April 2019 Meeting Notes (Open Discussion)

April 4th Meeting Notes Bulleted

Tax Discussion          

April 4, 2019

Vice-President Melissa Barton opened the meeting with introductions.

The meeting started with announcement that the All-Stars Accounting Professionals, website has been redone (www.asappdx.com)  and is up and running.  Members should have received an email with directions to log-in but if you didn’t go to the log-in section and request a password.

With the log-in, members can self-manage their information.  To start everyone needs to update their profiles.  If members want, they can coupons and other promotions.

Events will still be managed with evite but will be listed on the website.

Another new item is the group is going to try virtual meetings and events.  Hopefully, members who can’t make it to the in-person meetings will be able to join us virtually.

Melissa Barton, Vice-President, lead the group in a discussion regarding tax season:

·       Most agreed that tax season was busy as usual with a few clients making things harder for us

·       One suggestion was, tell the client that if they don’t get back to you on “suspense” items that all transactions will be moved to the “owners draw” equity account.

·       Most had moved to a 1099 program and had good comments.

·       State of Oregon now allowing on-line payment of new State Transit Tax, if your client doesn’t have that ability call OR revenue on line and see if they can add it.

·       A podcast by Cloud Accounting is followed up some of the members.  It can also be found on Twitter.

Discussion then moved to QuickBooks town halls and what members thought of QuickBooks offer bookkeeping live.  Seems to be similar to their TurboTax live, they can help with issues but will still need professionals.  There is a phone center open in Idaho, might be an option for people to add another revenue source and work for a phone center.

·       Nov 1st meeting will be on 2018 tax changes.  Meeting will be at Meals on Wheels located at 7710 SW 1st Ave., Portland, OR 97219.  11:30-1:00 pm and it is a bring your own lunch style meeting. 

 

·       Dec 6th is our annual holiday celebration at the Stockpot Broiler restaurant, 8200 SW Schools Ferry Rd. Beaverton, OR 97008.  We have the place and you get to order/pay for what you want.  11:30-1:00.  Take a break before the Jan. craziness begins.

March 2019 Meeting Notes

ALL STAR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS, INC.

Meeting Minutes- Bullet Points

March 7, 2019

 

·        Vice President Melissa Barton opened the March meeting.  Participants introduced themselves and gave shout outs.

·        Today’s topic: QuickBooks and e-Commerce.  Speakers: Alicia Katz Pollock of RoyalWise Solutions and Melissa Barton of SimpleBooks.  One of the hallmarks of e-commerce is the use of electronic payments via website shopping carts.  Amazon and Etsy were mentioned as two retail marketplaces.  The use of third-party merchant processing allows connection to payment processing.  Options for third party processing include Stripe/Authorize and PayPal. 

·        There are pros and cons of integrating electronic payment processing with QuickBooks.  Advantages include reporting and data hub.  Disadvantages include setup, maintenance and redundancy.

·        In discussing sales tax features, shopping carts generally work better than QuickBooks due to the setup work involved. 

·        QuickBooks and clients with inventory-  drop shipment inventory sales, like that used with Amazon, come into QuickBooks monthly.  Third party inventory solutions, such as SOS Inventory or Locate were brought up as better alternatives than QuickBooks.

·        Recording sales into QuickBooks can occur in various ways.

A.      Import actual sales.  This works well for repeat customers because customer names are in QuickBooks.

B.     Import generic sales

C.     Manage as clearing accounts:  Zapier- links any 2 apps; Webgility – maps e-commerce to QuickBooks

D.     Manually enter totals via adjusting journal entries or monthly sales receipts

·        Lightspeed is a point of sale system that connects to QuickBooks.  It is a good value and can map sales.  Ship Station allows customer tracking and creates barcodes.  A core question is what level of mapping is available.  The web designer should be interviewed as to the level of mapping that is available before they provide services. ShareARefund.com tracks shipments and automates shipping refunds if an item has not shipped timely.

·        Software solutions for sales activity include Shopify, Cloud Cart Connector and Webgility.  Zapier can create sales receipts for many e-commerce websites.  Another choice is to not use software but to import from the bank and use the banking rule to automate transaction entries.

·        Roadblocks and problems: 

1.      Returns or credits can be tracked in up to three places – in the shopping cart, at the merchant processor level or in QuickBooks. 

2.      Reconciliations – clearing accounts may not have statements – Shopify doesn’t have a statement.  Also inventory likely needs adjusting with returns.

·        Many business owners like using Stripe but it is harder on bookkeepers. 

·        The next meeting will be April 4, 2019.  The meeting topic will be “Tax Season – What worked and what didn’t work”.

 

 

 

 

 

November 2018 Meeting Notes - Diana Chung, Tax Changes for 2018

Meeting Minutes- Bullet Points

November 1, 2018

 

·        Vice President Melissa Barton introduced herself and opened the November 1 meeting.  She asked each attendee to introduce themselves. 

·        Announcements:   Angela Clark has been asked to join the board as an event coordinator.  We recently heard of a CRM that will integrate with our All-Star Accounting Professional’s website, making it easier to bill annual membership dues and maintain the membership directory.   

·        Today’s speaker was Diana Chung of Schwindt & Company CPAs and the topic was the recent federal tax law changes.  On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H. R. 1, originally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Most of the changes are effective from 2018 through 2025.  Please note some changes are temporary and revert to the old laws after 2025 and some are permanent.  A handout summarizing many tax law changes is available.

