Do I Need Quickbooks for My Small Business?

Ah, good old Quickbooks. Don’t fret! There is no reason to pull your hair out – thanks to the wonderful software from our friends at Intuit – your accountant has everything they need to keep your books in order. You don’t have an accountant, you say? Ok, let’s talk.

I’m being a tad dramatic for illustrative purposes, (and possibly a touch perplexed about why cheap, high quality, hair transplants aren’t a thing yet). Still, the fact remains, Quickbooks is the market leader for small business accounting tools. And, also, it is a source of unending frustration for small business owners and solopreneurs who don’t have deep accounting skills.

In this article, we will dissect, piece by piece, the beast that is called Quickbooks Online. We won’t be touching on the desktop version as this software is frequently used by Quickbooks power users (translation: bookkeepers, accountants, comptrollers) and can also be a bit outdated, depending on what version you have.

Instead, we’ll be exclusively discussing Quickbooks Online, and whether or not YOU as a small business owner actually need it for your business.

Now, I’m not disputing that basic bookkeeping and accounting (or at least knowing your numbers) is important for small business owners, in fact, it might just be one of those basic principles that must be understood in order to survive – money is oxygen for your business and when you run out of money, your business dies.

So of course, I won’t be bashing being a “bean-counter” of sorts, but rather we’ll take a look at how to best utilize something like Quickbooks so that your brain doesn’t experience severe trauma and eventually initiate complete shutdown, resulting in an autopilot response of grabbing a pint of Haagen-Daz from the freezer and sulking on your couch watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. (Note: This example may or may not be based on personal experience.)

Here are the basic assumptions behind our main question, which is… “Do I need Quickbooks for my small business?”

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT YOU

Assumption #1: You have a business and clients.

Assumption #2: You know that you should be doing accounting and bookkeeping, but you haven’t been staying on top of it.

Assumption #3: You may have subscribed to a Quickbooks plan, but the complexity made you give up or barely ever log in (I’m guilty of this.)

If you answered “Yes, that’s me!” to 2 or more of the assumptions above, keep reading.

Now that we have those out of the way, let’s go more in-depth into whether Quickbooks is the right solution for you.

BUSINESS ISSUES: THE PROS AND CONS OF QUICKBOOKS

ISSUE #1: YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR NUMBERS

Pros of using Quickbooks:

You know you should be tracking your numbers… you’ve just purchased Quickbooks Online, you’re now subscribed to the monthly fee, so you figure you’re “paying to get that problem out of the way” – problem is, now that you have the numbers, if you don’t use them to take the right action, you might as well have wasted the money or used it for something more valuable like marketing to get more clients.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

You’re in Quickbooks, at most, once a month. It’s not exactly a mobile-friendly setup and with all of the different dashboards it can be difficult to figure out any clearly helpful information. Balance this, counterbalance that… ugh, I have a headache already. Just let me work on my business without needing an advanced degree to do it!

ISSUE #2: TIME PRIORITIZATION

Pros of using Quickbooks:

If you eventually learn how to use Quickbooks, it can be an amazing tool to help you to trackt expenses, file & pay your taxes on time, create a more profitable business, and manage your monthly or quarterly budget.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

The learning curve on software like this can be so steep, that it almost makes it so that you need an accounting degree or bookkeeping certification just to be able to use it effectively and to its fullest potential. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You have a business to run for crying out loud. You should be out there chasing down new clients, building marketing campaigns, and doing everything that nobody in your business can do except you – not something you can pay any assistant or intern (i.e., undergrad student a measly salary to do for you)! (I’m not advocating underpaying college students with student loans they’re broke enough as it is.)

ISSUE #3: FRONT OFFICE VS BACK OFFICE

Pros of using Quickbooks:

Similar to issue #2, Quickbooks is mostly back-office work. Yes, back-office work is important to the overall health of your business. However… If you’re stuck doing that, who’s steering the ship? If you crash into an iceberg, no amount of back office work is going to help.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

As a business owner, you need to be out in the field (or on the phone or computer), selling your product or service. Not buried deep in Quickbooks looking 3 weeks back for X, Y and Z.

