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Can anyone recommend a book keepers forum?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Freddy_Kruger, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064


    I really need to get my act together as far as stats and book keeping, seeing some of you guys discuss business... I really don't feel in the same league.

    Paper work is my bane so I need to learn about booking, logging stats etc. any forums or good books?
  2. Mac_Cool

    Mac_Cool LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    I learned through classes and experience managing businesses up to 3 Mil/year so I can't recommend any books. Check your local library for bookkeeping books for small businesses. Do you have an accountant and good bookkeeping system? Have your accountant prepare a monthly P&L and teach you how to read it. Then spend several days just playing around with the numbers.

    Learning bookkeeping is the easy part, learning how interpret and make decisions based on the information takes much longer.
  3. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    I think he was looking for a forum like this one discussing book keeping issues.
  4. IML8RU2

    IML8RU2 LawnSite Member
    from BC
    Posts: 10

    I'm a bookkeeper. If you need help just let me know. I can get you started.

  5. grnkeepers

    grnkeepers LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 28

    If you are using Quickbooks go to Intuits site and sign on. VERY good reading.
  6. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    Hey thanks. I would like to know what I shoud be keeping track of. Right now I don't keep track of anything except what tools I need on a given job.

    I keep track of deposits with my bank statement and deposit book. I keep a customer list and how much I charge.

    I throw all reciepts into a accordian folder:dizzy:

    I wanted to be more professional this year But I can't figure out all these monthly statements and profit loss bs at all.:laugh:

    Crikey, why didn't I think of that. Thanks
  7. IML8RU2

    IML8RU2 LawnSite Member
    from BC
    Posts: 10

    It sounds like you're on the right track. Are you using any kind of software? You don't have to, but if your company is a fair size you may find it easier. I would recommend Quickbooks Pro 2006 (the newest "basic" version). You can buy it for under $200.00. It's really a worthwhile investment, and once you've had it for a while you'll wonder how you lived without it. It will automatically generate all those reports you want.

    You want to keep any receipt that has anything to do with your business. Examples: gas, insurance (vehicle, liability, life, wcb, disability, etc), equipment purchases and rentals, cellphone, telephone, meal receipts from buying crew lunch, liqour receipts if purchased for client or crew as a bonus, advertising, contractor payments, etc. If you spent money on your business, keep the receipt. An accordian file is a great way to keep organized. If I were you I'd label each section in it (vehicle expenses, insurance, cellphone, etc) and when you get a receipt file it in the appropriate spot. That way at the end of the year you can just hand it to your accountant.

    Something else you'll want to keep track of that people forget about is your mortgage or rent expenses, as well as utilities if you have a home office. In Canada a portion of those expenses can be written off to your business.

    If you have a seperate bank account for your business, go through the statement when you receive it and see if you're missing any receipts for expenses. You can highlight them if you'd like so you remember to add them as a write-off at the end of the year. The only thing with this is that if you ever get audited, they may not allow anything that you don't have a physical receipt for.

    You didn't say if you collect GST. Let me know and I can give you some more info on that.

    The way you're taking care of deposits is great. Nothing really to change there.

    A profit and loss statement is simply your income minus your expenses. If you want to create one, just add up your income for a certain time period and then subtract all the expenses in that same time period. Generally the expenses on P&L's are categorized (eg: Automobile Expenses, Insurance Expenses, Employee Expenses, Owner's Draw, etc.) You can do it monthly, quarterly and/or yearly to see where you are at.

    When it comes to stats, I'm not sure what you're looking for exactly. Conversion rate? Profit?

    Hope that was somewhat helpful. If you have any questions ask away.

  8. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I DO have quick books pro, Just bought it a month ago. I was going to use it to generate good looking bills for my lawn customers (I used excel and word/ word merge before for snow customers). I couldn't get it to work for me, I'm not stupid just can't seem to dedicate the time and the back log I have now doesn't help, lol.

    Stats for me are gas, milage, minutes for each job and travel... not only for lawns but for window cleaning..

    ONe of my other problems is that I do some cash jobs and I'm not sure if I should be entering them in quick books or not. I'm not sure I should still do cash jobs period actually. I wanted to stop that this year.

    I do collect gst and have a gst number but I guess they dont want me to remit till next year.

    Give me a couple days i'm going to start trying to enter some info into quick books (I have also bought 32 column books) and then I'll have a better Idea what this stuff is all about.
    Damn, I bought a $500 Pocket PC to record all my stats and I haven't used it lol.
  9. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    The hard part of accounting is to figure out what you actually want out of all the bookkeeping. If your only interested in filing a tax return then a fairly simple system can handle things.


    If you want a job by job analysis done then things get very complex at times. Say you want down to the penny job costing:

    Gas to and from each job.
    exact time for each job.
    exact employee cost for each job (dont forget benefit costs)
    insurance for each job...

    Etc etc etc.
    you can literally charge each job for the amount of timmer string you use and the wear/tear on your equipment.

    The question becomes do you really need that level of detailed info and is it worth the work hours it takes to keep it all straight. Many business's survive very well without all that but some do benefit from it as well.

    Once you have in mind exactly what you want out of the books consider going to your accountant and have him set things up for you. Much of the work can in fact be automated if you set it up correctly. A good accountant can really help in this area of the business and will know you arent a CPA. A short course on double entry/ business accounting never hurts either.
  10. IML8RU2

    IML8RU2 LawnSite Member
    from BC
    Posts: 10

    It sounds like you need some help setting up your chart of accounts, items and classes so that you can easily enter and track things.

    If you'd like some help with that, PM me and we'll talk more. I can see about setting them up for you. That's the most critical part - as long as it's set up properly you won't have any problems.


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