·        The first part of the discussion focused on business tax law changes and specifically the deductibility of meals and entertainment.   The IRS published Notice 2018-76 to state that meals that are ordinary, necessary, not lavish or extravagant and in which the taxpayer is present with the client, consultant or business contact continue to be deductible at 50% as long as the meal and drinks are purchased separately from entertainment or shown as a separate cost on the invoice.  Entertainment costs for business clients or prospects are no longer deductible.  Entertainment, food and beverages provided for employee benefit (holiday party, summer picnic, etc.) continue to be deductible at 100%.

·        The new Qualified Business Deduction - This deduction allows up to 20% of business income to be exempt from taxation and is subject to limitations based upon wages or wages and depreciable or amortizable property when individual taxable income for a single or head of household exceeds $157,500 or a married couple has taxable income which exceeds $315,000.  Certain “specified businesses” may not receive any benefit from this new deduction once their taxable income exceeds the limits discussed above.  Specified businesses generally include those involving personal services such as fields of law, healthcare, accounting, consulting, performance art, athletics, financial services, etc.

·        Other business changes impacted by the new tax law include higher Section 179, bonus depreciation and vehicle depreciation limits, a new tax credit for employer family and medical leave, a flat 21% federal tax rate for C Corporations, repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax, disallowance of tax-deferred exchanges (Section 1031 exchanges) for personal property, including company vehicles, reduction of many employer provided transportation fringe benefits and new limitations on use of net operating losses. 

·        Individual tax law changes:  Lower individual tax rates, the almost doubling of standard deductions and the loss of personal and dependent exemptions means every individual filing a tax return in 2018 will be impacted in some way.  Real property and state and local income and sales tax deductions for those who itemize deductions will be limited to $10,000 annually.  Home mortgage interest is only allowed on mortgage debt up to $750,000 after 2017 instead of one million.   Interest deduction on home equity lines of credit are generally disallowed.  Child tax credits increase from $1,000 to $2,000 in 2018, moving expenses are no longer tax-free if paid by employers or deductible by employees. 

·        We will enjoy a holiday luncheon at The Stockpot Boiler restaurant on December 6, 2018 from 11:30 – 1:00 PM located at 8200 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton, OR 97008.  This luncheon will be in lieu of our regular December meeting at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland OR 97219.   

·        As our group takes a break from meeting during the month of January, our next scheduled meeting will be Thursday, February 7, 2019 at the Meals on Wheels location. 

·        If you have any ideas for future social events, please contact Kim.  Please share this group and our website with others you know and on social media.  The more people we have in our group, the greater the collaboration!

 

September 2018 Meeting Notes - Cyber Security-

September 6th Meeting Notes Bulleted

By Melissa Barton

 

Cyber Security           

September 6, 2018

President Kim Boaz opened the meeting with introductions.  She asked what the participants want to get from the group.  The primary responses were:  support, networking opportunities, education, referrals and to learn a variety of ways to do things. 

 

The topic was led by Kristy Cook, JD MPA.

Ms. Cook gave an overview of Cyber Security and ways we can all work on making our businesses more secure.

In this day and age of electronics, there is a good probability that our systems will be breeched sometime and we need to follow the best practices based on our needs and means to the best of our ability.

There are many steps that should be taken to help assure our systems are protected.

·       Take inventory of all assets that are storing information; both hardware and software.  Know where all the data is being stored, don’t forget paper storage.

·       Follow the 3-2-1 back-up system; have 3 backup copies off all sensitive data on 2 different types of media and at least 1 needs to be off-line and at a separate location.

·       Only collect information necessary to do your job, keep it safe and secure and only hold on to it as long as needed.

·       Limit access to all sensitive information.  Restrict who has access, dispose of data security (wipe hard drive and destroy it)

·       If you have an external hard drive make sure no one can easily take the hard drive.

·       Limit remote access to your system, only use for business with secure devices and limit what others can do and how long they can be in your system

·       Authenticate Users:  require strong, complex passwords, Store passwords security, don’t write them down or put into a spreadsheet or notes on your computer.  Guard against brute force attach by limiting how many times someone can try to access your computer before they are locked out

·       Encrypt Data – Keep data secure through its lifecycle.  Encrypt emails, Wi-Fi, remote access, make sure stored safely.

·       Segmenting – Only connect computers and enable file sharing when necessary

·       When working with vendors require them to have security systems in place.  For larger companies, include the right to audit their security protocols, have them list you as an additional insured on their cyber insurance, know where their cloud storage system is located.

·       Use industry standard methods for security

·       Monitor and Defend – Filter emails for spam and malware, use software programs to help detect issues and back up data

·       Train all employees on security protocols

·       Consider having cyber insurance

·       Have a disaster recovery plan

·       Include in engagement letter that their security is important and remind them not to send data via email or other un-encrypted method   If they do, delete the email as soon as you can.  Dropbox is a secure method of delivering data.

It was a good topic, reminding all of us need to be aware of the hazards out there and taking steps to protect ourselves, our business and our client’s data from cyber issues. 

·       Oct 4th meeting will be an open discussion on workflow. Come with questions/issues and ways of how you manage your business.  Meeting will be at Meals on Wheels located at 7710 SW 1st Ave., Portland, OR 97219.  11:30-1:00 pm and it is a bring your own lunch style meeting. 

