cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Established Community Backer *

Old school vs. New school

One of my largest pet peeves is having a mess or clutter. It throws off my energy and seriously distracts me! In the accounting profession, documentation and work papers are obviously of the utmost importance. The problem is all those paper files grow and grow and grow!! Eventually they take up more desk space, more file cabinets are required, and more copy paper & printer ink is used. I view it as a complete waste of resources on top of a personal aggravation!

 

Many of the people I work with use old school methods. This is how they conduct business and prefer to operate and I have found it difficult to convince clients to use/learn more software apps such as HubDoc. They are busy running their businesses and really do not want to modify how they operate to please their bookkeeper. What are some methods people have used to promote a digital workplace and client relationships??  Almost as important, does digital equate to more efficient??

Solved
Best answer 07-02-2018

Accepted Solutions
Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

As a self-employed person I struggle with organization a lot, @Peter_G_Stone. So when someone else sets up a system for me and then teaches me to use it, that's GOLD to me. My accountant moved to a paperless office a while ago and held my hand every step of the way. In fact, she's still holding my hand. Every time she sends me something or gives me a task, she includes explicit directions for how to do it and do it right. If I'm confused I can write to her assistant and get personalized help. Not only does it help my accountant and her business, the special attention makes me feel like I'm important and in good hands. 

11 Comments
Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

Hey, @Peter_G_Stone - thanks for this fantastic question! Many of us (myself included) have struggled with hauling our change-averse butts into the world of 21-century technology. And if it's that hard for us, it must be doubly hard to convince clients to come along for the ride.

 

Intuit just put out a really interesting study (our crackerjack content creator @SarahGonzales sums it up here) finding that two-thirds of small-business owners currently use automated technologies for some tasks - 29% of them specifically for finance and billing. That's, what...one in five business owners overall? Quite a ways to go (but also quite an opportunity for accounting professionals).

 

@LeahIlanah and @lynda are both big fans of TSheets and have had success setting up their clients with the app. Do you have any thoughts for Peter on encouraging clients to adopt new time- and resource-saving technologies? @ParkwayInc (AKA "Savvy Proponent of Technology"), how about you?

Established Community Backer *

Re: Old school vs. New school

Thanks for the lead @EmilyCowan! Interesting write-up by @SarahGonzales on the Intuit study of small biz. I'll have to continue exploring the statistics...these would suggest clients need to get on  board with automation! I think a large issue for my clients is cost. The efficiency of automation is undeniable, until the subscription costs are realized. I am in central NH & my area is quintessential Main Street America. Cost often outweighs efficiency.

Super Explorer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

Uhuh, not sure what to advice here since I hear very well what you are saying.

 

My hope is that to reduce some of the paper craze by introducing apps. My favorites are TSheets, Hubdoc and Expensify. 

 

But - when it comes to manifesting these visions, I run into a lot of resistance from my clients. They are too busy learning new apps. Two of them, who would really need it, have a disability that prevents them from learning. One of them has employees who turn out to be so chaotic and learning resistant that I actually have more work now tracking their time and job expenses, and explaining TSheets to them over and over. And the business owner till does not approve time sheets. I constantly have to get confirmations via phone calls.

Even if I would 'eat' the cost for the app by building them into my fixed price agreement, they still strongly resist learning more technology let alone store their data in the clouds.

 

Another example is document exchange. I provide a free secure portal for encrypted document exchange through my website. They still send me their stuff with texts, emails and FB (!). And it's not that I do not explain the risks and consequences to them.

 

Other clients simply do not want to pay the extra cost. One example, it took me four weeks to convince a new e-commerce selling client to use a third party app to deal with the sales tax compliance. He was aware that was paying me more than what the subscription would be. We will be starting a trial tomorrow, yay!

 

So, I guess, for now, we'll just have to deal with it. But I am looking forward to other people's responses.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school


@LeahIlanah wrote:

 One example, it took me four weeks to convince a new e-commerce selling client to use a third party app to deal with the sales tax compliance. He was aware that was paying me more than what the subscription would be. We will be starting a trial tomorrow, yay!

I am curious, what sales tax third party app are you using, what state?  and what made you pick that software provider? What industry is this client in?

 


@ all

As a business owner, no clients, there is a perception issue, well actually several of them, but the main one ....

 

If I am paying you to do the books, why would I care about paying an additional cost to make your life easier?

 

My other concerns have been brought up to some extent previously, but in no particular order of priority


1. what are my options if the subscription cost goes up too much? How hard is it to get all those docs, is a usable form locally.

 

2. integration - there are always integration issues, and what procedures is in place when that third party site goes down or is unavailable, what do I do then? Are you going to be on site teaching this new routine, insuring it works

 

3. learning curve for employees and more so for myself? How much time, time is money, and no one is going to do it after hours. So how do you learn to use it efficiently, quickly, during business hours while conducting business?

