Episode #106 Tips on Explaining Bookkeeping Reports to Clients
For this new episode of The Bookkeepers' Voice, Angie is once again joined by Sharon Smith as they wrap up our fantastic bookkeeping report series.
Do you find it difficult to explain bookkeeping reports to your clients? Unfortunately as many bookkeepers know, clients don't make time to understand their financial reports, nor do they understand the difference between different reports. We also know that many clients simply postpone or ignore their reports because they're afraid to know what's happening.
Listen in to this exciting episode as Angie and Sharon share their 5 Savvy Tips to explaining bookkeeping reports to clients. Sharon will also reveal her tips and tricks for getting business owners interested, learning and growing!
Key Takeaway: “Are you just a bookkeeper or are you a bookkeeping service? Remember to take the time to understand your clients and their needs to help support them.”
Host: Angie Martin
Guest speaker: Sharon Smith
Topic: Tips on Explaining Bookkeeping Reports to Clients
Summary keywords: bookkeeping reports, bookkeeping tips and trips, bookkeeping for business owners, financial reporting
How to explain bookkeeping reports to business owners
Angie Martin 0:01
Good morning, everyone. Hope you're having a fantastic day so far and that the sun is shining on you. My name is Angie and I'm part of the savvy team. And today I am joined by our amazing off the hook senior bookkeeper, senior bookkeeper and financial consultant. Sharon, how are you today, Sharon?
Sharon Smith 0:25
I'm fantastic, Angie.
Angie Martin 0:27
Oh, I love it. Love it. So before we go into this episode, I want to do one more shout out of our series, because I was just speaking with Lauren will dash from numbers Help Desk the other day. And I just wanted to reiterate something and some feedback she gave us, which I think you would really like is that she said once again, that she loves listening to the podcast and thinks of it as catching up with a friend every week, which is nice as bookkeepers, and we're so secluded from everyone. And very rarely we have friends who actually know what we go through. So I really enjoy being able to do the podcast to kind of give that friendship feeling and feel like we can talk about things going on as well. I don't know about you, because you've just started the podcast. Do you get that feeling as well? Huh?
Sharon Smith 1:25
Yes. Yeah. Like, you know, it's not just me. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's,
Angie Martin 1:31
it's really great. And everyone you know, anytime you say something, you can be like, Yeah, all of those stairs are definitely understanding. Yeah, I mean, it's just, it's really great. So thank you for listening. Sharon. Horan, you're sharing. Thanks. Thank you for listening, Sharon, and, Lauren, my goodness. And hopefully I not with it today. Hopefully, you will get some really great tips and tricks. And today's episode, where Sharon and I are going to be finishing off our bookkeeping reporting series, where we're actually going to be discussing some tips that we use, and you use yourself to help explain bookkeeping reports to clients, because it is so hard to do it without making them making them feel. I'm gonna say the word stupid. Because they're not just because they don't get it doesn't mean that they're not that they're stupid. So it's really hard. I think, you know, one of the hardest things I think, is, as a bookkeeper, we know how important these reports are to their business owners to our clients. And
Sharon Smith 2:52
we probably look at them more than what they do.
How to explain different types of bookkeeping reports to clients
Angie Martin 2:54
Exactly. And it's so hard to one, help them understand that they need to make the time to understand what the reports are saying. And help them also understand the difference between the reports, I think the thing that I even get from some of my other freelance mentoring clients is that they actually don't know the difference between a well for one of them, quite a few of them don't know what a spreadsheet is. But like, you know, knowing the difference between cash flow, bass, actually, budgets, what's the difference between profit and revenue? And it's hard to get them to know that it's okay to know to know that you don't know what, but I would, I need you to spend the time with me as your bookkeeper to learn what this means. So I can help your business.
Sharon Smith 3:58
I so understand that because just using the word profit, I mean, so many years don't realise that there's actually three different types of profit, you have a gross profit and net profit and an operating profit. That's the difference between them all.
Angie Martin 4:15
And it's, it's terrifying. And it gets to the point that a lot of clients become terrified and afraid of actually knowing what's happening with their financials because it might not mean something great. And so they try and postpone it. They become the most amazing people at finding something else to do, or they just completely ignore the fact that they need to look at it and ignore your emails.