·       Meet our Members Event scheduled for Oct. 25th 4:30-6:30 at Meals on Wheels.  This event is to invite CPAs, bookkeepers and accountants to learn about us. 

August 2018 Meeting Notes- Lani Grass, Backstage LLC

Meeting Minutes- Bullet Points

August 2, 2018

 

·        President Kim Boaz opened the August meeting.  Attendees introduced themselves and provided shout outs for members who helped them in some way during the last month. 

·        Today’s speaker, Lani Grass, an entrepreneur for over 20 years, founded a branding and coaching business called Backstage, LLC.  The main topic of discussion was using our personal brand blue print to promote ourselves.  Branding today is different mainly due to social media.  We need to focus on building core values and attracting clients based upon those values.  She discussed client attraction and what personal branding means to each of us.  Personal brand is what others say about you when you aren’t in the room.  We need to be as consistent in our online profiles as we are in person. 

·        Next, brand promise was discussed.  A brand promise is what the client will receive.  A good brand offers value.  Be intentional about the qualities you want to have or become.  Ideally, others should know how we are unique from the competition and why we should be hired for the job.   Take time to consider what you are personally passionate about and how you can be intentional and consistent with the qualities you wish to be part of your personal branding.

·        We were challenged to answer the question “If I could create change in my community and there weren’t any barriers, what would I do”?  The take away was to find what you love and build on it.

·        In addition to the services each one of us offers to the public, it is important to consider the emotional benefits we offer, such as removing stress and allowing businesses to focus on what they do best.  How do clients feel once we have helped them?  Consider focusing on our benefits on our websites.

·        The time and location of the next meeting is Thursday September 6, 2018 from 11:30 – 1:00 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland OR 97219.   The topic is cyber security.  Our next social event is scheduled for Monday September 24 with the Woodard Group.   If you have any ideas for future social events, please contact Kim.     Please share this group and our website with others you know and on social media.  The more people we have in our group, the greater the collaboration. 

The All-Star Accounting Professionals website is not currently working.  We are looking to move to a new platform.  If anyone knows of someone willing to help us, please let Kim Boaz know.  A PSU student intern was mentioned as an option.  The next Woodard Group meeting is August 13 at the Chapel Pub.

 

March 1, 2018 Meeting - Xero Demonstration

Xero Software March 1, 2018

President Kim Boaz opened the March 1st meeting with introductions.

The meeting was a demonstration of the Xero software program by Sarah Courtney and Tina Miller from Xero.

Xero was started 15 years ago in New Zealand and introduced to the United States in 2012.  The program was developed to have access to accurate, up to date financial information.  It is a cloud-based program that uses bank and other financial institutions continual online downloads.  It was developed for small businesses. Each account can have unlimited users and updates to the program are done every 3-6 weeks.   There are currently over 600 add-on partners, including T-sheets, hubdoc, shopfy and square allowing users to customize the software to fit their company’s needs.

Xero has several pricing points depending on the business needs.

Sarah and Tina then gave a demo of the program.  When you become an advisor, you get a free subscription to the program for your business.  Xero has online training videos along with Xero U, Xero TV and a certification program all free for advisors.   Their Facebook page is Xero NH America.

It was a good presentation.  Xero is worth checking out.

April 5th meeting will be an open discussion, bring your questions, issues and recommendations of things that work.    Meeting will be at Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 1st Ave., Portland, OR 97219.  11:30-1:00 pm and it is a bring your own lunch style meeting.

 

April 5, 2018 Meeting, Letters of Engagement

April 5th Meeting Notes Bulleted Letters of Engagement

April 5, 2018

President Kim Boaz opened the meeting with introductions and shout-outs.  There were new people joining us.  Most people had nice things to say about how others in the group had helped them with an issue during the month but also praising the FaceBook page.  Good to hear how technology is benefiting people

Kim shared that Leslie Gifford, CPA is currently experiencing a health-related issue.  Besides having to deal with the issue it occurred during tax season adding extra stress.  Steve Stegemen of Davis Graves CPA stepped up, is helping Leslie’s clients, at the previous agreed upon price and not taking any of the clients.  They will remain Leslie’s clients.  An example of how the group works to support and help one another.  In that spirit, it was agreed that a donation bowl (or object) will be available at every meeting, all donations will go to either giving flowers or something for a member when they go through a hard time.   Jeff Baker, ASAP Treasurer, will look into how donations maybe made on-line as many members stated they often do not carry cash.

Letters of Engagement workshop: Three participants shared their current Letters of Engagement.  Discussion followed regarding these and some members shared that they don’t use an agreement.  Some of the items that seemed to matter to most members are:

  • Spelling out when payment is expected. One member shared that her invoices go out the 1st of the month and she auto deducts from her client’s accounts on the 5th – the agreement letter states this.
  • Have a line in the agreement stating the rate can adjust or give a new agreement every year with updated rates.
  • Some have more of a Project based agreement which states what they will and won’t do for the client.

Discuss then turned to the approach people take before accepting a new client

  • Most offered an hour or more free consultation where they speak with the new client and review bank and financial statements
  • Some charge if they look at any of the data

Another good meeting with active, informative discussion

  • May 3rd meeting will be a presentation on QBA Management tools. Presented by Alicia Pollock  There will be time for questions.   Meeting will be at Meals on Wheels locationed at 7710 SW 1st, Portland, OR 97219.  11:30-1:00 pm and it is a bring your own lunch style meeting.

