The beginning of each year is always very busy for me as I run year-end financial reports for many of my clients in order to check for any bookkeeping errors they may have made. In addition, if needed, I assist my clients in preparing 1099s to send to all service providers that are not incorporated and were paid at least $600 in total for the year. 1099s must be sent out by January 31st.
This past year I had my busiest year ever. I worked with 128 clients this past year – 56 new clients and 72 clients who I worked with previously.
As my specialty is training individuals and small businesses to effectively use QuickBooks, once they are trained, many of my clients no longer need my services. However, some clients have me come monthly or every few months to help them reconcile their accounts and help them with bookkeeping issues. Other clients only have me come once a year to review their financial reports for the previous year before they send these reports to their accountant to file their taxes. And some clients hire me to work with them to clean up their bookkeeping for the past year or more, and then show them how to use QuickBooks properly so that their bookkeeping stays in good order. I work with clients in their home or office, in my home office, or virtually using Zoom.
As I work primarily with QuickBooks, I do want to mention that every year QuickBooks Online continues to improve, and I now recommend clients use this software instead of using one of the QuickBooks Desktop applications. Most of my clients can use the least expensive online version of QuickBooks, which is called QuickBooks Online Simple Start, and costs $30 a month. But for clients with a more complicated business, they will need to use QuickBooks Online Essentials, which costs $55 a month, or QuickBooks Online Plus, which costs $85 a month. The price for the Pro Desktop version of QuickBooks was raised substantially this year so that it now costs $550 to purchase. And you need to update your subscription every year so that you are able to continue downloading transactions into QuickBooks from your bank and credit card accounts.
Many of my clients, who have been using QuickBooks for years, are still using the desktop version. They hadn’t wanted to convert to the online version because it was more expensive, and they would have to learn how to use the Online version, which is quite different from the Desktop version. Now that QuickBooks requires you to update the Desktop version yearly so that you are able to continue downloading transactions, the cost of updating the Desktop version is almost $200 more than the cost of the Simple Start online subscription. Because of this, and because the Online version works more efficiently than the Desktop version, my clients are now converting to an Online version. Here is a link to a comparison chart that lists many of the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.
For individuals that have never used QuickBooks, and are ready to purchase it, I explain the differences between the Online and Desktop versions, and most of them choose to use the Online version. As I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and I have passed the certification exams for both the online and desktop version of QuickBooks, I feel equally comfortable teaching my clients to effectively use either of these programs. I have trained over 300 individuals to use QuickBooks effectively.
Up until a couple of years ago, I would occasionally recommend that a client use Quicken to manage their business finances. But I stopped recommending Quicken a few years ago because Quicken does not do a good job creating rules for downloaded transactions. But with the price of QuickBooks escalating substantially this past year, I recommended to a couple of my new clients with very simple bookkeeping needs, that they purchase Quicken. I then trained them to use Quicken.