Sharon Smith 4:46
Yet they just go Okay, thanks. And that's as far as it goes. Yeah, no. Clients like that. Yeah.
Angie Martin 4:53
But you know, even though you've had clients like that I do, even just from myself as well. You know, our meetings with savvy and talking about off the hook in the business development, you actually even though I know what's going on, you still explain it in a way that really helps people to understand what's going on 100% and get excited, which is why I really wanted to do this last episode to finish off our series together, because it's hard to actually know how to do that. And I know a lot of our clients have been asking for tips about communicating the reports. So let's read them. Yeah, exactly, exactly how
Sharon Smith 5:40
to actually get information from them, and how to teach them how to use these reports as financial tools
Angie Martin 5:48
for their businesses. Yeah, that's thing. And so I thought we could just really finish off this series with a home run and share some of your insider tricks from all the years of experience to help our clients help their clients stay interested, continually learning and growing through using the reports. So for the last time for in our series, I have created a list. In this list, this time, it is my five will our five tips to explaining financial reports for business owners. So this is for our listeners, this is for you guys to be able to communicate to your clients. Hopefully, you guys learn a thing or two, or just have some fun listening to us. One of the two. So my first tip is probably the most important one to be able to do all the rest of the tips. And that is think about your audience. And you do this really well. Sharon, we were actually before recording this, we were talking about two different potential clients you were talking to today and how different you immediately started to talk to them.
Bookkeeping for business owners and understanding their background
Sharon Smith 7:15
That's right. And you've got to get to know, well, what type of professionalism that you can actually go to, you know, is this person a full on professional, so you've got to have that right speaking time? Or can you actually have a little bit of a joke with them, you know, but also think about their backgrounds, in how you're explaining these reports as well, because just because they're the director or owner of a business, doesn't mean that they actually have a clue in what you're saying. And you know, if they have a trade background, then they're not going to understand a lot of the accounting terminology. And I find like a very good example, personally, that I had with this was my husband, who was a fitter in China by trade, when he got his promotion from, you know, being on the shop floor that in its production manager, and he's now General Manager, running an engineering shop. And we were talking about reports, this is a few going back quite a few years. And I said, but what about your balance sheet? And he goes, What's that? And, Alan, what is valid, this is one of the most important tools that your business needs. And he looked at me blankly but you know, I had to remember that this guy's a trading, you know, he he's not even come up through business schools to own a business he's trading, but to remember that, that he has no idea what all this was, and to be able to explain to him step by step. And it was like going through assets, liabilities, equity on the balance sheet, what do they all mean? And what is it and how to take the information, you know, and it was just going through step by step saying, you know, like, this is how much money the business has any bank accounts. This is all the assets that you own. And here's your liabilities. This means what you your business owes in how much GST is currently earning at any particular time? How much is it in payroll liabilities, loans, and when you take your assets and your liabilities from your assets, that is your equity and what equity actually means for business. So, you've really, really got to think about that person that do they have to have business knowledge and a lot of business owners Yes, we'll have business knowledge, they'll know exactly what it is. But don't they particularly when it is you know, like one of the clients I was speaking this morning, you know, he's he's a trainee, he renovated bathrooms. So give him a you know, tools and he knows exactly what he's doing. But when it comes to these bookwork no idea but he was that personality that I could sit and joke around with at the same time, but knowing that they don't have that knowledge to understand stained, this report is saying to them when you put the put it in front of them. So it's extremely important to understand personality as well as the background of that person. You know?