February 1st 2018 Meeting Notes

February 1st Meeting Notes Bulleted By Linda Lagraff

Technology: What's Working and What's Not.

February 1, 2018

Vice President Melissa Barton opened the February 1st meeting with a discussion of what is working and what isn’t with technology.  She told about a small manufacturing company that was trying to do too much in QB, when what they needed was to only track finance in QB and move everything else out.  She got them using ShipStation.

  • Discussion followed regarding other programs
  • LightSpeed was recommended for restaurants and small to medium size retail businesses. It integrates with QBs
  • Adobe, at the paid dues level, allows you to transfer pdf files to either excel or word programs.
  • The pdf2qbo program makes transferring bank statements to QuickBooks easier
  • com was highly recommended. It has authorizations features and allows clients to set up systems to assure those that need to see and approve bills prior to payment can.

Discussion then turned to 1099s and what worked or changes to consider for 2018

  • Have all vendors fill out a new W9 in Jan every year. This way all information is current and not waiting until a vendor reaches the $600 limit before remembering to collect a W-9
  • Clients should set up a policy that vendors will not be paid until the W-9 is received

As tax season is upon us questions were presented to the CPAs in attendance for their advice

  • Most liked to receive back-up or portable QB files.
  • Most liked that their clients used account numbers
  • Most also agreed that they like to be able to discuss things with a client’s bookkeeper. If your clients allow it, introduce yourself to their CPAs

March 1st meeting will be a demonstration of XERO software.  Presented by staff from XERO.  There will be time for questions.   Meeting will be at Meals on Wheels locatons at 7710 SW 1st Ave., Portland, OR 97219.  11:30-1:00 pm and it is a bring your own lunch style meeting.

November 2nd 2017 Meeting Notes Bulleted

ALL STAR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS, INC. Yearly Planning Meeting

November 2, 2017

  • Vice President Melissa Barton opened the November 2nd Our November meeting is typically designed as a planning meeting to set the course for the new year.
  • Renee Trump mentioned we have an increase in new members. We have started to use Meet Up as a means of communicating between members.  If you have not yet joined our Meet Up group, please do so.  If Meet Up works well, we will likely move away from Evites for meeting notifications.
  • Currently in our monthly meetings, we allow one meeting as a guest at no charge. Those wishing to attend a second time need to become a member to continue to attend.  Fees are currently $60 a year.
  • If you wish to join our Facebook ASAPPDX please ask for an invite. As a member of All Star Accounting Professionals, feel free to use our ASAP logo.
  • Melissa asked members whether we should have more networking after the speaker concludes their presentation. We decided the presenter could present for 45 minutes, allowing 15 minutes at the end to discuss questions further.  Some members received a lot from our meetings that were freer flowing discussions without a special topic selected ahead of time.  About 2/3rds of our group was interested in external social events.
  • It was mentioned that there is a software program called pdf2qbo which is helpful to import data into QuickBooks Online. Hiram mentioned that he liked the project management tool called “work” in QBO.
  • In lieu of a December meeting, we will enjoy a holiday luncheon at the Stockpot Broiler restaurant located at 8200 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton OR 97008 starting at 11:30 AM. Our group has a private room reserved.   Please come join us for a festive and fun lunch
  • Please remember that All Star Accounting Professionals, Inc. does not meet in January due to the heavy workload on members that month.
  • We will resume our monthly meetings beginning February 1, 2018 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland OR 97219. Meetings will continue the first Thursday of each month.

 

October 5th Meeting Minutes - Social Media Marketing

All Star Accounting Professionals Meeting Minutes Bullet Points

October 5, 2017

  • President Kim Boaz opened the meeting by having introductions of members and guests. Kim mentioned that October 26 is our “Meet Our Members” Event.
  • Speaker Coordinator Summer Hiett introduced today’s speaker, Karla DeSantis. Karla works at Impact CFO Services.  Her topic was Social Media.
  • Facebook is the most popular of all US social media sites. One of every six minutes is spent on a social networking site.  66% of online adults and 44% of small business decision makers use social media.  Business to business companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month than non-blogging companies.

Karla next turned her attention to the seven ways to dominate Social Media.

  1. Posting frequently equals results. Inactivity is dangerous. Tools for posting include Buffer, Oomph and Facebook ads.
  2. The three most common platforms are Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. Facebook allows you to show your personality.  Linked In tends to be mostly for professional use and extensive industry networking.  Twitter is for short posts.
  3. Deadline reminders – photos are more engaging than plain text. Online tools include Pablo, Canva and Pix.
  4. Ask questions to engage your readers. The readers start to answer the questions in their mind.
  5. Vary your content. The content should not read like a billboard ad.  Videos are good.
  6. Make it personal. Consumers love to feel they have personal connections.  Show your humanity and come out ahead of your competitors.  Feature an employee and post a photo.  Include social events.
  7. Inspire your audience. Search for inspirational quotes that inform and inspire followers.  Testimonials are very helpful but make sure to ask for permission from the client.

Our group was given five questions to consider.

  1. Can you answer this? “Only we …..”.
  2. Can our culture nurture and sustain a social media transformation? Budget, content and vision will not determine your success if we don’t nurture this change.
  3. Where are our customers and competitors?
  4. What is our source of rich content? Blog, video, podcast? Make it in depth, searchable and quotable.
  5. What does success look like? Set expectations and metrics ahead of time.  Are those expectations realistic, achievable and focused?

