4 Tips to Handling Bookkeeping Client Issues

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Bookkeeping professionals often find themselves in situations where you and the client are in disagreement. When these cases arise, who makes the call on what is “right” and what is “wrong?”

When these situations emerge, I find there are several ways to approach the issue so that everyone involved comes out a winner. Here’s four that tend to work best:

1. Don’t Make the Client Wrong

First of all, it’s usually best to not make your client wrong. If I am extremely confident that my choice is the right choice, I can back it up with examples where I have made a similar choice for other clients, and how the results of that choice were positive.

Real World Example: A California client wanted to pay his sales tax on the Cash Basis, not Accrual. California law says sales tax must be calculated on the Accrual Basis. In other words, the State wants its money now, regardless of whether or not you have collected the money from your customer.

I sympathized with the client and told him I understood that it felt unreasonable to have to remit sales tax dollars he had not yet collected. I also learned that an internal process could be changed to mitigate the situation: the office was creating Invoices in situations where Estimates were a better choice.

Since Estimates are non-posting, the related sales tax will now not hit the books until the Estimate is converted into an Invoice. A win-win for everyone, and no laws are bent or broken.

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About Jody Linick

Jody Linick

Jody Linick, an AIPB Certified Bookkeeper, QuickBooks Certified Pro Advisor and member of the Intuit Trainer/Write Network, heads up FitBooksPro which specializes in helping professional services providers set business goals, and using the tools available in QuickBooks Online, to manage performance tracking of goal achievement.




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Apr 6th 2018 17:00

Excellent article Jody. I frequently get into discussions with clients where they think the 'obvious' process to do is not the 'legal' process. I found this, as you mentioned, in the area of 1099 vs Employees and yes, letting them know they are liable for fees, penalties and the vendor's taxes does go a long way to getting the client into compliance. Thanks for sharing!

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Apr 17th 2018 18:46

Great article!

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