Most business owners would agree that if you’re the owner and operator of your business, you need a business tool where you can wake up in the morning and…

  • Check on the health of your business
  • See who’s happy and who’s not, and
  • Put out fires – fast – wherever needed.

Not buried deep in numbers trying to figure out if you hit your budget projections from 3 months ago!

For this reason you probably need an app where you have a closer connection to the dirt rather than the clouds. You need to know the nitty-gritty of who needs what, not a 40,000 foot view of your performance against theoretical annual goals.

Yes, having perspective helps and can make the difference between steering into an iceberg and making it to the promised land, but… if you just focus on the numbers, you won’t be acting on the few key responsibilities that only the CEO of your business can – namely, at least at the beginning – sales and marketing.

That’s where PocketSuite comes in.

With PocketSuite, it’s easy to get a grasp of what’s happening in your business.

Just open the app and Boom! You can see exactly what’s going on right on the homescreen. They affectionately call it your “Dashboard”, taking the ship steering metaphor to heart. Smile.

Need to look up past payment history from a client or check on your income? You’ve got it tap on the Income Dashboard.

Need to double-check your sales or inventory from last month? Two or three taps on your Items Dashboard, and you’re there.

How about looking up if your invoices? Tap your Invoice Dashboard. Have you been paid yet?  What’s up with all the outstanding invoices? Time to go into bill collector mode! I know where you live.

You get the picture. There’s lots of things you just need to look up in a flash when you’re on-the-go not stuff you should be cracking open your laptop or booting up your PC to find. (Or worse, rifling through stacks of papers on your already-too-cluttered desk.)

Bottom line – You need a solution for being on top of your business finances and PocketSuite makes it uber easy to accomplish this – no professional certifications required!

Dealing with the numbers in your business has never been easier.

Try the 7-Day FREE Trial of PocketSuite today, you won’t be disappointed. And instead of chasing that accounting degree, you might even have time to scale your business to the next level!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to do Basic Accounting in Excel for your Service Business

Okay, this is a doozy. Most folks that start a small business or are solopreneurs are definitely not comfortable with accounting (very few people in the world are – seriously, who understands that stuff?)

Sadly, because of how important accounting is for businesses (especially new ones) it can be a real Achilles heel for business owners who don’t manage their books because they don’t have basic understanding of their numbers.

In the end, your business is all about numbers – numbers about how much you make, how much you keep, and how much you give to the “Man”.

No, not the Man in the castle in the sky, I’m talking about the Tax man!

And if you just got a rush of anxiety, it’s because you’re not abiding by this simple rule:

“Clarity brings confidence.”

In other words, it’s time to dispel the fog and wade into the murky waters of your business numbers. We’re going to take a plunge into what’s actually going on in your business, and hopefully resurface more knowledgeable and equipped with a game plan to make you even more successful.

So you’ve heard of Quickbooks – it’s probably the most recognizable small business solution for accounting on the planet.

You’ve maybe even reviewed some online tutorials on how to use Quickbooks and your eyes have started to crisscross and glaze over. I can’t blame you, the same thing happened to me!

That’s why in this article we’ll discuss very simply how to do basic accounting for your business in Excel.

No need for an accounting degree – let’s investigate how you can easily track your business finances using just one (1) excel sheet.

We’ll also dig into how you can actually use PocketSuite to track your financials as well, and how this is a happy compromise between Pen and Paper (are we in the stone age – why not just break out the abacus?) and Quickbooks (I’m getting brain damage as we speak).

SOLUTION #1: EXCEL

Step 1 is to open Excel or Google Sheets and create a new sheet.

Name the overall spreadsheet something like “[YOUR BUSINESS NAME] FINANCIALS” or, if you prefer something more practical and less formal like “[YOUR BUSINESS NAME] PERFORMANCE”

Now name this first sheet “Expenses”

Step 2 is to create the following columns:

  • Expense
  • Expected
  • Actual

Viola, we just created your first expense sheet!