Angie Martin 10:13
What I definitely, yeah, I definitely agree, you have to tailor your report and the way that you communicate with them. Depending on each client, you can and to be honest, I do the same with mentoring, there's, especially in digital marketing, digital marketing, for a lot of people is just like a different language for us bookkeeping is, so depending on who I'm talking to, I will actually do a loom video and explain it in a different way, each time to a different client, to make sure that I'm speaking their language, their terminology that they know, and that they're going to, at the end, have that light bulb moment, that's what you want, as a bookkeeper with reports, you want that light bulb moment? That's,
Sharon Smith 11:01
that's really, really, you know, a good way to put it, because like, yeah, I'm an accountant, I can spin off accounting terminology to come home. But if you were to come to me and talk to me about digital marketing, I will have this blank. But yeah, what are you talking about? Yeah, no, so you have to, then, you know, that's how you have to think about it, when you're speaking to your clients with reports, you know, you've got to be able to kind of break it down there yet speak to them on their level, but there's quite a few professionals out there, and you've got to make sure that you don't dumb it down too much, because then they're gonna get insulted. Yes, so
Angie Martin 11:38
you can't blame them doing that. Yeah, but get insulted too. But that kind of leads me into our next thing. And it's something that you do as well. So I actually got inspiration to writing this tip is showing rather than telling. And this really helps a lot of people are actual visual learners. And when I say visual learners, I mean, the whole package of seeing and hearing. That's how they learn. And that's how they can comprehend things. I'm actually one of those same people I can read. Yeah, I can read a document, you can give me a textbook. But if someone is sitting in front of me doing like a webinar of the exact same content, I understand it 10 times more.
Sharon Smith 12:27
It's so much better, because I'm showing you how to do it.
Angie Martin 12:29
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. It's It's incredible. And some of our other clients do this as well, they were doing it for COVID. And all of the updates, and it was incredible. It's It's when you're turning the report, that is own numbers, that intimidates and makes your clients immediately not hyperventilate, but get anxiety about
Sharon Smith 12:54
what Yes, report, yeah,
Angie Martin 12:56
by turning it into a loom, or a zoom meeting or something, you can make it more interactive, engaging in visual to actually help them understand their their findings. And I know you do that, in your zoom meetings that you do some have off the hooks clients. And it's really helped them.
Sharon Smith 13:18
Yeah, it's really hard to explain it. So that something in front of me to show how he would actually do that. But, you know, by pointing out a number and explaining where this has actually come from, and a lot of things, you know, going back to previous sessions on cash flow and stuff, they go, okay, but why isn't that car payment shut up and my profit and loss? Yeah, you know, because then you have to be able to explain and show that it's actually affected on your balance sheet, because it's a loan repayment, but the interest portion of that comes out of there to be put onto your profit and loss to show that part. And it's sometimes you have to go back and actually show how one actually affects the other, you know, it's something I've had to go back a lot of the time saying that what happens in the profit and loss will always affect your balance sheets, you know, when when you buy products, you know, you see that coming on your cost of sales, but it's also coming on your your creditors, because you owe that money, you haven't paid for it. But when you've paid for it, you know, it's not actually going to be shown on your profit and loss, it'll only be shown on your bank's balance sheet, or the bank balance going down and your credit is going down. So yeah, it's a matter of actually showing where all these numbers are coming from and going to for those people that really don't understand and, and a lot of people go, Ah, okay, so that's why
Angie Martin 14:41
and there's a few different ways you can do it as well. I wrote down and we're, we are going to be doing a blog document with this an actual blog article about these five tips, guys. So if you do miss anything, don't worry. It's going to be a blog article. But I actually wrote down A couple ideas of how bookkeepers can start doing this and explaining it in different ways. The one way is doing visual reporting tools, the easiest way to do it, you know, graphs, charts, tables.
Sharon Smith 15:15
They can be so confusing!
