SBS Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Richardson

Welcome to Sound Business Services’ staff spotlight. We recently interviewed Jennifer Richardson of Sound Business Services (SBS). Here is what she had to say about her role at SBS, the benefits of working remotely and what she does in her spare time.

Jonathan Bill: How long have you been at SBS?  

Jennifer Richardson: I started as a part-time employee in December 2016, but moved to a more full-time position in the early fall of 2018. 

JB: What do you do for SBS?

JR: I am an account manager.

JB: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

JR: It’s when I am able to help my client to better understand their reports and see how their business is performing. I also like building rapport with my clients so that they know when they call and ask for something, they know it will get done.    

JB: What do you think is the most productive app to use with QuickBooks Online (QBO)?    

JR: I think my favorite would be Bill.com. It’s an effective way to allow my clients more control over what is paid and when – there is a clear process for approvals. You can also see when bills were processed and if they’ve cleared. It allows the client to have users that work with the bills, but don’t necessarily have QuickBooks access.    

JB: What is it like working remotely, and what tools do you use to do so?

JR: I really enjoy working remotely! There are a few times something needs to be handled in person, but most of the time, having the quiet time to work helps to be more efficient. We have a variety of resources to reach out to our peers or managers if the need arises. I enjoy my set up of using three monitors. When I have the need to go on-site or somewhere else and have to use my laptop, I miss the monitor “real estate.”    

JB: Can you describe a complicated client issue and how you solved it?  

JR: One of my clients was having a hard time seeing the bottom line number on the report each month that we were providing. After speaking with him at length to understand what information he was trying to glean, we worked on the formatting of the report until it became clearer for him to understand and find the number he was looking for each month to be able to monitor the health of his business. 

JB: What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

JR: Spending time with my family, whether that’s at church, taking trips to the zoo or a sporting event. We enjoy our time with one another.

JB: Thanks Jennifer!    

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Business Growth in 2019

Before the summer heat and a much-needed vacation, it’s time to spring into action and come up with goals and strategies to make 2019 your best year yet in business.

As small business owners, we often have so much on our plate that we tend to neglect shifting our time, energy and focus to actually growing our businesses. At Sound Business Services (SBS), we want to do the heavy lifting for you, getting you the solutions you need to empower you so that you can do what you do best – run your business and be there for your staff and customers.

That’s why we’ve come up with a handful of spring cleaning tips we feel will set you on a path for growth in 2019. And, of course, SBS is here to help you through all of these strategies.

1. Invest in technology. Small business owners know we must make certain investments in resources to grow and succeed. At the same time, we are naturally hesitant to spend time and money, as both are extremely valuable to running a business. But, when it comes to QuickBooks Online (QBO) and the hundreds of amazing apps that integrate with QBO, the investment is a no-brainer.

QBO changes how you work, providing the flexibility to work anywhere at anytime, seamlessly scaling to any of your business needs. This allows you to manage your team from anywhere, and helps you employ a virtual staff, if that’s something that works for you. Besides this 180-degree transformation for you and your team, you’ll also enjoy top-notch security in the cloud, with access to real-time data. Perhaps best of all, many of the apps that integrate with QBO provide many benefits and solutions to your back office needs and business growth.

At SBS, we will not only recommend which apps work best for your specific business, but we’ll also help set them up and get you the most of QuickBooks Online, too. Feel free to reach out today to learn more!

2. Implement paperless tracking. The days of sorting through those pesky receipts piling up on your desk are gone with paperless time tracking, using TSheets by QuickBooks. With this feature, you can complete tasks and meet deadlines much more efficiently, and enjoy other features such as cost savings, identity theft protection and making the environment a better place.

If you have employees who travel for work, or drive around town for work, our go-to app for paperless mileage tracking is Mile IQ. Tracking your miles on that notepad in your glove compartment is tedious, time consuming and sometimes hard to remember. With Mile IQ, it’s all done for you. All you have to do is set up the app, and your miles will be tracked whenever you’re on the go. Having this reporting at our fingertips – and yours – makes both of our lives easier come tax time.

