Episode 386: What You Should Know About the Bookkeeper, CPA, and CFO of your Pet Business

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Are you building castles in the sand when it comes to your business finances? ? In this episode of "Bella In Your Business," we're diving deep into the world of financial management for pet business owners.

Join me as I unravel the mysteries behind bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs, shedding light on their vital roles in steering your business toward financial success.

Ever wondered how bookkeepers conjure order out of financial chaos? Or how CPAs work their magic to save you from tax nightmares? We're uncovering the secrets behind these financial wizards, empowering you to harness their expertise for your business's benefit.

From the ancient days of manual bookkeeping to modern strategies for financial mastery, we explore the evolution of small business finance and unveil the game-changing insights that can revolutionize your approach.

Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just dipping your toes into the world of business ownership, this episode is your passport to financial enlightenment. Get ready to transform your business from a sandcastle into a fortress of financial prosperity!

This episode is brought to you by JazzHr!

Topics & Key Points

  • The importance of bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs for small businesses
  • Financial management for small businesses
  • Importance of understanding business numbers


  • [4:54]Bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs for small businesses.
  • [10:23] Financial management for small businesses.
  • [13:59] Importance of understanding business numbers.

Notable Quotes

  • [3:08] “But unfortunately, without a bookkeeper, many of us end up with that sand castle, that’s just you know, a box with a stick sticking out of it.”
  • [6:33] ” And then given your personal situation, whether you’re married or single, you have dependents, you have other properties or assets or investments or insert here, the multitude of things, right. That’s where a CPA comes in”
  • [10:12] “Or you really want to get aggressive with your retirement and savings accounts or you want to get aggressive with saving, because maybe you want to do investment properties, who knows. But whatever it is, you know, you want to have a real intrinsic strategy with your money. And that would be a CFO.”

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Welcome, everybody to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella Vasta. Today we’re going to talk all about what I feel like we need to have more of a conversation about. I have talked about taxes, CPAs, bookkeepers, and things and other episodes. And I’ll I’ll, I’ll respond to them, or give you those episodes as we kind of go when they come up. But I kind of want to talk about this on a high level. It’s currently April 2024. And a lot of people are posting and talking and chatting, and there’s a lot of chatter, about people being upset because they have to do extensions, or their CPAs just not getting back to them or giving them the time of day. Or they’re just really trying to figure out how they should file and they’re upset because they have not been advised. And I just want to give you a little bit of oversight over the years and years and years that I have been an entrepreneur for 22. And you know, I’ve 22 years of experience doing this. And I think that sometimes we’re like, plug and play like, oh yeah, I have a CPA, I gave him my stuff. We filed my taxes, and I’m fine. But I think there are a lot of things to know as an entrepreneur as a business owner as someone filing as an LLC and S Corp. or however else you might file as, and we don’t know what we don’t know. And so I just kind of want to plant some seeds in your head. That’s my intention for this podcast episode. But before I get started, I would like to thank our sponsor.

Before we get into it, I also want to do a personal invite if any of you listening own a franchise, I have opened up a community just for franchise owners that helps kind of create support, and advice around the unique position that you have of being a franchisee so if that’s you shoot me a DM or email, Bella@jumpconsulting.net  and I will get you an invite into that special group. All right, well, let’s get started.

So I want to kind of talk about first bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs. And I invite you to listen with an open ear to think about whether is there anything that I’m about to kind of entice you that you haven’t thought about or you don’t know. So first of all bookkeepers the way I’ve always described bookkeepers are, they’re literally, they’re the people that help give you all of the toys to build a sandcastle. So let’s pretend for a moment that we are on a beach. And we want to build one of those beautiful sand castles that have all the nooks and crannies and moats and layers and stories to them. Maybe they have multiple different structures, and they’re all connected, you know, this big, beautiful thing. And they have beautiful architecture to them. You know, it’s not just a box. And that’s it was like a stick sticking up out of the top of it. But unfortunately, without a bookkeeper, many of us end up with that sand castle, that’s just you know, a box with a stick sticking out of it. And what I mean by that is a bookkeeper that reconciles your books, which means that all of your credit cards, your bank statements, all go into let’s say QuickBooks, or whatever it is that you choose to use, and they reconcile it every single month. So every single penny that has been spent or accumulated, they account for, and working with the bookkeeper would look like, every month or every quarter, depending on your volume and how you work with them. They’re gonna send you a list and they’re gonna say, hey, please tell me where to apply this expense to. This can help with sometimes you might use your business or personal on accident, or, like you’re like me this weekend, and I took the wrong American Express cards, I took my business instead of my personal. So I’ll get a nice little note about that from Christine, my bookkeeper. And she’ll be like, I’m Bella. I’ll be like, oh, yeah, we need to reimburse, you know, for that. It doesn’t happen often anymore. It happened a lot when I first started, but pretty good about that now, but that is where you’re going to keep control of that stuff. In the past. When I first started, maybe my first five years, I used to just be like, Oh, no problem. I’ll just print out all my bank accounts. And I’ll open up a bottle of wine. Many of you guys have heard this story before. And I’ll sit there and I’ll just go through it all and I’ll enter it all. Oh my god, you guys, that is not a good way to do it. Not to mention that even if you could enter it all the hours that it takes away from you working on your business or let’s be honest, taking a nap or just sleeping is ridiculous. The next thing that is also kind of mucky about that is you know just simple things like meals and entertainment. You know, were you entertaining a client were you at a networking meeting? Are you ordering lunch in the middle of the workday at your home office, or your office that you’re out, maybe you have an office, you know, there’s like lots of different subcategories of meals or food. And that’s where a bookkeeper is going to be able to do that. The other cool thing too, about a bookkeeper and like what we do, and you might have different levels or circumstances in your company, where maybe you have in-home boarding, but then you also have pet sitting, right? And maybe in-home boarding is one revenue source. If you want to keep track of all your cleaning supplies, and everything that goes into that, and that might have more expenses, then you can track the profit of that one service. That’s what we do with better marketing with Bella with the mastermind with the podcast, we kind of break them up into revenue streams, so that we know which one is the most profitable, given how much expenses we have. And a good bookkeeper will do this for you. And they also will most likely pay or if you have them do this, you know, just automatically pay your monthly or quarterly taxes.