 

And understand that from my point of view, accounting is 5% of the business day/week. I spend much more time answering phone calls, talking to vendors, placing orders, receiving shipments, sending out orders, and conducting business.

 

Super Explorer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

We are still trying to figure that out. I have a new contact at Avalara, and we are figuring out what we really need. They adjusted their prices and became actually competitive.

 

We chose Avalara because they have the most experience in the field, and with the new laws upon us, we feel much better about this.

 

The client is in the manufacturing industry (bicycles), and sells online and with POS. We have not figured out the integration part yet.

 

For now, I file returns by hand which is very time-consuming.

 

 

Super Explorer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

Same here.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school


@LeahIlanah wrote:

We are still trying to figure that out. I have a new contact at Avalara, and we are figuring out what we really need. They adjusted their prices and became actually competitive.

 

We chose Avalara because they have the most experience in the field, and with the new laws upon us, we feel much better about this.

 

The client is in the manufacturing industry (bicycles), and sells online and with POS. We have not figured out the integration part yet.

 

For now, I file returns by hand which is very time-consuming.

 

 


Interesting, thanks for responding.  I have a very simple sales tax situation here in Texas (origin based sales tax), so I asked the same questions to taxify and last week to avalera - taxify admitted to having no idea at all.

 

Avalara is pulling an intuit, no response at all, and their web site is terrible in terms of actual procedural and reporting information.

 

My email to avalera   -------snip----

Thank you for contacting Avalara. Your request has been received and is currently being processed, we will contact you in reply to this email  or via phone , please reply with corrected contact information if needed. If this issue is urgent (requires contact sooner than normal) please call us at [removed] and reference 15563066. Include code ref:_00D30Psz._5000b1H6yMj:ref to provide additional information on this open issue via email.

Request summary:
Several questions if you don't mind
I conduct business in Texas.

1.  My store location is in a city, so city, county and state sales tax
have to be collected - no problem I expect.   Ten miles down the road is a
trade fair, it is outside the city limits so no city tax has to be
collected, same zip code.
     How does Avalara know to deal with sales outside the city?


2.  I perform services in other cities, as a result that particular sale
has to collect that visited city, county and state taxes.
    How does Avalara know I traveled down the road for that one sale?

3.   Do the sales tax reports break out the taxable sales per city, county,
state?

4.   Are sales tax reports on a cash or accrual basis for Texas?

5.  Does Avalera handle Sales Tax Holidays, or is it up to me to identify
those days sales as non taxable?
   5.1   If it is up to me to identify non taxable sales in this scenario,
does the sales tax report also have a line for non taxable sales?

Thanks
Jim
ref:_00D30Psz._5000b1H6yMj:ref

 ---------end snip-------

 

I did not include the one other scenario, where certain industries only collect and report 85% of the sales tax.

Super Explorer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

Hi, I am off for the weekend, will read through this when back on Monday.

 

In the meantime try this guy: Mark Ratcliff | SOHO Sales Manager
Office:  [removed] 

[email address removed] 

Tell him I sent you.

 

He works with/for Jamee Rob Dunn. I 'met' her in a closed FB group. Apparently, she works closely with QB users or something. Did not really understand.

 

I can also set you up with her if you like, but need to contact her on FB first. She actually made it happen in about 5 years that somebody followed up, and delivered solutions. Have the free trial link in my mailbox, and the prices are absolutely competitive.

 

 

Super Explorer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

Also, try this link: https://salestaxsupport.com/blogs/authors/michael-fleming/

 

Michael is very knowledgeable and responsive.

 

And here is a FB group from TaxJar you may consider joining: https://www.facebook.com/taxjar/

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school


@LeahIlanah wrote:

Also, try this link: https://salestaxsupport.com/blogs/authors/michael-fleming/

 

Michael is very knowledgeable and responsive.

 

And here is a FB group from TaxJar you may consider joining: https://www.facebook.com/taxjar/


Now that just really irritates the hell out of me, I go to ask M Fleming a question and he wants business info, annual revenue, number of employees, etc

 

ANY business that requires that info is doing nothing more than trolling the net for clients - NONE of that info has a dam thing to do with sales tax, and especially my question.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Old school vs. New school

As a self-employed person I struggle with organization a lot, @Peter_G_Stone. So when someone else sets up a system for me and then teaches me to use it, that's GOLD to me. My accountant moved to a paperless office a while ago and held my hand every step of the way. In fact, she's still holding my hand. Every time she sends me something or gives me a task, she includes explicit directions for how to do it and do it right. If I'm confused I can write to her assistant and get personalized help. Not only does it help my accountant and her business, the special attention makes me feel like I'm important and in good hands.