Just list your monthly expenses here, one in each row. If you’d like to break things apart by month you can do that as well, similar to this:

The next step is to create a TOTAL column and put this formula into it:

=SUM(B1-B8) (assuming row B is your expenses that you’re summing up, and you have 8 rows of expenses. If you have more, just replace the 8 with however many rows you have)

And now you should be able to automatically see your totals for expenses. Here’s another example with Expected and Actuals broken down by month:

Step 3 is to create another sheet, but this time name it Income.

You’ll also create similar column names:

  • Income
  • Expected
  • Actual

You can use this sheet to track all of your income from your clients.

You may want to create additional column names for client info, or just paste from your Client List spreadsheet (outlined in our Client Lists article).

Are you getting dizzy yet? I’m not done! Don’t worry, I’ll provide a much simpler solution at the end of this article so stick with me!

SOLUTION #2: PEN AND PAPER

If excel is too much for you, you may want to try Pen and Paper.

This is an outdated method and also less secure than storing everything in the cloud (what if you spill coffee on it? I know you’re drinking coffee to try and stay awake as you read through these steps…)

However, for those of us that weren’t born holding a computer mouse or phone, it may be a more comfortable approach to dealing with your finances.

The method to do this is similar – you just take some graph paper (or even better, an actual ledger than you can get at any office supply store) and fill it out with the same column names that I mentioned above.

The drawbacks of this method are that:

  1. You constantly have to manually update your financial statements
  2. Your records aren’t as safe and secure (from coffee spills) as they would be in the cloud
  3. Your records aren’t portable. (Unless you want to stuff yet another thing into your go-bag.)

If you’re scratching your head because neither of these options seem like the quick-fix that you were hoping for, don’t worry! There is still hope for you, young padawan.

What am I talking about? (besides the Star Wars reference, you should know that)

PocketSuite’s user-friendly system for helping service professionals keep track of their finances, of course.

How does this magic work? It’s easy, actually. In fact, it’s the perfect middle ground between being a dinosaur (Pen and Paper) and having a brain aneurysm (Quickbooks).

How does it work, you might wonder?

Quite simple, to be clear. In fact, it might be the easiest option on this list.

SOLUTION #3: POCKETSUITE

How does PocketSuite help you to manage your finances?

The answer: auto-magically.

You see, when you use PocketSuite to manage your business (we’re talking about client lists, payments, scheduling, messages, and almost everything else) you’re already keeping track of these numbers.

Simply export your data in a few taps by navigating to Settings -> Help & Admin -> Data Sync.

Boom, that’s it! You can easily get data like Payment Deposits, Invoices Sent and Paid, Appointments Scheduled, and even Client Details in Excel (or CSV) form emailed right to your inbox.

No more searching through your Pen and Paper records or Excel to find the right info. No more plugging in values into Excel, cross referencing with your client records, as tears of boredom streak down your face…

Just export your data with PocketSuite and you already have the grunt work done for you.

Now it’s time to focus on what’s really important – get more clients and grow your business!

No need to go out and get an accounting degree, or worry about bookkeeping any longer.

And if you still want to use Quickbooks, no worries! You can take your exported data from PocketSuite and plug it right into Quickbooks.

I hope it has become clear that there’s no need to go through the pain and suffering of manually keeping track of your business finances with either Excel or Pen & Paper.

Your bookkeeping woes are all in the past and your business future shines bright and glorious. With a warm glow you fondly recall the memories of manually calculating your monthly income (with an actual calculator), but only for a moment, as you gracefully turn towards the future.

If you follow the advice in this article, you will step into a new world of automation and save oodles of time with PocketSuite as your faithful servant and cheerleader.

Don’t underestimate the minutes, that turn into hours, days, and weeks of your precious life, slipping away in pointless drudgery. This may seem unnecessarily contemplative, and somewhat pompous, but it’s an uncontroversial reality to claim these wasted moments will eventually become how you’ve lived your life. (Deep, I know.)