Angie Martin 15:16
I was just going to say – they can be confusing. So then the next step is then doing a loom video doing just like what you said, Actually explaining each step of the way. And it's something that I actually trialled I the other day for, again, one of my clients that wasn't a bookkeeper, they needed to create this really advanced email marketing sequence that needed to be done. So for me, it was super easy, I very easily within half an hour just created it, but then I needed to teach them how to do it. So what I did was, I did about five minute loom videos, I did about three or four of them, where I took them through step by step in actual series of Okay, so let's say let's go through your, your actual balance sheet, I talked, you know, I would be talking about that breaking it all down during the key points that they need to think about. Next video. Okay, so you have your balance sheet. Now, let's go into your cash flow and see how that relates, and where things are here. And by doing it, and I sent it to them in order, I was like, please watch this in order, and I titled them really clearly for what they were going to learn. And at the very end, I included an booking link, where if you still have questions, please book in and we can do a zoom session, you go through it. And that allows you to then, you know, so you spend 15 minutes on loom to explain the, you know, three different reporting documents that you're sending out to your clients. It's only 15 minutes
Sharon Smith 17:05
15 minutes is probably relate to them on so much
Why business owners need to understand their financial reports to grow
Angie Martin 17:09
more of an understanding. Exactly. And, you know, if they do end up needing to book in a like one on one zoom meeting concert with you, that's okay, as well, because in that you can show more value from your own knowledge to them, and really help them become more, I'm going to say in love with you more loyalty to you and your business, because you're taking the time to really explain it. And typically, once you do that, they will understand their financials and their business will actually grow, which will mean work for you. Which is every because then it comes down to word of mouth, oh, this person because I now know exactly what a big thing that's always come to me is that, you know,
Sharon Smith 17:56
why am I having you know, what, I've got all this profit and my profit and loss, Where's my money? I've got no money. Why is that? I mean, yeah, explain that using your profit and loss balance sheet together to be able to explain this is why there is no money. And generally it's the loan repayments and stuff like usually having to be, you know, usually that's what it is, you know, or it's this money that you're taking out of the business, for your personal expenses. That's why you have no money in your bank account. So there's a lot of things you need to put together. It's not just that one document when you're explaining things to a client. But you've got to also listen to what they want, because now you're giving them all these reports. And they
Angie Martin 18:39
are like, Okay, all right. With that,
Sharon Smith 18:42
what's that meant to tell me? Yeah, so when doing reporting for your clients, I suppose the first thing is, what do you want to know? That's the first question you've been asked. Yeah, then we really got a, you know, as it comes back to thinking about your audience, don't assume that they want to know all this stuff, that you're spending hours on reports.
Angie Martin 19:03
But yeah, do it in a way that you know, is going to help them.
Sharon Smith 19:08
Yeah, then what they want to know. And, you know, sometimes those reports might increase as time goes by, because then they'll go, Okay, I actually want to know that now. Whereas they might not think they do to help them grow.
Angie Martin 19:21
Yeah, I love it. That kind of goes into my next tip, which is explain what's behind the numbers. So with a lot of business owners, if you give them a number, that's great, but if you can actually break it down into terms of how can actually help them, you know, breaking down, okay, so this is your profit, profit and loss, where it actually goes in and tells you how much money let's say for a product based business. This is how much you spent on manufacturing and sampling your product. This is actually what you're selling your product does, and this is how much you've sold this month. This is the difference. And, you know, actually breaking it down into ways that they can understand the the solid
Sharon Smith 20:10
basis, especially when it's product based business. Yeah, like having a gross profit, you know, being able to explain first the difference between gross profit net profit and operating profit. But you know, you may be making this product for $100, but you're selling it for 90. So unless you're doing lots of quantities, your gross profit may not actually be that good, because you need that gross profit to pay for all your overheads. So to be able to break each particular one down in cost versus sale, or even to be able to look at those figures and go, Well, these are the products are selling, you're not doing a lot of sales in this, is it worthwhile continuing organic, your marketing in this particular line to increase those sales?
Angie Martin 20:53
Yes. And that goes for service based businesses as well. And it's actually something I'm in the midst of doing with my partner, where because he has a product based business as well as a kind of hobby business. And he also has a service based business, and I'm in the midst of going through and we're like, should, should we really be offering this anymore? You don't really do it? And when you do it, it's a massive headache. So would that be an option? Yeah,
Sharon Smith 21:20
is it worthwhile doing, but also for those in sales businesses, and you've got a team of salespeople, you know, you can pull up those sales reports and employee and he's doing this much employee base doing this much, you know, we get them to be monitoring their employees to make sure that everyone's pulling their weight, you know, and,
Angie Martin 21:41
you know, employee a is doing so well, should we be paying employee a more and yeah, you know, maybe axing employee B or reducing the pay or reducing or creating, instead of reducing the pay, creating a payment system, where they have checkpoints,
Sharon Smith 22:00
if he's his employee be actually struggling and,
Angie Martin 22:04
Sharon Smith 22:05
but these are the different reports that you know, your clients can be using, if, you know, I suppose you've got to be looking at their business first to say, Hey, you know, can you be looking at this as well, to be able to point that out to them. So you're offering that better service, which is actually promoting your business?
