Welcome back to our Firm of the Future profile series about thriving firms and consultants who are benefiting from the cloud and QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA) to better serve clients and find new revenue opportunities. In this new article, we spotlight Kathy Grosskurth, owner of Bookkeeping Clean and Simple.
Shauna Maher: Tell us about your firm.
Kathy Grosskurth: In 2005, I volunteered to handle financial record keeping for Cobb Disaster Recovery. Eventually, I added on paying clients. Today, my portfolio has grown to include six to eight small businesses and one CPA firm. As of 2016, I am now an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor® in QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online (QBO). And, as of June 2018, I’m also a member of Intuit’s® Trainer/Writer Network!
Since 2016, my focus is on providing more training, advisory, and consulting services. In fact, I am becoming the GO-TO person for file check-ups. I am also increasingly sought after for my Bookkeeping Basics course. In addition, I mentor promising bookkeeping students in my spare time, in the use of both QuickBooks Desktop and Online platforms.
SM: How long have you been using QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA)?
KG: I’ve probably been using QBOA since I started working on my certifications in earnest, which was 2013, though I have been using QBO as a user since 2004 – when it looked and acted MUCH different than it does today!
SM: What convinced you to make the move to QuickBooks Online Accountant?
KG: Well, I started using the QBOA platform because I was pretty much forced to! But, having made that move when I did, I quickly realized that it made navigation easier for me, having one place to access my client files. Also, it has been great having a centralized place to manage my team (interns and subs). Finally, it is a one-stop resource to access my training history and courses – all from one centralized location!
SM: What are your goals for your practice this year?
KG: As a new member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer network, I am working on marketing my training offerings in both QuickBooks platforms and Bookkeeping Basics. I am also looking to continue writing six to eight articles a year for the Firm of the Future Blog.
In order to focus on these areas, I have brought on a subcontractor to take on some of my ongoing client work to free up my time to pursue any of these opportunities that come my way. I have also started a Lunch and Learn series that meets twice a month on select Tuesdays to teach basic to intermediate QuickBooks concepts, starting with an overview of Bookkeeping Basics, and eventually covering both Online and Desktop platforms. The live sessions are free, and the recorded sessions are available to anyone for a nominal fee.
Finally, I hope that I will be able to take advantage of some of the training opportunities offered through the TWN, such as teaching certification courses via webinar or my local SBDC branch and the local Workforce Investment branch here near Metro Atlanta (I have put some feelers out, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!).
SM: What’s your favorite away-from-the-office place to get work done?
KG: Generally speaking, I do not work too much away from my home office. Not that I can’t, because theoretically I can work from just about anywhere since I have a dedicated laptop that I use for all of my practice work. But, I find that, for me personally, I need to segment my work and leisure time to keep things separate and apart; I don’t “do well” bringing my work “home” with me since I work from home.
SM: Where’s the craziest place you’ve done work for a client?
KG: Even though I rarely take my work with me, I have on rare occasions taken care of some business while at the beach, or on property at a hotel in a beach location. If I must work while on vacation, then I believe there is no better way to do so than being surrounded by the relaxing sound of the ocean gently crashing against the shore!
SM: What’s your number one timesaving tip?
KG: My number one timesaving tip is to schedule your time – both work and leisure time – and to implement a time management tool that you will actually USE. In my case, I use my iPhone Calendar in conjunction with other tools such as Asana and Calendly to segment my time to make the most optimal use of the day. I also strive to stick to a three-day a week schedule (Tues-Thurs), and, with very few exceptions, I am able to do so.
SM: When you’re not working, what’s your favorite way to spend your time?
KG: When I am not working, I love spending my downtime with family, traveling and just chilling, reading, or watching TV. I’m also fortunate that my in-laws are only five hours from Destin/Fort Walton Beach, so I try to make several trips per year to get my “beach fix” to recharge my batteries.
SM: What advice do you have for peers that are still on desktop?
KG: I, myself, am still using desktop for my personal financial record keeping. However, over the past couple of years, my client base of QBO users has grown exponentially – primarily through the referrals I’ve received from the Find-a-ProAdvisor portal. In that time, QBO has come a long way to meet some of the most complex business needs, such as project management and the use of third-party apps to create more robust integrations for a number of business and financial requirements.
As Intuit continues to improve the product features with the online product, I would encourage those reluctant to try QBO – or who has used it in the past – to try using QBO if it is an appropriate product for them. At the very least, I recommend taking advantage of the sample file to explore the newly integrated features to see if QBO is a good fit for their needs.
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