Who is the bookkeeper?

by Vickey
(Los Angeles, CA)

I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

One of my current clients has hired me to "fix" her books; make sure everything is coded properly, update her archaic manual entry methods to online downloading, do her tax prep, etc.

The issue is that she also has her sister, who "does QuickBooks", come in a couple of times a month to do manual reconciliations, among other things. I have been getting these imperious, accusatory messages from her sister detailing how I've mis-categorized transactions, and can I explain how certain amounts have appeared, etc.

I know I need to keep my ego out of the way here...how do I handle this?

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Hey Vickey,

Some questions come to mind:

Do you have an engagement letter laying out your responsibilities and your client's responsibilities? Are you just doing the setup ... or will you be reviewing the books every month/quarter/year?

What are the sister's qualifications ... because sometimes (not always) family members who help with the bookkeeping stink at the job? Why is the sister doing manual reconciliations if you've switched them from a manual system to QuickBooks software?

Do the types of remarks pertain to transactions that were previously missed in the books (i.e. books weren't properly reconciled)?

Do you have a difference of opinion of where transactions should be coded? ... Because as you know, QuickBooks "remembers" where a transaction was last coded, the account can have a default code, and/or memorized transactions can be used to ensure consistent coding.

Without more information of the dynamics of the situation, the best I can recommend is to get the three of you together and discuss the issues / problems.

Maybe other site visitors will weigh in on how they would approach this situation?

Good luck!

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Oct 24, 2013
Facebook comments
by: Lake

I posted this to my Facebook wall. Here are two of the suggestions posted:

1. Personally I would suggest she choose yourself or her sister. I think having an unqualified person do the books is fine if that's your choice but don't expect to bring in a qualified bookkeeper in as well and not have issues. Not worth the stress. Nicely explain your concerns and allow her to choose. : )

2. Professionally, and gently reiterate your credentials. I've been in a very similar situation, client eventually chose my service over the other "bookkeepers". However, I do like the find out what the thought process was of the other "bookkeeper" when making such postings. Maybe they needed some guidance on "office expense" and a purchase, or similar.

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