Kim Boaz asked if people are using Alignable.  It is similar to Yelp.  You get noticed if you post an event or ask a question.

One way to acquire new clients is to join groups such as Linked In and answer questions.  You can be seen as an expert.

  • C. is a member of the Woodard Group which meets at the McMenamin’s Chapel Pub at 430 NE Killingsworth from 11 AM – 1 PM. They discuss business and exchange leads.  Presentations can include software that integrates with Intuit QuickBooks.  Meetings are free but there is a fee to join the National group.
  • Our next All Star Accounting Group meeting will be Thursday November 2 from 11:30 – 1 PM at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland OR 97219. The topic for the meeting is planning for Year 2018.  December is our holiday luncheon located at The Stockpot Restaurant at 8200 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton 97008.  Remember, the group does not meet in January but resumes meetings the first Thursday in February.

 

 

September 7th Meeting Notes - Data: Bring it in or leave it out?

Meeting Minutes Bullet Points September 7, 2017

  • The September 7 meeting was held at the Meals on Wheels location in SW Portland.
  • The speaker for the September 7 meeting was Melissa Barton. Melissa’s topic for the meeting was “Data – Bring it in or leave it Out?”  The high points of her presentation are stated below.
  1. What Kind of Data Could You Bring In?
    1. Databases, sales contracts, timesheets, fixed assets.
    2. Software to assist in bringing in data: Clio, Square, Lightspeed, Esty, Bill4Time, Gusto, MJ Freeway,  Biotrack, SalesForce.
  2. Why Should I Bring Data In?
    1. Balance Sheet may be incorrect without bringing in data
    2. Clients may be using outside systems that aren’t reconciled to your books.
  3. Why Shouldn’t I Bring Data In?
    1. Burden of bringing data in
    2. Too much data to bring in
    3. Not enough data to bring in
    4. Possibly inaccurate data
  4. How Should I Bring Data In?
    1. Sync
    2. Manual upload
    3. Run report and enter manually
    4. Enter adjusting journal entries
  5. How to Bring Information In?
    1. Mapping for integration
    2. Create a manual for yourself and client
  6. Make sure your system is maintainable
    1. Melissa uses Zoom meetings with clients. It is free if you stay under 50 minutes per meeting and is $15/month thereafter
  • Alicia mentioned that on October 5 she is doing a QBO tips and tricks presentation.
  • Our All Star Accounting Professional group will host a “Meet Our Members” event on October 26, 2017. The purpose is to invite other accounting professionals to grow our group and expand the expertise and collaboration of our members.  Kim will be emailing out an evite and RSVP for this event which will be held at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.
  • During the month of December, we get together for lunch and socialization in lieu of our regular meeting. We will post the date and location for our luncheon soon.  As a reminder, our group does not meet in January due to the heavy workload that month.
  • We will be launching an opportunity for members to give a two-minute commercial about their business and services in exchange for providing a $10 or $15 gift card during our monthly meetings.
  • If you are interested in joining our non-profit group, the first meeting is complimentary. Please complete an online application and pay the annual dues before the second meeting.  The application may be found at asappdx.com.
  • Next meeting is Thursday, October 5 at the Meals and Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.

August 3, 2017 Meeting Minutes - Getting to Know You

ALL STAR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS, INC. Meeting Minutes Bullet Points August 3, 2017

  • The August 3 meeting was held at the Meals on Wheels location in SW Portland. The purpose of today’s meeting was to get to know each other’s specialties.
  • We broke into smaller groups and discussed questions listed on the overhead projector to get to know each other better. We discussed the kind of clients we worked with, software, apps, any specialties and our experiences. At the end of our small group session, we came together again as a large group and explained what we learned about the other members in our small group.
  • This exercise was helpful to get to know our fellow members’ services and specialties better.
  • Please see the complete meeting minutes for August 3, 2017 if you are interested in a short comment about those who took part in the small group exercise.
  • There is an upcoming All‐Star Accounting Professionals social on September 21 at Grand Central Bowl at 6 PM. This is an event for the entire family. Please come and join us! Address is 808 SE Morrison Street, Portland 97214.
  • If you are interested in joining our group, please go to our website at asappdx.com.
  • The next All‐Star Accounting Professional meeting will be held on September 7, 2017 at the
  • Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.

July 6th 2017 Meeting Minutes - The Cloud Ecosystem

ALL STAR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS, INC. Meeting Minutes

July 6, 2017

The June 6 meeting was held at the Meals on Wheels building located at 7710 SW 31st Avenue in Portland.  President Kim Boaz opened the meeting by having guests introduce themselves.  Regular members then introduced themselves, giving shout outs to fellow members and mentioning any needs.

