Bookkeeping – Hand it over and help your marriage

Couple holding hands

This week we will introduce you to Justin and Helena. They decided to hand over their bookkeeping to us. We will show you how it helped their marriage. Oh, and the business too!

  • Justin and Helena – An Intro
  • Why hand it over
  • Invoicing the priority
  • Benefits
  • Learnings
  • Part of the business

Justin and Helena

Justin Beaver and Helena Gomez run a tiling business called the Tile High Club. He is the man on the tools and she works full time but helps with invoicing in the evening. They use a bookkeeper Mariah, who is a friend of Helena’s, to do the payroll and Vat and liaise with the accountants. That’s us.

Justin works very long hours but loves what he does. Helena is very busy with her job and tries to help Justin as much as she can with the bookwork. Mariah can’t give as much time as before so is looking to take a step back.

It’s a random Thursday evening in August and Justin comes home to find Helena asleep on the couch. She’s a bit stressed and tired after her busy day at the office. Justin looks at the dinner table and to his disappointment, there’s nothing on it. Not even cutlery. He decides to take Helena out for a meal. All the while he has a question for Helena. Did she send the invoice to Right Nice Tiles for €20,000? Daft Dave, the financial controller, wants to pay him but can’t find the invoice.

Hand it Over. Why?

They are out for a nice meal, spending quality time together and Justin can see Helena being her old self. Justin knows that if he mentions the invoice, it will kill the moment, so he leaves it. He must pay suppliers €30,000 by the end of the week. There is a need to get the cash in to give him a buffer in the bank.

His invoicing system or lack of is a bit all over the place. He needs to sit down with Mariah and Helena over the weekend. This is to go through what invoices have gone out, when, and what is to go out. Mariah isn’t available as her dad has fallen ill.

Justin is under pressure and feeling stressed. He knows he has a good business and can make money but doesn’t have a clear view of the numbers. But, he isn’t sure what to do and where to go with this and mentions the problems to Ger. They arrange a meeting and go through the most pressing issues that they have. We agree to come up with a plan to cover the main concerns and get a proposal to them for the services they need.

They accept the proposal and are eager to get going. Justin and Helena have made an important business decision. Both have agreed to hand over their bookkeeping function to us. What does this look like?

Invoicing – The Main concern

Dee sends a spreadsheet to Justin to populate with all the names and contact details of his customers. This is so she can input these into Xero.

Dee sets up a template in Xero for issuing invoices for the Tile High Club. She sends this template to Justin, and he populates this for us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Once he sends her the template, she will raise the invoice within 48 hours.

When the invoice goes to the customer Justin gets a copy into his e-mail so he can see it during the day. We can also do this with quotes and Justin gets a copy of the quote too.

At first, everything is not perfect at the press of a few buttons. There is an initial time investment from Justin and Helena and us too. This includes

  • Getting all the information from Justin about his suppliers. This makes invoicing easier and quicker
  • Knowing when Justin is a principal contractor and subcontractor to get the Vat right. Reverse Charge Vat can be tricky.
  • Receiving calls outside of the agreed dates to issue quotes and invoices
  • Requesting PO numbers so we can match the invoice to the PO number.

Benefits – Helping the marriage and business

Every Monday Justin gets a report from us that shows his debtors. This is a list of who owes him money, what they owe him, and how long they owe it.

He also knows what’s in his bank and what he owes his creditors and when he must pay them.

If someone hasn’t paid him within his credit terms, then he knows who he will call that week. We can help with that too by issuing statements to those customers at agreed times, like month end.

Knowing what quotes have gone out is a major plus too. If a query comes in about a line item on a quote, he can go through that with the customer.

He now has a system in place for issuing his invoices and quotes. Seeing what’s in his account and what money is coming in and what is going out gives him confidence. His focus will be on good customers that pay him on time and can deal with slow and non-paying customers as they arise. Control and confidence are some of the benefits. This has given him clarity about what he wants the business to achieve in the short term. He’s loving himself!

It is an understatement to say Helena is happy that they handed over the bookkeeping. The lady is only delighted. Her evenings are her own and it’s a total relief that she no longer worries about quotes and invoicing. And awkward questions from Justin over the dinner table. She knows that handing over her bookkeeping has helped her marriage.


The key learning for us and clients is that the correct system to suit your business will take a few months to bed down. This requires time and effort from both sides, and you will see real results when you put that effort in.

Reviewing what you and we are doing after the initial few months is important.

  1. Is our workload more than we could foresee at the outset?
  2. Are you promising to do things but haven’t done them and is this hampering the service?
  3. What about the fee? Is it right for you and us?
  4. Do we respond to queries in a timely fashion?

Let’s be honest. If things are not working out for us or you then we need to walk away. We are not a good match, and we go our separate ways.

But when it works it can work very well. And why is that? Because

  • You gain a team of qualified experts at Vat, Payroll, Cloud Accounting
  • The team has the support of accounting and tax professionals that answer queries
  • Admin support that is helpful and courteous and always looking after your interests
  • Know what the cost is as you agree that up front and know in advance any extra fees for extra work. You decide if you want that or not.
  • You have a dedicated point of contact in our business that looks after you

Part of your business

Yes, we become part of your business. We are the finance arm of your business. Getting the small things right will help with getting the big-ticket items right for you. What are those big goals for you? It could be

  • Getting a mortgage to buy a new home
  • Putting a pension in place
  • Saving for college education for kids
  • Employing more staff to grow your business or
  • Buying another business or selling your own

Build a solid bookkeeping foundation. It will give you the confidence to achieve what is important for you and your family.

You decide. Is it better to trust one person or a team of people with your money?

Are you like Justin and Helena and want a less stressful life? If so, Start Here












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