Angie Martin 22:25
Looking at the big picture, instead of the small picture of just the numbers, it's okay. I know what the numbers mean. But let's look at the big picture of the client's business and tell them
Sharon Smith 22:40
you know, what are you doing? Are you just doing them real quick credit dollar? Or are you actually involved in their business? Do you consider yourself part of their business? Because it's such a vital thing that you can point this out and show them? Yeah, yeah. I love it. It
Angie Martin 22:54
makes such a difference. It really
Sharon Smith 22:56
does. You know, it shows the difference between just a bookkeeper and a bookkeeping service.
Angie Martin 23:02
Yes, I love that. Yes, it does.
Sharon Smith 23:06
And then that's what it does. It shows are you just a bookkeeper just putting the numbers in form, and you providing a bookkeeping service, that you're actually involved in their business and you know, you actually want to help them succeed? That you can actually, you know, spend that bit of time recognising and looking at your clients work to be able to help them report. Yeah, I love that. I
Angie Martin 23:29
think that's gonna be the key takeaway from today's episode. I love that. Are you just a bookkeeper? Or are you a bookkeeping service? providing answers to the bookkeeping reports?
Sharon Smith 23:42
Yeah, you doing more? Yeah, you doing more than just putting the numbers in? Yeah. And I think sometimes we've got to look at that in ourselves to, you know, in what we actually want to be doing ourselves as a service as a business, you know, and particularly wanting to grow. providing more of a service will then help hopefully, that word of mouth and people going, you've got to go grab this person because of what they're doing for me. Yeah. You know, I
Angie Martin 24:09
love that. I love your brain. It's great. It's great. It actually kind of goes into my next tip, which is, and you've already mentioned it, which I love that you already mentioned it because it's such a big topic is removing the financial jargon.
Sharon Smith 24:27
Angie Martin 24:29
our clients as bookkeepers aren't accountants, they aren't bookkeepers. That's why they hired us as bookkeepers. They don't want to have to learn all of this, they don't want to go to school and do search for an accounting or get their bass agent licence or anything like that. That is what they're paying us for.
Sharon Smith 24:49
They want to go out and do what they know best, you know, and selling a product or, you know, building something or whatever their business may be. You know, that's what we're here for. And sometimes when it explaining those reports to them, you know, you've got to remove some of that jargon, which comes naturally to you. But you've got to remove it and, and speak on their level, which comes back to that first point. Know your audience. Exactly. You can actually speak that financial jargon to and toiletries come home and it's not gonna matter, because they know, they'll probably know more financial jargon than you. Do. You have come across that.
Angie Martin 25:24
Yes, some and yes, that when that happens, you kind of get Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Like it takes you off.
Sharon Smith 25:31
Sometimes they they know these words that they don't actually understand as well. That's true. Like, they come across thinking I know all this. And then you go,
Angie Martin 25:39
okay, you're using that word wrong?
Sharon Smith 25:42
Yeah, that's right. You're using that word wrong.
Angie Martin 25:47
I love it. So kind of what I tell clients is, when you're first learning and getting to know a client, just don't use the jargon. Just don't use it. Don't use it. Pretend that you're speaking to now, not in the tone of voice by any means. But pretend you're speaking to basically a nine year old. And you are explaining reports to a nine year old.
Sharon Smith 26:13
Yeah. So easy credit is going? Yes. The list of the accounts that you owe at the moment? Yes, exactly. It's just things like you can slowly bring in all that jargon, just like your you know, its creditors, you know, yes, people. Most people do, too. But some will actually appreciate you using the term, the bills that you are,
Angie Martin 26:31
yes, yes. And it's a way so that you don't overwhelm them at the beginning. And then as like you said, as you go, you can start using the terminology, you can sneak it in there, and they'll slowly learn it. And I do that with our clients with the savvy bookkeeper. All first, you know, won't use any marketing terms. And then slowly, I'll start working them in. And now when I talk to some of our clients, I'm having conversations like I went to a fellow marketer, but I certainly didn't do that to begin with.
