Last Updated on

Share this article
Share this article
See our LinkedIn profile
Share this page
Print page
View PDF

business bookkeeping

Small Business Bookkeeping

By Jason Watson, CPA

Posted Wed, January 29, 2020

WCG has recently introduced a new bookkeeping function for business owners as your Fractional Controller. We will use Bench as our back office engine since we believe they remain an amazing and cost-effective approach to small business bookkeeping and financial reporting. However, we take over the interfacing, monitoring and financial statement delivery… a hands off option for you. Your first and only call is to us.

We have a similar relationship with ADP, and for the past 3 years it has worked very well. They do all the heavy lifting, and WCG does all the interfacing.

A one throat to choke approach. Does this sound like a solution worth considering? We believe so! Keep reading…

Bench Business Bookkeeping Pricing Model

Bench takes a unique approach to pricing its small business bookkeeping services by basing it on the amount of monthly expenditures. Huh?! Yeah… certainly interesting! Here is a quick table-

PlanMonthly SpendBench Fee
Starter0 to 1,000139
Micro1,000 to 7,500159
Boutique7,500 to 25,000179
Venture25,000 to 50,000219
Corporateover 50,000299+

The monthly spend does include payroll expense, but it does not include draws or distributions. So, a business who has revenue of $600,000 annually and who also spends $500,000 annually would fall under the Venture plan above at $219 per month.

What about WCG’s fee for its Fractional Controller interface between you, the small business owner, and Bench, the back office bookkeeping department? No one works for free, and in the spirit of WCG’s commitment to transparent fee structures, we offer the following fee arrangement which includes Bench’s fee. Another quick table-

PlanMonthly SpendVail Add-On
Telluride Add-On
Aspen Add-On
Starter0 to 1,000300280260
Micro1,000 to 7,500340310290
Boutique7,500 to 25,000470420380
Venture25,000 to 50,000650600560
Corporateover 50,000quote

How many accounts? This is straight from Bench.co “Plans include monthly bookkeeping for up to 15 financial accounts (e.g. bank accounts, credit cards, loans, merchant processors). If your business requires additional accounts or custom services, you may be custom priced.”

What about goofy stuff? Again, straight from Bench.co “You’ll require a specialized Bench team if your business needs any of the following: property tracking, third party revenue collection, or cash and revenue tracking.” As such our fee to you might change depending on your unique situation.

What about discounts? Of course! If you are using our Telluride or Aspen Business Advisory Service plans, then we offer a wonderful discount as you can see above.

Fractional Controller Role

What the heck does this mean? Yeah, another good question! WCG will interface with Bench in a Fractional Controller role with our primary duties being-
business bookkeeping

  1. Monitoring Bench’s progress on the preparing and delivery of financial statements.
  2. Assist Bench in obtaining missing information and clarification from the business owner.
  3. Examining the financial statements for obvious errors and omissions.
  4. Analyzing the data for tax savings and operational opportunities.

Not trying to sound harsh, but bookkeeping is a profession, not a hobby. Interested? Let’s chat!

Our fee is $150 for 40 minutes (such a deal for you!). If we decide to press forward with an engagement, we will credit the $150 towards future services. If you don’t need convincing and already want our services such as business tax return preparation or S Corporation subscription package, and you simply have some housekeeping questions, we answer those at no charge. Charging a consult fee to tell you how great we are is not cool.

 

Consultations are scheduled on weekdays during the work day. Yes, we can accommodate other days and after-hours, but those are reluctantly agreed to after some eye-rolling and complaining. We will answer your questions to determine three things-

 

  • Do you need our help?
  • Can WCG and its support staff help you?
  • Can we work together as a collaborative partnership?

From there we can determine the best plan which might be a simple "keep on keeping on"; otherwise we will construct a malleable plan together and provide a quote for those services.

 

Shockingly we actually return all consultation requests via email and phone call. No black holes here!

Bookkeeping, How Did We Get Here

Are you interested in how WCG arrived at this decision to add small business bookkeeping? It’s a bit boring frankly… but… let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane.