Renee Trump, membership & promotions coordinator of All Star Accounting Professionals, Inc. was the speaker for today’s meeting on the topic of The Cloud Accounting Ecosystem.  Renee is an owner with the firm of Pasaban Accounting Solutions and has a number of years of experience with accounting including experience at a law firm and in the hospitality industry.  Renee stated that collaboration allows us to do more than we can do ourselves.  Per research, 65% of users use the cloud for bookkeeping; 43% use smartphones to help run their business and 65% use the cloud for invoicing and payments.  The benefits include real time information for decision making and the ability to provide advisory services for clients.  Renee next discussed Defining the Workflow Adoption Curve which can be found at https://content.hubdoc.com/hubdoc-blog/defining-the-workflow-adoption-curve.  This site shows the six stages of the workflow adoption curve, including awareness, research, trial period, initial adoption, client migration and workflow mastery.  In the “Get Visual” portion of her presentation, Renee explained the main software her firm, Pasaban Accounting Solutions, uses to capture and report information.  Pasaban uses Bill.com which allows invoices to be entered quickly and easily, permits approval of the bill and scheduling of the payment, including the method of payment.  Hubdoc automatically pulls bills and statements into one secure hub so you don’t need to log onto multiple sites each month to gather recurring bills.  QuickBooks Online is used as the main accounting software and Futrli allows clients to visualize their financials with graphs and easy to use reports that are more business owner friendly. The final portion of the presentation discussed documenting and refining your processes.  Melissa Barton stated that there is an app called Transaction Pro Deleter which costs about $200 and can quickly and easily remove unwanted transactions from QBO and QuickBooks desktop. Kim was interested in an online ability to store and securely share files for multiple clients in one location.  Box.com was offered as a solution.

To wrap up the topic, we broke down into smaller groups to discuss one of more related questions that Renee included on the overhead screen.

Kim closed the meeting by mentioning our website which can be found either at ASAPPDX.com or AllStarAccountingProfessionals.com.  Meeting notes can be found on the blog tab of the website.  Meetings are the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 – 1:00.  The location is currently at 7710 SW 31st Avenue in Portland but we are looking for an Eastside location as well.  If anyone is aware of a potential Eastside location to hold meetings, please email Kim Boaz at Kim@backtobasicsbookkeeping.com.  We currently pay $50 for a 2- hour timeslot at the Meals on Wheels location.  We also host quarterly social events with the most recent events including seeing the movie The Accountant and an after-hours social at The Punch Bowl Social in downtown Portland.  September 21 is our next quarterly event date so please hold that date open.  Terrie Marsh is working on this event.  We are interested in growing our membership so please remember to promote ASAP on social media.  We are also starting to offer short promotions to those who bring in a gift card or similar item of value for a business card drawing.

The next All-Star Accounting Professional meeting will be held on August 3 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.  We hope to see you there!

 

July 6th 2017 Meeting Minutes Bullet Points

ALL STAR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS, INC. Meeting Minutes Bullet Points

July 6, 2017

 

  • The June 6 meeting was held at the Meals on Wheels building located at 7710 SW 31st Avenue in Portland.
  • Renee Trump was the speaker for today’s meeting on the topic of The Cloud Accounting Ecosystem. Renee is an owner with the firm of Pasaban Accounting Solutions.
  • Collaboration allows us to do more than we can do ourselves. Per research, 65% of users use the cloud for bookkeeping, invoicing and payments; 43% use smartphones to help run their business.  The benefits include real time information for decision making and the ability to provide advisory services for clients.
  • Renee discussed Defining the Workflow Adoption Curve which can be found at https://content.hubdoc.com/hubdoc-blog/defining-the-workflow-adoption-curve. This site shows the six stages of the workflow adoption curve, including awareness, research, trial period, initial adoption, client migration and workflow mastery.
  • In the “Get Visual” portion of her presentation, Renee explained the main software her firm, Pasaban Accounting Solutions, uses to capture and report information. Pasaban uses Bill.com, Hubdoc, QuickBooks Online and Futrli.
  • The final portion of the presentation discussed documenting and refining your processes. To wrap up the topic, we broke down into smaller groups to discuss one of more related questions that Renee included on the overhead screen.
  • Kim closed the meeting by mentioning our website which can be found either at ASAPPDX.com or AllStarAccountingProfessionals.com. Meeting notes can be found on the blog tab of the website.
  • Meetings are the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 – 1:00.
  • We are looking for an Eastside location to meet. If anyone is aware of a potential Eastside location to hold meetings, please email Kim Boaz at Kim@backtobasicsbookkeeping.com.
  • Recent quarterly social events include seeing the movie The Accountant and an after-hours social at The Punch Bowl Social in downtown Portland. September 21 is our next quarterly event date so please hold that date open.
  • We are interested in growing our membership so please remember to promote ASAP on social media. We are also starting to offer short promotions to those who bring in a gift card or similar item of value for a business card drawing.
  • The next All-Star Accounting Professional meeting will be held on August 3 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219. We hope to see you there!

June 1 2017 Meeting Minutes - Bulleted Points

 