Sharon Smith 27:05
Yeah, but like when you are using him explain, like when you go through, and because like, I've come across this quite a lot. So I'm explaining my profit and loss. And here's your sales, here's your cost of goods, cost of goods, is this, this is what your cost of goods is?
Angie Martin 27:19
Sharon Smith 27:21
Yeah, this is, you know, that's why because a lot of people go, but, you know, it cost me for rent to be able to produce this wise and rent put up there. So Oh, yes, yes. So, you know, this is the cost of the materials for you to make that that item that you're selling, which is now going to give us our gross profit, to be able to pay for all our overheads like our telephone, our ramps, and electricity, office expenditure and stuff, which is now going to give us our operating profit. But then on top of that, we also have our other income, and our other expenses, which are really business really business related, but not running other business, you know, like our job capers and other incomes, that's not going to give us our net profit for the business. So, you know, we've got all these different terminologies that you've got to remember, do they actually understand the differences?
Angie Martin 28:11
Yeah, and when it comes to reports, as well, and I do this with our clients as well is before we even start having the conversation, a lot of people have been calling me about, you know, digital marketing presence, and just digital presence. First off, I'll begin. So what do you know about creating a digital presence? Because then that helps me really position on how I talk to them. And it's the same, you know, you want to talk about your profit, your p&l? Well, okay, what do you know about your profit and loss statements?
Sharon Smith 28:47
What can you tell me that this is telling you, so that I know what you understand? So I know how I can explain it further. And I can tell you what I'm seeing from this report.
Angie Martin 28:56
Exactly. And that's by doing it, it's a way of talking to them on their level, but without making them feel stupid.
Sharon Smith 29:03
Hmm, that's right. And sometimes, as bookkeepers, you also need to go and have that less than yourself? Yes, absolutely. Because there is a lot of things that you can learn. But it's also life experience. But for me, also for mentors that I've had throughout my career, that can tell you more about what people can get out of this report than what you think. Yeah,
Angie Martin 29:28
you've done that with me, actually, with some of your reports. I've been like on now even even thought
Sharon Smith 29:33
about thinking it that way. That's right, you know, how, you know, comparing different periods and and, you know, this the ratios you can put in and look at your bench in ratios. I mean, I will look at and people will tell you all that sort of spending wages and I've gone Yeah, but do you realise that you're actually spending 54 54% of your sales in wages, the benchmark of your industry? Only 27. Yeah. So we need to look at this. You know, so they're things like that, that bookkeepers also need to learn? A lot.
Angie Martin 30:07
Yeah. And it's just again, like you said, it's just experience. It's talking to other people in the industry and, and knowing Okay, yeah, and being okay. Also to know that you don't know everything
Sharon Smith 30:19
and see it and then help and get advice and help, you know, don't be scared to x. Yeah. But that helps you understand? Oh. Because until I learned about benchmarking, and percentages, or ratios, it was like, Oh, you know, it was a lightbulb moment for me to have to not even think that your employees, your wage component of your business is actually a bit too high. And you need to actually look at it because for the industry that you're in. So there are different other things that you can be taking out on the profit and loss, let your clients know.
Angie Martin 30:52
Yeah, I love it. And again, that kind of leads me into the next point is putting yourself in their shoes. And I think the easiest way, it's very similar to think about your audience, but this one is more about considering your clients, what they're focusing on, to help you communicate their fingers in a way that they understand it. So it will actually benefit them.
Sharon Smith 31:17
Yeah, yeah. So just this is a paper that they're gonna go Okay, and throw it across the room, you know?