So that again, when you kind of come up to CPA time or you know tax season, April time, you’re not hit with a major bill because you’ve already been paying into it right or saving for it, it kind of varies depending on where you’re at. Now a bookkeeper can only go so much because they also don’t know tax law, or not necessarily law, but you know, all those different tax things that happen every single year. There’s so much that changes with that. And then given your situation, whether you’re married or single, you have dependents, you have other properties or assets or investments, or insert here, the multitude of things, right? That’s where a CPA comes in. And you guys a CPA, as we know, are completely slammed during April, it actually kind of always amazes me that, you know, yeah, it’s their busy season, but they can plan for it. So that’s a whole nother tangent, I’m not gonna go down. But what I’m trying to express to you is that having a good CPA on your team is vital. And what I mean by that is that you meet with them a couple of times a year, that they might like, look at your projections, or look at where your current revenue is, and they’re like, Yep, you’re on track with last year. So our estimated payments for taxes are on point or, Hey, you’re paying too much. I’m giving the government a free loan, or, Hey, you’re not paying enough. And if you keep on this track, you’re gonna end up with a big tax bill, right? And that’s, of course, thinking very simpleton. Again, everyone’s very different depending on what you’ve got coming in and going out and different things going on. But that’s where a CPA is going to be helpful. And I would encourage your CPA and your bookkeeper to know each other. My personal opinion is that your CPA and your bookkeeper should not be from the same entity. The reason is, is that I believe that your CPA and your bookkeeper should be like checks and balances, where your bookkeeper has the authority and the ability to say, hey, Bella, I’m not sure what your CPA is talking about this year. Or you might want to ask them this question. They have the right to question the CPA, as well as the CPA saying, Hey, we really need your bookkeeper to step it up or to make a journal entry for this or do that or, or maybe, you know, organize it differently. So I feel like that separation of if you will, church and state is important, that traditional sense of that, of course, not to get into politics. And so you know, I think you do need a bookkeeper and a bookkeeper are good bookkeepers usually between I’m getting, I would say 25 to 35 an hour. But these days, I would say maybe between 20 to 40, give or take. I think the best way to do this is to find a business owner in your area who has had a very successful relationship with a bookkeeper and a CPA. And this is what classic networking is good for. So go to those women’s luncheons and not necessarily to meet a bookkeeper or CPA, but to find an amazing business owner. And you guys, they don’t need to have a pet sitting or dog walking experience. Please stop putting yourself in a hole by saying I need a bookkeeper or CPA that understands the dog business. Like it’s a service-based business. I don’t care if it’s plumbing, or roofing or, you know, painting, you know, it’s a service-based business, okay? And they don’t need to know the ins and outs of what a dog walker or pet sitter is to do your books, whether it’s a CPA or bookkeeper.

Now, we also talked about or I mean, we’ve talked about it in The Mastermind a lot and I’m not sure I’ve talked about it too much here on the podcast. But there’s also something called a CFO. And this is more for I would say after you get to be about quarter a quarter of a million or three 400,000 a year in revenue, where you are trying to predict trends and have goals that you want to hit for the quarter in revenue or spending or expenses. Or you want to get aggressive with your retirement and savings accounts or you want to get aggressive with saving, because maybe you want to do investment properties, who knows. But whatever it is, you know, you want to have a real intrinsic strategy with your money. And that would be a CFO. Now, they’re the most expensive. In my experience over the years, they’re roughly $1,000, in meeting. So that could be you know, two to $4,000 a year. And that must, that might sound like a lot of money. But if that two to $4,000, a year could help grow your company more or give you the confidence and get rid of the fear of oh my gosh, I don’t have enough money, oh, my gosh, what am I doing? Oh, my gosh, I want to do this, like, all these fears. And they can help educate and strategize with you that it’s worth it. And then what they also can do is they can help you figure out what true goals like really good goals are for your business. And if you have fiscal goals, then how does that reverse engineer into marketing sales, customer service operations, how many people you have to hire, how much money you should spend on hiring, you know, and investing into your team, and all of that stuff. So I want to kind of like make you think about, you know, there are all of this stuff, and you’re trying to do it yourself.

