How can you get your numbers working for you as a group practice owner? In this episode, Linzy dives into the steps group practice owners need to take to make your numbers start working for you.
Build a Better Business (with a Bookkeeper) with Andrea Rotondo
“Because we feel like it should be hard, we overcomplicate things. And we just bring all the systems that are the most complicated things. One spreadsheet for this, this software for this, my notepad for this… And then it just becomes so overcomplicated because we think it should be hard, so we unconsciously go at it to make it hard!”
After spending a few years at home with her little ones as a military family, she was ready to start something new. Andrea’s background in psychology, volunteer work, and first-hand experience with frustrating accounting processes filled her with a desire to help others in a meaningful way by merging both worlds: numbers and emotions. This is when Liquid Cents was born. Through her bookkeeping firm, she supports women business owners who want to build wealth while helping others.
What can a bookkeeper do for your private practice? When is a good time to consider hiring a bookkeeper? In this episode, Linzy and guest Andrea Rotondo dig into what bookkeeping can look like for therapists in private practice and how to address this potentially problematic part of business in a way that can be empowering and rewarding.
Linzy and Andrea talk about negative stories that often surface for therapists when it comes to working with financial professionals, and Andrea shares how to incorporate the bookkeeping part of your business in a way that can benefit and strengthen your private practice.
Are you a group practice owner who’s tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your finances? – Do you feel like you’re doing all the work for none of the money and are tired of constantly worrying about your bank account?- Do you want to create a group practice that is financially stable, reflects your values, and takes good care of you and your team?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re going to want to hear all about my brand new course Money Skills for Group Practice Owners! This six-month course will take you from feeling like an overworked, stressed and underpaid group practice owner, to being the confident and empowered financial leader of your group practice.
To learn more about Money Skills for Group Practice Owners click here.
And to book a call with Linzy to talk about whether the course is right for you, click here to get in her calendar now. She looks forward to chatting with you about it!
Andrea [00:00:01] Because we feel like it should be hard. We overcomplicate things and we just bring all the systems that are the most complicated things. One spreadsheet for this, this software for this, my notepad for this, and then it just becomes so ever complicated because we think that it should be hard. So we unconsciously go at it to make it hard.
Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So today I have a conversation with bookkeeper Andrea Rotondo. After spending a few years at home with her little ones as a military family, Andrea was ready to start something new. Her background in psychology, volunteer work, and her firsthand experience with frustrating accounting processes filled her with a desire to help others in a meaningful way, merging both worlds – numbers and emotions. This is where Liquid Cents, her business, came from. Through her bookkeeping firm, she supports women business owners and wants to build wealth while helping others. So those of you who are listening, if you heard the numbers and emotions together, you’re going to understand why Andrea was a natural fit to come on the podcast. We’ve been connecting with her over the last while on the Internet because I think we share some very similar values around money and numbers and bringing in that emotional side and making numbers make sense. And today in our conversation, Andrea and I get into how to have a successful relationship with a bookkeeper. What goes into making a relationship with a bookkeeper work? We talk about how negative money stories can really feed into our relationship with bookkeepers, maybe create a little bit of drama on our side as the people trying to get information to bookkeepers. And then we also talked about the value of bookkeeping, not just at tax time to have everything in order, but also throughout the year. So if you’ve been curious about bookkeeping or if you’ve had bad experiences with bookkeeping in the past, you’re definitely going to want to listen to this episode. Lots of interesting and insightful points from Andrea and just insight into how she works and how bookkeepers think and what they want for their clients. Here is my conversation with Andrea Rotondo. So, Andrea, welcome to the podcast.
Andrea [00:02:46] Thank you so much for having me, Linzy, I’m so excited to be here.
Linzy [00:02:48] Yeah, I’m excited to have you. So, Andrea, you are a bookkeeper.
Andrea [00:02:53] Yes.