  • Summer Hiett, the owner of All Seasons Bookkeeping, was today’s speaker, discussing various apps of interest to bookkeepers and accountants. Summer received her Bachelors of Science in 2013 from PSU’s School of Business and started her full charge bookkeeping business in March of 2016.  Her office is located at the border of Beaverton and Hillsboro.
  • Mileage apps discussed included Mile IQ, Triplog and Everlance. Mile IQ can track each trip and category and runs $5.99 per month.  Triplog is less expensive at $1.50 per month.  The first 40 trips of Triplog are free.  Everlance drains the cell phone battery quickly.
  • Time tracking apps. Tsheets is free for one person though you need to look hard in the settings for this free feature.  There is a base charge of $15 and an additional charge of $5 per employee.   Tsheets works well with QuickBooks Online.  Shift to Work, another time tracking app, has amazing customer service, runs $1 per employee and offers integration with Heartland payroll.  Renee mentioned another app, which has “Shark” in the name and was user friendly.
  • Expense apps. An app called “Expense” utilized taking pictures and integrated with QuickBooks Online.  It ran $10 per month.  Expensify works for expenses outside the normal accounting process, such as when employees use their own credit cards.  Hubdoc software allows you to take a picture of the receipt, upload and works with QuickBooks Online.  The user can identify separate locations if needed.
  • Finance apps. FreshBooks runs $15, $25 or $50 a month but does not feature use of balance sheets.  ProAdvisor can use the app for free.  QuickBooks Self-Employed is $10 per month but is not able to be converted to QuickBooks Online.  QBox is cloud based and works on desktops.  You can lock files and share with clients.
  • There is an upcoming All-Star Accounting Professionals social on June 8 from 5 - 8 PM at the Punch Bowl Social located at 340 SW Morrison Street in Portland.
  • The next All-Star Accounting Professional meeting will be held on July 6, 2017 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.

 

June 1 2017 Meeting Minutes - Apps of Interest

  The June 1 meeting was held at the Meals on Wheels location in SW Portland.  Diana Chung facilitated the meeting.  Guests introduced themselves and then regular members.  Summer Hiett, the owner of All Seasons Bookkeeping, was today’s speaker, discussing various apps of interest to bookkeepers and accountants.  Summer received her Bachelors of Science in 2013 from Portland State University School of Business and started her business in March of 2016.  She was a corporate accountant for nearly 6 years and has experience with full cycle bookkeeping in many different industries. Her office is located at the border of Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Summer first discussed various mileage apps, including Mile IQ, Triplog and Everlance.  Mile IQ can track each trip and category and runs $5.99 per month.  Triplog is less expensive at $1.50 per month and has been used by Summer and Renee.  Both liked this app.  The first 40 trips of Triplog are free.  Everlance drains the cell phone battery quickly.

Next, we moved to time tracking apps.  Tsheets is free for one person though you need to look hard in the settings for this free feature.  There is a base charge of $15 and an additional charge of $5 per employee.  Summer noted that it could end up costing more with this app than using a payroll company in some circumstances.  Tsheets works well with QuickBooks Online.  Shift to Work, another time tracking app, has amazing customer service and runs $1 per employee.  It offers integration with Heartland payroll.  Renee mentioned another app, which has “Shark” in the name and was user friendly.

The discussion then moved to expense apps.  An app called “Expense” utilized taking pictures and integrated with QuickBooks Online.  It ran $10 per month.  Expensify works for expenses outside the normal accounting process, such as when employees use their own credit cards.  Hubdoc software allows you to take a picture of the receipt, upload and works with QuickBooks Online.  The user can identify separate locations if needed.  You can get into Hubdoc to reclassify expenses as well.

The last type of app mentioned were finance apps.  FreshBooks runs $15, $25 or $50 a month but does not feature use of balance sheets.  ProAdvisor can use the app for free.  QuickBooks Self-Employed is $10 per month but is not able to be converted to QuickBooks Online.  QBox is cloud based and works on desktops.  You can lock files and share with clients.

There is an upcoming All-Star Accounting Professionals social on June 8 from 5 - 8 PM at the Punch Bowl Social located at 340 SW Morrison Street in Portland.

The next All-Star Accounting Professional meeting will be held on July 6, 2017 at the Meals on Wheels location at 7710 SW 31st Avenue, Portland 97219.

 

May 4th Meeting Minutes - Marketing Tips & Tricks

President Kim Boaz opened the May 4th meeting by having the board introduce themselves.  Each member present then introduced themselves and provided shout outs to group members who were helpful during the last month. Today’s speaker was Josh Willner with GNSA speaking on the topic of marketing tips and tricks.  Josh covered the importance of having a web presence, which includes a website, social media, blogs, marketing and networking.  He also discussed a social network for local business networking called Alignable.  It is a truism that first impressions count and we should start with a strong web presence.  Our websites must include the products and services we offer.  Having video content on the website is a great medium and easy to send out to prospective clients and other contacts.  Consider adding a picture or business card on your site and including referral sources.  For out-of-state clients, reaching out through linked-in or by telephone call be a great first step prior to meeting face-to-face. If you have a booth at a conference, including pictures of your activities provides helpful content on your website and shows your involvement.

Next, we discussed various marketing automation platforms.  Kim Boaz mentioned that her clients often use MailChimp instead of Constant Contact.  Josh explained that GNSA distinguishes mailings to business partners versus prospective clients.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can be used by anyone reaching out to prospective clients.

Josh’s plans for the future entail development of a case study to target an industry.  Satisfied current customers can be a helpful resource for future customers.  You may wish to collect testimonials from your best clients and use to attract future prospects.  He recommended keeping the testimonials to 2 to 3 sentences and requesting referrals from happy current clients.

Josh had our members break into small groups and discuss the following questions.

  1. What has been your biggest marketing success?
  2. What has been your biggest marketing flop?
  3. How much time do you spent on marketing per week?
  4. Have you worked with companies that help create marketing campaigns?

Josh stated that he would make his presentation available to those interested.

It was mentioned that we need a speaker for the month of October.  Karla DeSantis volunteered to be the speaker that month.