So consider your choices carefully. If you can automate something like accounting and bookkeeping, then for your own life’s sake you bloody well should!

Now I may be a shameless advocate of automation, but that doesn’t make me any less right. Go out there and build your systems, so you can conquer your business and lead it to success under the flagship of a focused and unrelenting leader!

If you enjoyed this article, do yourself a favor and go give PocketSuite a try – the Premium subscription has a 7-Day FREE Trial. 10,000 small business owners have already experienced the power of automating your accounting and bookkeeping – now it’s your turn.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

2016 U.S. Home Cleaning Pricing Report

Finding the right home cleaner for your home depends on 2 things: quality and price.

Companies like HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Thumbtack, Facebook and others are crowdsourcing feedback from consumers to make it incredibly easy for others to find out who are the best local cleaners to hire, and who are the worst ones to avoid.

But quality is just half the battle.

Once you have a target of quality cleaning businesses to potentially hire, you need to assess pricing. And depending on where you live, hourly cleaning rates can vary quite considerably.

We did a review of the thousands of cleaning professionals using PocketSuite today, and collected pricing data on the top 10 most active cities of PocketSuite professionals across the U.S.

The top 3 most expensive cities to hire a cleaner (above $40 per hour) are:

1. Seattle, WA: This might surprise you that residents of the Seattle area paying the most for home and apartment cleaners. On average cleaners charge $45.67 per hour to clean a residence. With Seattle-based Amazon slowly taking over the world, Seattle is becoming flat out expensive. Prices of real estate, retail, food and home services are rising across the board as young professionals are willing to pay the price.

2. San Francisco, CA: The tech boom has now become the cleaning boom! Residential cleaners are charging $45.09 per hour for their cleaning services inside this technology hub. Earlier this year San Francisco jumped to the #1 city with the most expensive rent in the U.S. Professional services – like home cleaning – appear to be catching up.

3. New York, NY: Widely known as the most expensive city in America, it’s no surprise that New York is in the top 3 here. Seeing as many NYC residences are smaller apartments, maybe if there were sprawling mansions New York would be #1 for cleaning cost. At $40.50 per hour, cleaning professionals are definitely charging a pretty penny to support their own lifestyle in the city that never sleeps.

Depending on what city you live in across the U.S., it’s important to always have a benchmark to gauge costs when evaluating cleaners to hire. At times collecting a variety of quotes across 5-10 cleaning companies can be time consuming. So benchmarks by geography are an efficient and accurate way to make sure you’re not paying too much (or too little in some cases!) for quality home cleaning services.

Packaged Service Pricing

Many cleaners don’t necessarily sell their cleaning services on a per hour basis. They have packaged services depending correlating to the type of job.

The majority of these packages are based on the number of bedrooms in a home or apartment. The most commonly purchased home cleaning services across PocketSuite’s platform of cleaners are:

  • 1 Bedroom Cleaning
  • 2Bedroom Cleaning
  • Move-OutCleaning

We crunched the numbers and have reported (below) the average package pricing of these cleaning services across 5 regions in the U.S. Each region is represented by the most active city (across the PocketSuite platform) within that region:

  • West – Represented by San Francisco, CA
  • South – Represented by Dallas, TX
  • Midwest – Represented by Chicago, IL
  • Northeast – Represented by New York, NY
  • Southeast – Represented by Miami, FL

San Francisco tops the charts whether you are living in a 1 bedroom (single or married), a 2 bedroom (with a family), or moving to your next residence.

The MidWest (Chicago) and South (Dallas) are consistently ranked as the more affordable options to live if you need any basic packaged cleans or if you are on the move.

Service Price Tracking & Trends

Our goal with pricing reports is to provide more transparency for consumers across the U.S. when it comes to purchasing and hiring service work.

If you’d like to see different types of data – by industry, geography, service-type, etc. – fill out the below and let us know! We love feedback and will continue to issue data reports on a regular basis. 

First Name

Last Name

Company Name (if applicable)

Business Email

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