Angie Martin 31:21
Yeah, it's really important. And so like, I wrote it, an example for us to kind of talk about because, again, you love cash flow reports. And because for this series, we specifically how do you create a savvy cash flow report that people can now download and use for themselves? So if you guys do want to take a look at that it's in our savvy shop. But I thought it would be great to go through this because these are questions that I've created that you can bring up in a cash flow report, and then have a meeting with your client about so if a client is going on, I don't know if I can pay past next quarter, or I don't know if I can hire a new employee? Or can I add a new product or service to the company? This is what I'm thinking about doing? Or can I purchase that new equipment that I really need for my business? It's a big investment, it's a big outlay? Can I actually afford to do it? Or do a repayment system? Yeah. The cash flow report will help them do it. And once you can put yourself in their shoes and go Okay, so this is what they're worried about. I will explain it so that they can answer these questions.
Sharon Smith 32:37
That's right. And actually, you can then show them, you know, as you know, we'll send you for visually show them that, you know, going on the trend that you have at the moment with your spendings and your receipts, you're not going to be able to afford your next pass your or you will have plenty of money to go and get that new piece of equipment or hire somebody because this is what your bank's going to be looking like. So, you know, and it's really, and I think that's the why I've developed my cash flow
Angie Martin 33:08
I love the way that you do that.
Sharon Smith 33:10
Yeah. Are you actually saying that, you know, you're plugging in that loan repayment, all that payment that comes in every month, you know, you can see that it's going to happen, and to be able to know then that you're going to have to increase your styles to do this, or you're just living on nine, don't worry about just
Angie Martin 33:27
whatever you want.
Sharon Smith 33:31
To have pay rise now to because
Angie Martin 33:34
Exactly. And that's also one thing as well, that I haven't even written down actually is, once you help your clients understand the value of their financial reports, they will better understand your value. And then you can do that and will increase that you've been wanting to do with them. And they will have no problem doing it because they will immediately see, yes, this is definitely worth it. You
Sharon Smith 34:05
know, or it's that extra income that you can put onto your client. Yes, I can provide this to you. Now, the service is going to cost X amount a month. But this is what you're going to get out of it.
Angie Martin 34:18
Yeah. And it's something that you can say, let's do it for this quarter. Because March we're about to finish doing job keeper. So let's take a look at what's going on and figure out the game plan for next quarter. And once you do it once they fall in love with the process and you explaining these figures to them. You can be like, would you like to do this every quarter going forward? Hmm. There you go. That's another surface right there.
Sharon Smith 34:46
Is your your sales increase? Yeah,
Angie Martin 34:50
yeah. So it kind of really goes anytime you help clients understand their figures and the reports more you can automatically start increasing your business as well. It kind of goes, once you help your business, your clients, businesses grow, your business grows, it goes together. So
Sharon Smith 35:10
hand in hand.
Angie Martin 35:11
Yeah. So, you know, when we're talking about bookkeepers who are wanting to grow their business, we're not always talking about getting new clients. It's maximising the clients that you also have
Sharon Smith 35:21
services that you can provide to the clients that you have. Yeah. And I think which comes back to what are you just a bookkeeper? Oh, yeah.
Angie Martin 35:30
Yeah. And it makes all the difference. And you're so good at it like Sharon, seriously. I know. We keep saying it. But I don't know if you really understand how good you are at just making people feel comfortable with also not knowing what you're talking about. But at the end of the conversation, they understand it, and they feel really confident in themselves, which I think as bookkeepers, we always forget that people don't know what we're talking about. But I'm doing a lot of Renault's at my house lately. And they keep coming in in this The brickey are brick he comes in and he talks so fast. And he does all these things that we need to think about. And half the time, I'm just sitting there smiling and nodding my head being like, I have no idea what's going on. But if you think that's a good idea, then let's do it. That's the same reaction that most of our clients get. But they are smiling and nodding and going, Oh, yeah, that's great. Or Oh, no, that's not so good. And then they just completely forget it. I'm horrible with all of our trainees in our house right now. They're telling me all these things. And I'm like, Yeah, awesome note, let's do this. Let's do that. I walk away and my partner goes, Okay, so what was going on? I'm like, so they said some word here that that's not ready yet, because that's not ready yet. And they said some terminology with that, but I didn't really understand it. So I just smile it on it. It's the exact same thing that our clients have. It's, I think, you know, tradies, because they're so good at what they do as well, just like bookkeepers. And they know, yeah, they know their job inside and out, that they forget that we aren't tradies. And I have no idea what they're talking about.
