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Michele G

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About Michele G

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday March 10

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    Boulder, CO

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  1. Hi, Lily, What insurance company do you use for your insurance? Thanks, Michele Guarino A Second Office LLC
  2. Way to go ! Congrats to you (I just saw this on the forum - I am a newbie...would have liked to take it but I am 2 days late)....oh well Glad you made it Jo-Carole Jo-Carole, It may be too late to take the FREE exam, but it is still available for a reasonable fee. I believe it is $150 to $200 total; still a deal for the certification and for the amount of knowledge that you will gain. I was lucky enough to finish it the weekend before the FREE testing expired. Took me 7 hours total. I encourage you to still look into the program. Michele Guarino
  3. You're welcome, Tracey. I did want to respond to your question even though it was ages ago because as a "newbie" myself, I am reading the previous postings and am finding some good information. I figured that other "newbies" would do the same thing and wanted to provide more information. If you wish to work more from your home office, I would approach your clients and broach the subject. They have to be strong in their confidence in your skills and they can trust you (which I'm sure they do). You can also stress that your work will be more productive since there wouldn't be as many interruptions at their workplace - or some positive twist to you're working from your own home office. You can set a schedule with them to pick up (or have faxed to you) bills, etc. Bring home some unsigned checks. When you're finished with the bookkeeping cycle, you can arrange to meet with the owner to sign the checks. Of course, you'll have everything ready in the envelopes, postage affixed to the envelopes - all you need to do is put the signed check in the envelope and mail. They will be very impressed! Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  4. Patty, In case you were not aware of this, you can apply for your own EIN for FREE on line through the IRS. You do not need to pay your lawyer or accountant to do this for you. If you are applying for a Corporate Name (e.g., which ends in "Inc.") then you can fill out the online application and obtain your EIN within minutes. Here is the link for the online Application: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp However, if you are applying as an LLC or other entity, you will need to download the application (Form SS4) and mail it in to the IRS. The address where to mail your completed application is on the instructions on the Form SS4. You can expect to receive a letter from the IRS in the mail with your EIN within 7-10 business days. The link for the Form SS4 is: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf If none of the links above work, simply visit www.irs.gov and search "apply for EIN" in the search box on the top right. You will find the appropriate links from the search results. If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  5. Frances, Paypal lets you export your transactions in a number of different formats. You can use the export data to create any number of reports. PayPal also has a feature that you can download your transactions into QuickBooks. This is very similar to downloading your bank or credit card transactions into QuickBooks. In doing so, the system creates a PayPal Account register in QuickBooks. You can categorize each transaction as you would normally and use the QuickBooks reports supplied, or create a customized report for your client. Michele Guarino
  6. What kind of timing software do you use? Sharon in Atlanta! Hi, Sharon, Michele here. I didn't see a response to your question above, so I wanted to give you my response and let you know what timing software I am using. It is called TimeSlips. I have a multi-assistant office, so I love this program because each assistant can have their own Remote version of the Main Database. There is a Timer that appears on their desktop, so they are able to open a Timer for each client they are working on for the day. When they are diverted from one client project to another, they simply turn off one Timer and turn on another Timer. I bill twice a month. Each assistant emails me their respective Remote databases and I synchronize it with the Main Database (which is kept on my computer). With the click of a button, I can review the invoices on screen and edit them in real time. When I'm ready to finalize the invoices, I select 'Finalize' and it emails the invoices to my clients through Outlook. The invoices are professional looking due to my previously customizing a template with my color logo, payment stub, etc. I was spending a great deal of time entering in the individual line items by date and assistant into the QuickBooks invoicing system. I calculated at one time that I was spending 6-8 hours a month on billing. Now, I'm only spending 1-2 hours. That frees up time for me to promote my business and work on the sales. Thanks, Michele Guarino
  7. Copies of the deposit slips are fine. If you are concerned, you can always ask for the bank to mail you blank deposit slips. I've done this with clients who have Schwab accounts. There is a checkbox on the Schwab deposit slips that you can check to have them send you more slips and envelopes. However, they will more than likely be sent to the address of record. In this case, I have had my client call his bank and have them send 50 or so deposit slips with envelopes directly to my address. There has never been a problem. Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  8. Hi, Tracey, My company offers bookkeeping services and I also happen to be a paralegal. My Fee Agreements with my clients are the same whether it is for bookkeeping, executive assistant, or paralegal services. What I change in the Agreement are: 1. The scope of the Services (e.g., bookkeeping, paralegal, etc.), and 2. Compensation Amount. The standard paragraphs that I have in my Agreement are: 1. Independent Contractor Relationship. This basically states that I am not an employee of the client. 2. Pledge of Service. I like to have this in my contracts as a "pledge" to my clients that I will maintain a high ethical standard and provide high-quality and professional services. I think the clients like to see this. 3. Payment Policy. How much they are going to pay you, when and late fees. 4. Term and Termination Clause. Is this a one-time project, or his the work relationship going to last a month. If it is an open-ended agreement, there should be an "out" clause with 5 or 10 days written notice to the other party. Whatever you feel comfortable with. 5. Confidentiality. Another paragraph that my clients like to see. Of course, you are going to see all of their financial information and possibly even have access to their bank account codes, credit card codes, etc. They want to know that you are going to be confidential about their information. Tracey, if you need any further information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  9. I have used PayPal with no problems. If you want to save on the fees, and you don't mind waiting 2-3 business days before the money is in your bank, I tell my clients to Add a Bank to their PayPal account and pay my company with an eCheck. If you want your money sooner than that, especially if it is a new client sending in a retainer to start services, then using PayPal to accept credits is worth the service fee that they charge. You might want to check into WesternUnion.com. I've not used them to accept client payments, but they do have online payment features via credit cards and bank checks. It is difficult, however, to find any information on their website about fees. Hope this helps. Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  10. Rebecca, You will need to ask your CPA this question. I have a small photography business on the side, and at this point it does not make enough money to justify opening a separate account, or opening a new corporate name. My CPA told me that once there is "significant" amount of income from my photography business, then I should consider filing a new corporate name and opening a separate checking account. Your CPA will also be able to advise you about the liability differences of using your SSN (sole proprietor) versus a FEIN (corporation). If you decide to open your two business as two separate corporations, remember you are going to incur the extra expense of filing two tax returns each year. Something to consider. In the meantime, if you are just going to co-mingle the two businesses into one QuickBooks file and checking account, what you DEFINITELY want to do is open two separate "Accounts Receivable" accounts. You can accomplish this by opening the Chart of Accounts screen, then selecting Account > New > Other Account Types > Accounts Receivable. You will be asked to name the AR Account. In my case, I have my VA business (e.g., A Second Office) and my photo business (Vesta Blue). This way when you are sending out invoices, you will toggle between either your VA Accounts Receivable business or other Accounts Receivable business. In setting up the two separate AR accounts, it will also be easier on your reports (Profit and Loss; and Balance Sheets). There will be line items for each to let you know what you have made in each. I would use the "classes" suggested by Candy when entering in your Expense Account categories. I hope this was helpful, Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
  11. I have online banking access to most of my clients. So, if the client doesn't email it, send it to my efax, or drop it off, I simply log onto their online accounts and print off the statements. Whenever possible, I download all of the transactions. This saves me a great deal of time. It just takes too long and mistakes can easily be typed in when I'm entering them in manually. Thanks, Michele Guarino www.ASecondOffice.com
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