Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do I need a bookkeeper?
Just as you are an expert in your business; we are experts in what we do. We take the load off your shoulders, so you can focus on what you do best. You could need a bookkeeper for many different reasons, from day to day bookkeeping to financial analysis, paying your bills, keeping track of your payroll. We handle all those things that overwhelm you.
2. Why should I use ISL Financial Advisors instead of hiring my own in-house bookkeeper?
Many companies have an on-staff bookkeeper. Their financial transactions warrant a part-time or even full-time employee. Many business owners know there are many costs involved with hiring, training, and retaining a permanent staff person. You must consider the overall cost of retaining a bookkeeper including overhead costs, vacation time, insurance, equipment, and down-time. In the end, it may make good sense to out-source your bookkeeping services to ISL Financial Advisors to avoid the costs and time involved with maintaining your own employee.
3. Should I hire someone part time?
We offer you as much or as little service as you need, whether it is 10 hours a week or just a few hours each month. If your needs are not that great, the chances of hiring someone willing to work just a few hours are remote, especially someone with over 25 years of experience in managing the books of a variety of small to medium size business.
4. I am just starting up. Why do I need a formal bookkeeping system?
New business owners frequently lack relevant business and management expertise in areas such as finance, purchasing, selling, production, and hiring and managing employees. A good bookkeeping system with enhanced management tools is a must in today’s competitive business environment.
5. I have a small business. Why do I need a formal bookkeeping system?
A common mistake for many small businesses is having insufficient operating funds. Business owners underestimate how much money is needed. They also may have an unrealistic expectation of incoming revenues from sales.
It is important to know how much money your business requires and to understand the timing of cash flows into and out of your business. A good bookkeeping system helps you make informed decisions.
6. Is my business too small for you to provide services to me?
We specialize in small business. Our typical clients range from sole proprietors to S corps with 10 -20 employees. We cater to the companies that find it impractical to hire a part-time bookkeeper and the owners don’t enjoy doing the books themselves.
7. Can ISL Financial Advisors train my office staff in basic bookkeeping?
Absolutely! We are seasoned professionals and teachers and we can provide as much training or as little training as necessary to ensure that your office staff is able to perform basic bookkeeping functions. We’ll gladly review your training needs. We are affiliated with RealWorld, the official QuickBooks trainers, and we have all the training materials you need including access to live training sessions or training modules on DVD’s.
8. What kind of software do you use?
At ISL Financial we use QuickBooks Premier, the industry-leading bookkeeping software by Intuit. QuickBooks also has a start-up product for really simple businesses.
9. Do I have to change my bookkeeping system to hire you?
Great question; but of course not! We have over 25 years of experience working with all types of bookkeeping systems. Our only goal is to help you be successful in your business. We will use your current system while we get to know you and understand your unique situation. If your current bookkeeping system is not adequate for you to accomplish your goals we will you to help you change to one that will.
10. I already have a bookkeeping system. Do I have to buy one from you?
No! We will work with your current system to get started. We will make many suggestions to you as we get to know you and your company. We will always be aware of your budget concerns.
11. Why do you like QuickBooks?
It allows you to get organized with all your finances in one place. QuickBooks is the #1 small business financial software and an easy way to help your business succeed. Instantly create invoices, pay bills, and track expenses all in one place. It's so efficient to use it will give you back your time so you can stay on top of your business
12. Why should I order QuickBooks from you?
We are affiliated with QuickBooks and we can offer the current promotions and discounts through our website and links. We can help you install the software to make sure it is ready to go. We can customize the set up for your unique needs.
13. What if I make a mistake in using the software or entering my financial records?
Don’t worry. Our experts can adjust, correct or fix any erroneous entry. Best of all, QuickBooks creates an audit trail that shows what was done and why we did it – a handy feature come tax time or months later when you’re trying to remember why something was done. Your tax professional will really appreciate this.
14. Why would I need to change or upgrade my bookkeeping system?
You do not need to change your current system. Our goal is to get to know you and your unique business needs. We will help you find ways so you can achieve your goals faster and more efficiently!
15. What if I don’t live in the area – can you still handle my bookkeeping?
Yes, we certainly can! We use QuickBooks online which allows you and us to enter information and access reports. This is part of the virtual office phenomenon sweeping the country. Wherever you go with your laptop your bookkeeping system goes with you. Through email and technologies such as Skype this sort of thing is a breeze.
16. I already have a CPA who does my taxes. Would ISL Financial Advisors work with my CPA at tax time?
Definitely! We work with many different professionals. We happily liaison with our clients’ accountants, on issues of importance, throughout the year. All we need is your permission.
17. Can you advise me on tax issues?
We can advise on certain simple tax matters. However, we always recommend that you seek advice about complex tax questions from a professional tax advisor.
18. What precautions do you take to keep my business data confidential?
We use Anti-virus software and always make sure the software is up to date. We can transfer files over a secure FTP site to ensure that confidential data is protected over the internet. We set a master password for our computers and individual QuickBooks files and insist our clients do the same. We can also sign a confidentiality agreement with our clients so that they have the peace of mind that sensitive financial information is always kept confidential.
19. Why do you need to spend time reviewing my bookkeeping system? Can’t I just hire you for your consulting services?
Our 25 years of working with successful businesses of all sizes has taught us that lasting success is built upon a sound foundation. The development of a proper internal business process begins with a good set of books. We need to know that the bookkeeping system is sound and then we can proceed with our consulting services.
20. How much do you charge for your services?
The fee is dependent on the type of business transactions, complexity of work, and the volume. We meet with you to discuss the services you may need and what sort of bookkeeping system you have in place. Before we can quote a fee or an hourly rate , we need full understanding of your needs and situation. You can hire ISL Financial Advisors to do weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual tasks. We would be happy to work with your current system or to set you up in QuickBooks.
21. Do I have to sign any contracts or commit to a certain amount to hire you for bookkeeping services?
Absolutely not! ISL Financial Advisors provides only the services you want and only for as long as you want them. Bookkeeping services require no upfront obligations accept for the monthly retainer. ISL Financial Advisors, however, does have upfront set-up costs associated with any new client. So we ask that you give us 30 notice days if you decide to discontinue our services.
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