Terry Marsh has organized the next All-Star Accounting Professionals social event to be held on June 8 (Thursday) at the Punch Bowl Social from 5 to 8 PM.  The location is 340 SW Morrison Street in Portland 97204.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

May 4th Meeting Minutes - Bulleted Points

 

  • President Kim Boaz opened the May 4th meeting by having the board and those present introduce themselves, providing shout-outs to members who were helpful.
  • Today’s speaker was Josh Willner with GNSA speaking on the topic of marketing tips and tricks.
  • Josh covered the importance of having a web presence, which includes a website, social media, blogs, marketing and networking.
  • Josh also discussed a social network for local business networking called Alignable.
  • It is a truism that first impressions count and we should start with a strong web presence.  Our websites must include the products and services we offer.
  • Having video content on the website is a great medium and easy to send out to prospective clients and other contacts.  Consider adding a picture or business card on your site and including referral sources.
  • Next, we discussed various marketing automation platforms, including MailChimp and Constant Contact.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can be used by anyone reaching out to prospective clients.
  • Josh’s plans for the future entail development of a case study to target an industry. You may wish to collect testimonials from your best clients and use to attract future prospects.
  • Members broke into small groups and discussed the following questions.
  1. What has been your biggest marketing success?
  2. What has been your biggest marketing flop?
  3. How much time do you spent on marketing per week?
  4. Have you worked with companies that help create marketing campaigns?

 

  • Josh stated that he would make his presentation available to those interested.
  • It was mentioned that we need a speaker for the month of October. Karla DeSantis volunteered to be the speaker that month.
  • Terry Marsh has organized the next All-Star Accounting Professionals social event to be held on June 8 (Thursday) at the Punch Bowl Social from 5 to 8 PM. The location is 340 SW Morrison Street in Portland 97204.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

March 2nd Meeting Minutes, Chuck Palmer, Heartland

Melissa Barton, our vice president, started the meeting.  She had those present introduce themselves.  Today’s guest speaker was Chuck Palmer with Heartland who discussed the timely topic of professional liability.  Chuck owned a business performing outsourced CFO services.  Chuck provided a real-life example from his personal experience of a roofing company that needed bookkeeping services.  The relationship with the roofing company was positive until a general manager was later hired.  As the relationship was ending, a final bill for $6,700 was submitted by Chuck’s company but the bill went unpaid.  The roofing company filed a lawsuit against Chuck’s company alleging 26 points in a letter.  Of the 26 points, 25 were incorrect and the one correct point was already addressed.  The case went to court.  In the end, the lawsuit was dropped and the bill was written off.  In many cases, litigation has more to do with emotions than facts. Two questions were raised.  First, how do we prevent litigation from occurring?  Secondly, how do we resolve litigation?  One critical step in preventing litigation is screening clients during the client acquisition phase.  Questions you may wish to ask a potential client include:

  1. Why are you looking for a new accountant?
  2. Ask for a copy of the QuickBooks file to review the file for problems.
  3. Use a professional services engagement letter and be as specific as possible
  4. Be clear that business management is not included
  5. Recommend an automated payment policy for payment of fees
  6. Have a solid insurance company. Understand what is covered and what is not.  Sit down with your agent to review your insurance coverage.

Communication and documentation are key.  Email your understanding to your client.  You may also wish to run a bank reference check before acquiring the client.  Document retention is very important.

Linda Lagraff asked how to deal with liability in an engagement letter for clients that provide bank account and credit card access to bookkeepers and accountants.  One suggestion was to recommend password security in an engagement letter.  Another comment recommended use of read only access for bank and payroll for bookkeepers and accountants.

We are looking for speakers for upcoming meetings.  Kim will be the speaker for April and the topic is “What is your Super Power/Niche?”  If you don’t know, we’ll help you discover it.

Our group will continue to meet at the Meals on Wheels site until we have space on the eastside of Portland for 25 to 30 people.

Bullet Points:

  • Melissa Barton, our vice president, started the meeting. She had those present introduce themselves.
  • Today’s guest speaker was Chuck Palmer with Heartland who discussed the timely topic of professional liability. Chuck owned a business performing outsourced CFO services.  Chuck provided a real-life example from his personal experience of a roofing company that needed bookkeeping services.
  • The roofing company filed a lawsuit against Chuck’s company alleging 26 points in a letter. The case went to court.  In the end, the lawsuit was dropped and the bill was written off.  In many cases, litigation has more to do with emotions than facts.
  • Two questions were raised. First, how do we prevent litigation from occurring?  Secondly, how do we resolve litigation?
  • One critical step in preventing litigation is screening clients during the client acquisition phase.  Questions you may wish to ask a potential client include:
  1. Why are you looking for a new accountant?
  2. Ask for a copy of the QuickBooks file to review the file for problems.
  3. Use a professional services engagement letter and be as specific as possible
  4. Be clear that business management is not included
  5. Recommend an automated payment policy for payment of fees
  6. Have a solid insurance company. Understand what is covered and what is not.  Sit down with your agent to review your insurance coverage.
  • Communication and documentation are key.
  • Linda Lagraff asked how to deal with liability in an engagement letter for clients that provide bank account and credit card access to bookkeepers and accountants. Suggestions included recommending password security in an engagement letter and use of read only access for bank and payroll.
  • We are looking for speakers for upcoming meetings. Kim will be the speaker for April and the topic is “What is your Super Power/Niche?”
  • Our group will continue to meet at the Meals on Wheels site until we have space on the eastside of Portland for 25 to 30 people.