Linzy [00:02:54] I feel like bookkeepers and therapists – at least in therapists’ minds – occupy different parts of a spectrum. Or maybe a universe from each other. And so I wanted to start by asking you, like I think a lot of folks who are listening might not necessarily have the best impression of bookkeeping sometimes. A story I’ve heard many times – and I know a story that we experienced with my partner’s business when he owned a restaurant here in the city we live in – is like lots of times bookkeepers might not be a fit and people have had an experience of like working with someone who didn’t end up following through or was hard to get a hold of or to communicate with or where they didn’t just- it just didn’t really like flow or fit, you know? And I’m curious from your perspective, when folks have had experiences like that, what would you say would be helpful for them to think about going forward if they’re going to need a bookkeeper again in the future?
Andrea [00:03:49] Yeah, that is true. I definitely have had a lot of people coming to me telling me kind of like I can see their attitude towards the relationship a little bit hesitant or a little bit with reservations. And then either because I ask them or they just tell me they share that they have had a negative experience before. Yeah, I would say that’s just like any other professional relationship. Communication is so important. So when you are looking for a bookkeeper, you want to see – either because they’re telling you as part of their consultation or as part of their website or social media or any way where they’re putting information out there about them and how they work – about communication and their communication style. Because sometimes it’s not necessarily that they are doing something wrong or you are doing something wrong. It’s a matter of connecting with each other. And sometimes if your preference is a phone call, but the bookkeeper or accountant doesn’t really do phone calls, but uses a different method, then that might not be the person for you. Or sticking to email. You want to do only email and your bookkeeper wants to do only phone calls. So there’s a lot of technicalities that sometimes it’s not necessarily the person, it’s just the way that we’re communicating. And also because this is such a heavy topic on many therapists that I have seen, it also feels uncomfortable because we are the ones bringing the uncomfortable conversations inside of you and we have no hesitation.
Linzy [00:05:26] Yeah.
Andrea [00:05:26] We’re going to ask you.
Linzy [00:05:27] Right. That’s your job.
Andrea [00:05:28] Part of what we do. Yes. So there might be a little bit of reservation in that case because you might feel that we’re probably being too pushy when in reality this is just what we’re doing.
Linzy [00:05:39] Right.
Andrea [00:05:40] And again, that’s something that you can vocalize and tell the person that you’re working with. Like, look, this is a pretty big issue or a big deal for me when it comes to managing my finances, being open with you on being vulnerable and sharing where I am in the process. And the more that the bookkeeper knows where you are and how you feel about things, they’re going to be able to help you and assist you because just like you are in your profession, what you’re doing to help others. We are also in on our side. Yes, we are here because we want to help you succeed and we want to be part of your success story in a way. So we do want the most the best for you. And that’s where I have seen, for example, clients feeling judgment or I have seen many therapists say, Yeah, I just don’t like to talk to my accountant because I either don’t understand what they’re saying or I feel like they’re looking down at me, or just the words and the phrases that they’re using make me feel uncomfortable. Again, that’s something that you can choose the person that you’re working with, and if it’s not a good fit, it’s not a good fit. But also communicating like this is where I am in my stage of my business or with finances. How can you help me go through this better? And they are probably going to give you, you know, the answer or may adapt to the way that- to where you are.