3. Take control of your financial picture. Knowing where your business stands financially is important; that means bringing your books up-to-date on a continuous basis. You may think that doing so monthly will suffice, but that’s where things tend to go wrong.

Looking back is good for evaluating past performance, but provides little benefit in understanding your current cash position. By bringing your books up-to-date on a more frequent basis, you can know what your true bank balance is, and if all outstanding deposits and checks are entered into your books. You’ll also know your current credit card balances and month-to-date profitability.

At SBS, we can meet with you on a quarterly or even monthly basis, finding a time that works best for you. That way, you have complete control of your financial picture, and we can work consistently to meet your goals and address your concerns. We even offer a service where we send our clients a cash position report via email so that they can have their key numbers in front of them on a regular basis.

4. Create an annual budget. Many of us think it’s a chore to create a budget – or even stick to a budget. Perhaps, we think they’re too rigid or static, or maybe we hear our parents’ voices telling us to budget so that we don’t spend too much on ice cream or movies and popcorn. Whatever the case, when it comes to proactively planning for our business’ future and tracking our actual performance against our goals, a budget is a real positive.

It’s not hard to create a budget using historic data and making adjustments to meet your future goals. On top of that, making budgets leads to projections, giving you another powerful tool as you strive to grow your business.

5. Know your KPIs to capitalize on your goals and unforeseen spending. KPIs, or key performance indicators, mean a lot to us; hopefully, you’ve noticed in our recent newsletters! With KPIs, we are not just able to see how your business is running, but also find the specific data we need to bring you powerful business solutions for growth and prosperity. KPIs provide us the lens into what needs fixing or changing, as well as what key drivers decide your company’s future success.

The process for determining your KPIs and getting you set up on a strategic path for growth is simple. We’ll first meet with you to understand your pain points, review your financial picture and suggest a list of KPIs for you to track. We’ll go over your KPIs, discuss trends, celebrate wins and learn from mistakes.

Ready to Grow in 2019?

This list doesn’t represent all of our spring cleaning ideas for a memorable 2019 for your business, but we feel it’s a good start. So, if you’re ready to get started, or have any questions, contact us today. You’ll be on your way to reaching your untapped potential and skyrocketing to business success.

Powering Up Your Profit With This New QuickBooks Online Feature

You may have heard me say it before, but QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a must for small businesses. Besides delivering powerful solutions to your everyday needs and transforming the way you do business, Intuit is constantly looking to improve the product to provide new features just about every month.

The latest addition provides next-level insight into which projects are worth pursuing, setting the stage for long-term growth and success in your business. Here’s the latest new feature, and, of course, Sound Business Services (SBS) is here to help you every step of the way.

Having Trouble Projecting a Project’s Merit? Project Profitability is Your Lifeline

As a small business owner, time is everything and acquiring new business is almost always a goal. In this pursuit, we often take on clients and projects that turn out to be a bad fit, hurting our bottom line and wasting our time.

Imagine a tool that could provide a solution to this conundrum. There is one – Project Profitability!

With Project Profitability, you can discover which projects are worth your time and which are best left off your plate. That’s right … no more spending lots of time, energy and hard work on projects, only to become a complete waste and halt your growth.

How it Works

Now, within QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced, you get a comprehensive picture of just how much profit each project is churning. Important criteria, such as project expenses, income and labor costs, are all tracked to determine if the project is worth your time and effort. In turn, this helps SBS get you deeper data and better decision-making, as we look to take your business to the next level.

Here are some examples of how project profitability works.

Below shows a list of projects, along with a profit margin:

Visit All Projects Profitability, as pictured below, to get a more in-depth view of job costs compared to other projects.

Check out a specific project’s transaction details and reports, as seen below.

Now, know exactly how many billable hours each staff member logged during a project.

Ready to Implement Project Profitability or Have Any Questions? We’re Here to Help

While Intuit continues to do a great job bringing new and exciting features to transform your experience, our help and expertise is crucial to getting you the best solutions you need to grow and prosper. If you have yet to make the leap from QuickBooks Desktop to QBO, or have questions about this new feature, contact us today. You’ll be on your way to bigger profits, better time management and a stronger business sense.

(Images courtesy of Intuit QuickBooks)