to be in the office with us.
A. As we are 100% digital and online, our onsite presence is not as necessary as it would have been once upon a time. We use Skype and FaceTime (and other video platforms) to communicate. We also have proprietary software to facilitate when you want us to cut a check or send an invoice (see www.foprequest.com). All data is stored online and shared with you. Always.
Q? Where is my data?
A. 100% of what we do is scanned and stored electronically, and we share everything via Dropbox. We never have anything you don’t have and most everything is shared the same day we receive it. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive that clients like OUR method of filing over their own!
Q? Do you really expect me to add your names to my business checking account?
A. Well, yes! We run background checks on all employees plus we carry appropriate insurance, just in case. Only Russell and Kevin have signature authority on your bank accounts. Passwords are restricted (again, with proprietary software we created!) so only certain people are granted access to certain passwords to help ensure your security.
However, if you choose not to follow this route, we can open a separate checking account just for you with our names on it and you can ACH us funds to cover your expenses. We only have access to what you release to us.
Q? How do I know my accounts are safe?
A. That’s our unique selling point over having a bookkeeper! We have many people at many levels and each is supervised by the person above them. We offer far more security than just relying on a bookkeeper.
Q? What can I expect every month?
A. We perform all bookkeeping activities as you have already come to expect with your current solution. We then have a formal closing process where a CPA reviews your financials and proposes changes and revisions, if necessary. This is our value-add that you can’t get anywhere else.
Q? Do I really need that many people on my small business? I get along just fine with just my bookkeeper. Are you sure?
A. Your bookkeeper pays your bills and sends out your invoices. That’s a great start. However, we have someone else reconcile the bank and credit card accounts to better spot errors and irregularities. A senior accountant supervises the bookkeeper so you don’t have to. Our Controller reviews the books to be sure they are correct and accurate, proposes strategies and implements new procedures to make everyone more efficient. A CPA reviews each set of financial statements to check for reasonableness and adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (“GAAP”). We have another CPA who specializes in taxation to be sure you are paying as little as possible at every turn and strategizing for the future.
Q? What is FOPRequest.com?
A. This is our own proprietary online tool that quickly and easily lets us know when you need to send a check to a vendor or an invoice to a client. This is also where we publish our weekly and monthly Laundry List of upcoming tasks we are handling. It also handles accounts payable approvals (we call it “Pay-Able” (t)) and gives you a running graphical dashboard of key financial data at a glance. We are the ONLY company to offer this kind of tool. Plus, we like bragging about it, if you’re not able to tell.
Q? How do you know what bills to pay?
A. Good question… we don’t always know what is authorized to pay. To solve for this, we have an easy to use accounts payable approval process that lets you tell us what is approved and what is not. Over time, we will request authorization to pay some bills automatically (like rent) or to bill a credit card automatically as we streamline the process.
Q? Can you really save me money?
A. Using us as your tax preparer lowers your cost because we do the bookkeeping, so the taxes are just an incremental function of what we do, therefore the cost is less than if you go elsewhere. However, if you want to stay with your current CPA for tax preparation, they should charge you lower fees because the books are completed as a CPA firm would expect them, saving your current accountant substantial time to prepare the returns.
Q? What’s your track record?
A. We’ve been doing this since 2001 and in all this time lost only one client. One. And he left because he couldn’t get used to his mail coming to our office. We helped him place his current in-house Controller and we still do his taxes and an annual audit.
Q? Do I need to sign a contract?
A. Never! If you’re not happy, then we’re not happy. Give us 30-days notice to give us time to transition to your next solution.
Q? Do you have banking, financing, legal, advertising, design, web and consulting contacts.
Q? What software do you recommend?
A. We love QuickBooks Online and Dropbox. And of course, www.FOPRequest.com