Linzy [00:07:08] You need to tell them what you need. Yeah, I- that’s- I mean, that’s such an interesting point, Andrea, about like the loadedness of money. And when we have all these feelings about money like a bookkeeper is making or your accountant is making what they think is a very neutral request, like, they just need this information. Like, you know, as financial professionals, they understand all the pieces that need to get pulled together to like, do your taxes or understand your big picture or whatever they’re trying to do for you. But on the receiving end, like the therapist or health practitioner side, if we have all this like shame and confusion or embarrassment or stress around it. Those – what is maybe neutral – asks from one side can feel very loaded and we can like perceive judgment or perceive other negative things. Like I’ve even noticed with myself. I started working with Bookkeeper for the first time just last year. I was like, okay, there’s a ton of transactions to categorize. As much as I like doing this, I just was starting to find I wasn’t getting to especially my sales tax. I have to do sales tax. So I hired a bookkeeper and I like the owner of the company. She’s lovely. And I actually recently had like a quarterly meeting with her, which really like solidified like, Oh yeah, I know she’s really great. But the way that they communicate is through a lot of like automated messages. So it’ll just be like an automated email that comes of like submit these documents. And they’re obviously they’re just it’s all automated, it’s just robots. But if you don’t, you know, fulfill the request and check off the things. And like three or four days later it emails you again. Yeah. And as a feelings and relationship-oriented person I’m like, what there’s no hello how are you? Like, for me there is this piece where it’s like I, I’m so oriented towards that kind of interpersonal connection that without that, it does open up space for me to feel like I’m being demanded on or like they’re telling me I’m too slow or not good enough. Like, right. It opens space for all those negative stories that really have nothing to do. Like this is actually an automated system. They probably don’t even realize it sent me a reminder because they haven’t looked at my file and seen what’s happening yet. But there is just like so much opportunity basically for drama in our minds on the receiving end. You know, what I’m hearing, one thing is like improving that communication when we don’t have that like nice open channel and we feel that maybe that trust that the person thinks well of us. But also I think, yeah, when we still have like things about money that feel unresolved or negative stories, there’s just like such an invitation for those to pop up when somebody is just being like, Hey, I need these forms from you. Or like, Hey, what’s this thing that you spent money on? Just so much opportunity for negative stories to come popping up.
Andrea [00:09:38] Absolutely. And I think that that’s also rooted in what your goal is with working with a bookkeeper. Yeah. So your goal is simply to get a report at the end of the year so that you can give it to your tax preparer to file taxes. And you don’t really look at the numbers, You don’t really use that to you- for example, if somebody is working with you, you might ask them, Hey, what is your PNL for your business? You know, they’re not having any other conversations. Then they might feel that, like you were saying, those negative stories around all of these requests because you are not really having an open communication and your expectation from this person is to do all the work and give you a report at the end of the day. But if you’re hiring a bookkeeper because you want to improve your relationship with money because you don’t really know like how to do this, you know, like you went to school, like everybody says in this world, I went to school to become a therapist, not to learn business. So if you are like, okay, I need a team of people, you know, I need Linzy to help me with this. I need a bookkeeper to help me with this. I need a tax expert at the end of the year, or quarterly, depending on your need. Then you’re approaching it differently. And when somebody asks something from you or asks you a different question, or you feel like I need to know something and you’re the one that is going to ask a question, then that communication is going to feel a little bit more, I would say personable because there is an expectation of communication from each other. It’s not just one sided. In either way.
Linzy [00:11:13] Yeah. And so it it’s the relationships that you take because I think to, you know, something that I teach, Andrea, that I really value deeply, is like the idea that therapists and health practitioners, you know, we are the bosses of the business, so you need to be the CEO of the business, whether that’s like your business, where you’re seeing, you know, ten clients a week or whether that’s a group practice where you have 20 people working for you. Like you’re the boss and you need to have enough financial literacy to understand the numbers, be able to make educated decisions. And like if you see bookkeepers as folks who are like helping you in that cause, then I think that can be a much more empowered framing, right, where you’re like, okay, there, there, I delegated, right? I haven’t given away responsibility, but I’ve delegated the data entry, data organization piece to someone who has more knowledge and more expertise than I do. But ultimately they’re giving me back information that’s going to be helping me be empowered and make good decisions and tweak and adjust what I’m doing to make my business look how I want it to look like. That’s a very, you know, that’s an empowered framing. But if we’re just kind of like if we hand it off in a disempowered way where it’s just like, I don’t know, you take the stuff, it’s like, Oh God, you want more from me? And like, I don’t know what that thing is. I don’t even know what I’m doing. Like, when we don’t have that empowerment, then I think that can feel like an even more overwhelming and disempowering relationship too, because I think that what can happen is when a bookkeeper doesn’t understand something or doesn’t miss a piece or, you know, there is that breakdown of communication that can just like deepen that sense of like powerlessness and lack of control and lack of understanding. Right? Because now it’s like you hired this person to fix it and then they didn’t fix it. And now it’s even worse than it was before. I’ve heard that story so many times from so many people in all different business fields. They made it even worse. And you still use it from a negative story perspective with just even more baggage coming out of those experiences. I think when we maybe are expecting somebody to do something that is not what they’re promising to do, if that’s not actually the service that they’re telling you they’re going to offer. Right. But they’re not taking over the financial responsibility in your business. They’re just trying to pull together the information that you give them to create a clear picture, right?
