In May, Intuit reached the milestone of 2.2 million customers using QuickBooks® Online. I encourage you to read “Powering Small Business Prosperity in the “Global Village” by Sasan Goodarzi, executive vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group, for more insight into celebrating our customers’ success. Here is another customer profile for you to learn more how a business benefits from QuickBooks.
When it comes to setting up the nuts and bolts of a business, budding entrepreneurs often don’t know what they don’t know. Though experts in their product or service, new small business owners have to quickly become a jack-of-all-trades, switching from manager to bookkeeper, to marketer, and back, several times a day. For people who don’t have business experience, keeping track of everything can be a challenge to say the least.
According to a survey conducted by Intuit®, two-thirds of small business owners wish that they knew more about their finances. Financial literacy – having the knowledge and understanding of how to make the right financial decisions for your business – is essential to the long-term success of a business. This is more than reading your financials; it’s about knowing what they mean and how you use these numbers to make smarter decisions about your future.
Entrepreneurs who wish to have deeper understanding about their finances thankfully have a simple solution waiting for them: they can bring on an expert to train them in the best practices of bookkeeping.
Leila Douglah, owner of a design-build construction firm near San Francisco called Douglah Designs, has been using Intuit QuickBooks® since she started her business in 1997. As her company grew, Douglah and her bookkeeper became increasingly concerned that they weren’t using the software to its full potential. They were struggling to stay on top of the growing number of orders, and their processes for tracking and selling inventory were becoming more complex and frustrating.
“We felt we were in over our head,” Douglah said.
Wanting to base her business decisions on hard numbers and data, as well as streamline her workflow, Doughlah connected with Amanda Douglass, a QuickBooks expert and ProAdvisor. ProAdvisors like Douglass make it their goal to help their clients find simple, elegant solutions for organizing and tracking their business.
When working with a new client, Douglass’ method is to first listen to the client’s top concerns and figure out what their sticking points are. Then, she leverages her knowledge of QuickBooks to show her clients the most efficient ways to handle their day-to-day processes.
When Douglass started helping her company, Douglah felt like she was finally maximizing the potential of her operations. Though learning on your own can be an option, Douglah feels strongly that working with an expert is worth the cost.
“No matter what your business is, we don’t have the time to know QuickBooks in and out,” Douglah said, “So, hire a professional who can tailor the program to your business and train you on it.”
Now, Douglah said, every employee has access to the firm’s bookkeeping system, but not every employee can see every aspect of it, allowing Douglah to limit who has access to sensitive information, such as banking and employee payroll. This interconnected method of financial management has allowed the company to move quickly and be more efficient.
Douglass estimates that she has helped around 300 small business owners like Douglah over her past 10 years as a ProAdvisor, with approximately 100 clients currently.
“Clients kind of graduate after they figure out what they need to do,” Douglass said. “But, some check back in, and I have a lot of repeat work that way.”
In Douglass’ experience, many of her clients are good, at and passionate about, providing their core products and services, but without a background in business, they sometimes flounder when it comes to things like setting up and processing orders, handling payroll, and doing other kinds of bookkeeping.
“A lot of businesses think that they can do it themselves right off the bat, but it takes a while to learn the software and you’re probably going to be focused on generating business,” Douglass said. “If you don’t know where you are, it’s going to be hard to know where you want to go.”