Not only are you stressed out, I will I will bet my bottom dollar right now that you are stressed out if you’re trying to do it yourself, and you’re just trying to you know, throw through TurboTax or, okay, yeah, my bookkeeper did it. My CPA did it. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know if it was better to file as an escort. Rather than LLC and pay doubles, double taxes there. These are all questions that I want you guys to be empowered to build your team and ask your team. And the other thing I want to tell you too, is that I can’t tell you how many CPAs I’ve been through because it just kind of ebbs and flows. Luckily, I’ve been pretty, pretty lucky for the past couple of years and stayed with a good team and my bookkeepers have been with me for a very long time. But you know, it’s, um, it’s hard. And just because you get frustrated or didn’t work out with one CPA or bookkeeper does not mean that, you know, you’re doomed and that you can’t do anything. And so if you want to learn more about this stuff, I encourage you. We had Mike McCalla’s wits on and he’s the Prophet’s first guy. And he made such an impact on my community in so many different ways, whether it was a podcast, or he came in and spoke in the mastermind, we have a recording of him answering all our pet-sitting and dog walking questions. It’s amazing. I think he came in twice if I’m correct. We’ve had the mastermind since January 2018. So it’s really hard for me to remember everything that’s happened there in six years, because there’s so much information, and the library is huge. And their side note, if you guys want a positive resource in your life, it’s only 177 a month, a month-to-month contract, and you can cancel anytime. But it is for people who are ready to do the work. And it is a lot of DIY, but you got me Monday through Friday, so just go over to jump consulting dotnet forward slash mastermind. But anyway, so Profit First there’s episode 138 with Mike McCalla wits. We also have Jamie Trudell, who a lot of you guys know, she kind of started exploding around COVID. And she joined my COVID support group for pet sitters and helped. She was one of our experts. And a lot of pet sitters got exposed to her during that time. But she came in and talked about getting in control of your financial numbers in your business. That was episode 215. And then we also had a CPA come in and talk about how to save money on your taxes. And that was episode 230. So that’s just scraping the surface, we’ve got a lot more other stuff that we’ve done. But I’ve never really talked to you about it in the high level 30,000 foot view the strategic like, Okay, this is what you should be thinking of level. And because it is, you know, April and tax season, I wanted to encourage you guys to just expand your brain and think about that.

Unfortunately, I do not have any direct recommendations for you. But I do have a lot of clients that have had success with profit. First, they have a whole group of CPAs and people who will work with you both in Canada and the United States. I have clients in both countries who have reached out to the profit force that have read the Profit First book, it is very much in line with my pricing structure and strategy class, where I teach you that you have 30% of your revenue for you 30% of your revenue for your business, which means pouring back into your business investing back in your business office staff, websites, SEO coaching, whatever it might be, and then 40% for labor, and when I say four 80% for labor, I never really mean you pay $4 Out of every $10. I mean, it’s really like 32 to 32 to 35%. So $3.20 to $3.50 of every $10 that you make goes into labor, because you have to pay taxes, and you have to have wiggle room to give them raises because hopefully, they will be with you for a long time, the minute it goes over that 40%, it comes straight from you. Because the business expenses are not going to go down. So it comes straight from your pocket. If you’re wondering, why aren’t I making enough money? Or why can I pay myself, If you want to check out that pricing structure and strategy class, just go to jump consulting dotnet and click on Services. It’s only $79. And it has helped hundreds of pet sitters. Since it has been out I think it’s probably been out for at least a decade. And it’s been updated. Of course, too. You can listen to those podcast episodes, guys, I just want you to educate yourself. I know that numbers are scary, but I’m telling you, if you don’t know the numbers of your business, you are not going to grow. And if you do grow, you will grow like a bush that needs to be cut back and trimmed back and pruned because you’re just growing in every area. And that might feel good to your ego. It might feel like you’re popular and you’re winning. But if you’re not growing in the right direction, or in the right stem or, or stick, if you will, then does it matter? It’s probably adding to a lot of your stress chaos and overwhelmingness. So I encourage you to get in touch with your numbers. If you still want some individual help, and we have not yet met, I invite you to get on my calendar for a complimentary 20-minute call. It’s jump consulting.net/20. And you and I can have a powwow and talk about whatever it is that you would like I am here to help you. That is my sole purpose in this entire company. I just want to help you. And I want to partner with people who want to do the work and want to see results because your results are my results. You guys, this has been another episode of Bella in your business. Thank you so much for listening, and I hope you check out those other episodes too. And remember when life gets down or overwhelming, always keep jumping by now

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