2007

Tina Watson Accounting is launched, which predates Watson CPA Group which of course predates WCG Inc. As some of you know, Jason was Tina’s administrative assistant, and was also full of crazy ideas (more like present tense). One of the ideas was bookkeeping. Tina wasn’t a big fan of business bookkeeping; it just wasn’t where her heart was. But she also didn’t mind provided Jason did all the bookkeeping work.

business bookkeeping2013

Watson CPA Group expands by acquisition, and with it came a small business bookkeeping client base. This was fine at the time and it also fit in with our in-house payroll processing. We did it all, and we did it all ourselves. However, over time we discovered that our time and talents were best leveraged providing high-quality consultation and tax planning to small business owners, over the distractions of the daily grind of payroll and business bookkeeping.

2015

A slow boil concept developed suggesting that bookkeeping functions were not profitable, caused too much trauma in the office and did not bring professional satisfaction to the firm. Therefore in the spring of 2015, WCG transitioned all of the business bookkeeping work to a fellow CPA who loved payroll and bookkeeping. The firm was running leaner from a staff perspective and all of the marketing efforts could go into growing tax and consultation engagements which WCG’s small business owners craved.

2016

2016 marked an important year as well. A client suggested to Jason that WCG (Watson CPA Group at the time) create an “all-in” package to include tax preparation, payroll, unlimited consultation and tax planning. This made a ton of sense to us and to our business owner clients.

A couple of years later, WCG also transitioned all payroll processing to ADP. Again, this allowed us to focus more on our core competencies which included the “all in” package for business owners. The great experiment was underway.

2020

This was the dawn of a new era for WCG. Several clients wanted more than just consultation and tax planning. Business owners needed CFO-esque advice and strategic conversations. Specifically they needed-

  • Financial statement analysis and comparisons
  • Cash flow management and analysis
  • Industry-focused consulting
  • National and regional economic reports
  • KPI analysis, benchmarking and trend analysis
  • Budgeting forecasting and goal-setting
  • Financial advice and strategic planning

Therefore we added these additional business advisory services. However, one thing was missing. Small business owners also wanted WCG to perform accounting and bookkeeping services akin to an outsourced Controller. Ok?! Now what…

The Light Bulb

WCG and its leadership looked around, and reflected on its alliances and partnerships. One that stood out was ADP. WCG used ADP for all payroll processing; all the heavy lifting from collecting money and dispersing it to government agencies to filing payroll filings and tax return was done by them. But! The interfacing was done by WCG. Hmmmm…

Reasonable compensation calculation? WCG did. Setting up a new employee? WCG handled. Wires get crossed at the IRS regarding payroll taxes? WCG instructed ADP to resolve and we monitored their progress.

So, we took the chore away from the small business owner and acted as their fractional Controller or virtual CFO or whatever sexy title made sense. This was working, and working well. Small business owners made widgets and WCG kept the business owner compliant by leveraging external experts such as ADP.

Ok, more of “Now what?”

Bench Business Bookkeeping

Our payroll relationship with ADP has been and continues to be wonderful. What about bookkeeping? Bench approached WCG in the summer of 2019 to see what we did and how we did it. What Bench and WCG discovered over several meetings was that our interests were very much aligned; we wanted to help small business owners focus on what they do best. Take away the chores.

Therefore, WCG is partnering with Bench to perform all the bookkeeping processing from coding bank feeds to preparing financial statements. WCG will interface with Bench in a Fractional Controller role with our primary duties being-

  • Monitoring Bench’s progress on the preparing and delivery of financial statements.
  • Assist Bench in obtaining missing information and clarification from the business owner.
  • Examining the financial statements for obvious errors and omissions.
  • Analyzing the data for tax savings and operational opportunities.

There you have it! Excellent business bookkeeping with the Fractional Controller interface. Beauty!

Jason Watson, CPA is the Managing Partner of WCG Inc., a business consultation and tax preparation CPA firm located in Colorado Springs, and is the author of Taxpayer’s Comprehensive Guide on LLC’s and S Corps which is available online and from average retailers.