What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
We try to meet our client's budget goals. Our standard rates are available on our website, but we are always open for negotiation. If our rates are too high for a small business starting out, we may adjust the frequency of service to help meet their goals. If we have a client that needs a standard fixed price, we will negotiate that with them as well. Every business is different!
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
When establishing a new bookkeeper/client relationship, it is important to learn as much about my client's needs as possible. Our first step is to schedule a free consultation to go over the specific business needs and determine if we are a good fit. It is helpful if the client is able to provide as much information as possible about their business, so we will also forward a new client questionnaire for them to fill out if they are able. Once we have a good understanding of what is needed, we will forward the client the initial Engagement Letter detailing the services that we would be providing along with the first invoice at the agreed upon amount. Upon receipt of the Letter of Engagement and initial payment or deposit, we jump right in to take care of our client's needs!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I (Christina) have a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting as well as several years in the accounting field.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I (Christina) started studying accounting when I was in High School many years ago as a way to fulfill my business credits. I loved it so much, I started competing with other business-minded teens in Accounting competitions via FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). It was a very natural Segway to make accounting my degree when I began college.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I love working with many types of businesses. Each one has unique challenges and personalities that always keep me on my toes. My favorite to work with are small home based business, side businesses, and startups. I enjoy working with these groups because they are in a rather challenging position of learning to juggle many different types of hats at the same time, and I have unique perspectives that helps them learn to better manage their time, finances, and bookkeeping.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I (Christina) am working on creating a database on the Lighthouse Ledgers website to help business owners that are not yet in the position to hire a bookkeeper better manage their finances. This is an ongoing group of training videos that will take years to complete, if it is ever completed at all. The industry is always changing, and this gives me the opportunity to stay on top of the changes and help others in our community.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Make sure you find a bookkeeper that you enjoy working with. They should be viewed as a part of the team and a trusted advisor when it comes to your finances. Nothing is more challenging than trying to work with someone that you don't actually like talking to.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
1. What experience do you have?
2. Would you be willing to take a bookkeeping test to determine your qualifications?
3. How do you communicate with me the estimated budget? What will you do if your actual goes over the estimated?
4. Do you have any referrals you can provide?
5. What kind of customer are you looking for?