Sharon Smith 37:24
Because that's the thing, like when you're offering all the reporting and stuff that you can do for your clients, it's like I was saying to a prospective client for us this morning, you know, you can consider us your financial management team, you know, not only will I just keep your books in order, I can look after everything else for you, you know, I can help you with reports and knowing what you're doing with your sales, your cash flow budgets, you know, I can do whatever you would like. And we can start off with a minimum and work our way up, that you can actually be confident in knowing that you have got a finance manager on your side, not just a bookkeeper.
Angie Martin 38:04
Yeah. And that's a big difference. You know, as long as you also I just want to do disclaimer, as long as you are equipped to actually give financial advice as well, that's a really big thing as well, then these reports can be amazing for your bookkeepers and for sorry for your clients. And to be honest, it will help solve a lot of the stresses, your clients have an ongoing basis. I know some clients of ours, they have clients that they every time they call their their client is in a state of panic or consistent overwhelm or stress. And it's actually amazing how you explaining their financials to them eliminates that, because financial stress is one of the biggest stresses for individuals and for business owners. Once you can't take that away, yeah, once you can take help take some of it or at least a way, whether it's good news or bad news, because sometimes it is bad news. At least they know. And then, and yeah.
Sharon Smith 39:15
You actually know what's happening and know what could be happening is a tool to be able to help prevent worse things happening.
Angie Martin 39:22
Yeah. And then you know, you can go into Okay, so this is not going well, you can't pay your bass. What can we do to fix that?
Sharon Smith 39:32
Angie Martin 39:33
me, you know, it makes such a difference. So thank you so much for joining me with this series. Sharon. It's it's been so great to be able to share your love of doing reports and also helping clients understand them and love them like you do. It's It's great. It's great. So I really hope our listeners have learned and enjoyed getting to know you as well because you're just a gem of a person and I love that Be able to share that.
Sharon Smith 40:02
enjoy being here and coming along this journey. It's been wonderful.
Bookkeeping tips and tricks for business owners
Angie Martin 40:08
I love it. Love it. And do you because you have so much knowledge? Do you have any parting words you would like to share? Before we finish this series? I know you can go on days and days about reports. But Tom, do you have any other parting tips or words of wisdom, I
Sharon Smith 40:23
think with the tips that we've all got, I think the main one being the first one we had just know your audience, you know, get to know them. So well don't think of them as client, I know them as Fred, you know, and being able to talk to them about the footy or whatever else they might like to do, you know, helps to have that personal relationship to be able to help them more as well just really know, know your client, know your audience know what they want know. So that way you can help them know what they need, you know, because, yeah, because they might not know what they need, and you won't know to begin with either until you get to know them, then you get to
Angie Martin 41:03
love it so much. Thank you. And, again, if anybody wants to say hello to our amazing, Sharon, please feel free to join our Facebook group, which is I heart bookkeeping, make sure you answer all the questions that we have. And also, if you want to get your hands on the cash flow spreadsheet template that Sharon made for the series for you, guys, it's a nice, really simple bait. I'm going to say basic template, but it's not basic. It's just even this. Yeah, it's been designed to be easy. It's been designed to be easy to use and easy to read. Which is great. It's you know, cutting out all the silliness, just making it nice, simple upfront. It's basically you in a template cuz you You're so easy to get along with. You're upfront. You're to the point. And you're wonderful.
Sharon Smith 42:02
Thank you. Yeah, no, it's good to get out of this room.
Angie Martin 42:07
It's my goal to help grow your head just a little bit. Yeah, so we have that. And we will also be having our five tips to explaining financial reports to business owners in our blogs as well. That's always just a free resource that we have. So make sure to check that out. And as always, guys, stay safe, sane and savvy and have fun talking about reports. Yeah. Amazing. Talk to you guys. Later, guys. Bye
Sharon Smith 42:41
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