Our clients are very important and we accomplish a lot together. Here are a few short stories about how Brenda Hodgkiss, CPA firm has helped and even rescued some teetering businesses.
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Manufacturer – Small Business.
I began with this client when they were working out of their house and have been with them ever since. At first, it was separating their business income and expenses from their personal records as they had just begun the business. I worked with the business owner and also the owner’s wife to set up an accounting system. I trained the owner’s wife on proper accounting for the business. The business has grown to a million dollar company, employing 5 people. I have trained their new staff on QuickBooks; worked with staff to integrate an inventory software into QuickBooks; assisted their tax preparer in getting ready for an IRS audit. They have recently opened a second company to restore automobiles and once again I was the person who worked with them to set up their QuickBooks so that the financial information was understandable to the business owner.
Church/School/Rental Property and Café – client since 2001.
This client had records which were not clear to management. I was hired to correct the records so that they would be able to have an audit of the financial statements. I worked with the tax person to re-construct the existing records and create meaningfulfinancial statements to report both internally to the Board of Elders and externally to the lenders. I have worked with them since that time to train their staff; convert their accounting system from QuickBooks to a church accounting software; created a procedure book for better internal controls; oversee the year end external CPA review process and tax preparation from an independent CPA.
Guard Service/Security Consultant/Security Hardware Sales
Client since 2006. This client was unhappy with his current CPA. They would create year end adjustments to the financial statements which the client did not understand. He needed an in house person to be the Controller and manage all of his accounting records so that he would be able to understand all of his financial statements. At the same time, this person was taking one business and separating it into three separate businesses. I worked with the owner to set up the accounts he would need for his new businesses making them the same in all three companies so that if he wanted to see them combined to provide him with consolidated information it would be easy to accomplish with an excel spreadsheet. I had him institute a budgeting process which he had never done before. We sat down monthly and discussed his actual results from his financial statements compared to his budget (what he thought would occur). In this way, he knew what he needed to change going forward to successfully manage his business. I coordinated with his tax CPA to provide year end data that was complete so that the tax preparation was more efficient. As he grew and his accounting requirements also got more complex, he hired a recently graduated accounting person. I trained her on the entire accounting process for month end, budget and year end. Once she was trained, the client still has me come in and review the records on a quarterly and annual basis.
Seasonal Business - Client since 2010
This client had an inventory problem. They had fired their previous financial person who had left them in an accounting nightmare. I worked closely with the staff to indentify and correct the problems in their records. This required developing a close relationship with the tax preparer to make the necessary changes in both the internal accounting records and provide the tax preparer with the documentation to correct the tax returns. I set up a monthly closing procedure that allowed management to understand their financial numbers. This company is a seasonal business. They rely heavily on the sales from April to October to sustain their cash requirements from November to March. I created a weekly cash flow spreadsheet so the owner was able to manage his cash better during the entire year.
Seasonal Business – client since 2012.
This business owner separated from his original business. He contacted me when he opened his own shop. Accounting was the first thing he thought about. I worked with him and his sales staff to set up his QuickBooks. He does his day to day bookkeeping for accounts receivable and accounts payable. I go into the office monthly to review all of the information, correct as needed, discuss his actual results versus his budget and file his sales taxes in multiple states. I provide year-end financial statements to his tax preparer.
Condominium Association – client since 2013.
The Board of the Condo Association wanted to bring their accounting in house. They have multiple buildings and a clubhouse that needed to be recorded separately within the QuickBooks system. They needed a bookkeeper and a Controller/CFO consultant to provide a smooth transition. Working with the President of the Board and their tax preparer, I first reconciled the accounts to make sure that they were correctly stated. Then set up a budget for them for the year. My staff bookkeeper performed the billing and receiving payments from the condominium owners; recorded bills from vendors and paid them; made deposits during the month. I created the financial statements for the Board of Trustees on a monthly basis and met with them on a quarterly basis to discuss their actual financial results compared to their budget.
Chiropractor – client since 2014
New owner after purchasing an existing practice. I worked with her and her staff to set up the accounting records so that they would provide the information she required to make decisions about her business. She has an external medical billing software that I needed to integrate with the QuickBooks accounting system. We worked together to incorporate the information into meaningful financial statements for her to review on a monthly basis. My bookkeeper inputs her external billing data into QuickBooks; records her deposits; records her payments to vendors via check or debit card; records credit card charges; reconciles the bank statement and the credit card statement on a monthly basis. I review all of the results monthly and provide her with the Profit and Loss and the Balance sheet. Quarterly, I meet with the client to discuss the financial statements to make sure she understands them. Next year, when she has a full year of historic financials, I will create a budget for the company and we will discuss the results on a quarterly basis. As she continues in business, I will work closely with her financial planner and tax preparer to implement tax saving strategies and retirement goals.
Medical Billing Company – client since 2014. This client had a bookkeeper who did not fully understand the whole accounting system. I provided a bookkeeper who had a degree in accounting and also had me, A CPA with years of experience to review the information and suggest corrections. The bookkeeper was able to get the all of the accounting records up to date. I then went into the office as the Controller/CFO consultant to review all of the records with the client and the tax preparer. I set up a month end process and trained their internal staff on QuickBooks. I worked with the President of the company to create a budget for the first time in the company history of over 30 years. I worked with the external tax preparer to provide the financial statements and also the back up documentation for effective year end tax planning. I implemented a pre-year end tax strategy meeting between the owners and the tax preparer to minimize the taxes to be paid by the company.
Landscaping – began with the client in April 2015. This client has an external accounting service. Instead of augmenting his QuickBooks accounting system, they download the software into their own accounting system and provide him with the financial information on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, this does not allow the client to understand his financials so that he is able to manage his business. I have been hired to correct the historical documents and train the new internal staff on QuickBooks. We are working together on a weekly basis to input missing data from 2014. At the same time, I am training the staff on properly recording the current information in 2015. The goal is to have the staff record all of the daily activity, reconcile the bank statements, outstanding loans and credit cards. I will review the records on a monthly basis and discuss with the staff and business owners to continue educating them on their financial results.
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