Andrea [00:13:19] Absolutely. That was incredible what you just said. And it’s so true, for example, when I have consultations with new people that probably just found me and they haven’t been following me on social media and they don’t really know how I work, yeah, that’s one of the important pieces that I tell them. Like you’re not hiring me to hand things to me and then you never hear from me. Like you’re going to hear from me on a constant basis. Not every day, you know, like I don’t want you to feel like you’re not really hiring me to have things off. You’re hiring me because I’m part of your team, because I’m going to be of assistance and step forward in your own process of becoming better at finances. I don’t think that we’re all – in really anything in life where we made it, you know, there’s always improvements that we can do. So that’s how I feel, like that’s how I position my business with the businesses that hire me. I’m here to support you. I’m here to be of assistance to you. And of course, I’m going to do all the work in QuickBooks and I’m going to do all the categorizing, but I’m going to come back with questions and I’m going to come back and tell you, Hey, it’s time for us to meet because I want you to look at those numbers and I want you to understand what that means, because I hear all the time, like, you have to know your numbers. You’re a business owner. You have to know your numbers. What does that really mean?
Linzy [00:14:37] Right.
Andrea [00:14:38] And we all have where we all come from, different backgrounds. We all have starting- like different starting points in our own businesses. We are in different points in our own relationship with money. So the way that you understand those numbers is really not so black and white. It’s very- it’s one piece of your own story with your numbers and your business. And ultimately the majority of the therapists that I work with and that I see in this world in my professional space, this is part of their livelihood. This is not just, you know, I’m just doing this or I’m not really in the business and this is just a huge corporation. This is part of their personal the way that they live. So when you are not fully clear on this, you don’t really check out of this at the end of the day, like because you finish your last session, you go home, this is going to be heavy on you, on your shoulders, is going to be hindering in your mind because now you go home and you have to go pay for something and you are not sure, right?
Linzy [00:15:43] Yes.
Andrea [00:15:44] If you have the money left back or oh my God, I have to pay taxes or.
Linzy [00:15:48] Totally.
Andrea [00:15:49] You know, so many questions that are going to be left there in your mind.
Linzy [00:15:54] Like when we don’t have that clarity in the business, that’s going to permeate our personal lives because they’re like, the one completely depends on the other.
Andrea [00:16:02] Exactly. Yeah. Yes.
Linzy [00:16:03] Yeah. So for folks who are listening, when would you suggest it’s time for someone to work with a bookkeeper? Because like some folks who are listening might be like brand new or even just thinking, there’s even folks, you know, who listen, who are thinking about starting a practice and they’re kind of thinking ahead and trying to glean the things that are going to help them start successfully, you know? So when do you think it is time for at least somebody to think about bringing a bookkeeper into their team?
Andrea [00:16:30] That’s a great question. I have two answers. The first one is I think you should have a meeting with a bookkeeper right like before you have your first client, even if it’s like a one-time session, just so that they can help you build your bookkeeping system. So the way that you are getting paid, for example, simple things for us, might be new information to you. So you don’t really know what you don’t know. Not everybody knows that they should have two separate bank accounts, for example. That’s something that everybody throws out there, but not everybody knows that. So having that initial communication with a bookkeeper that knows not only how things work financially, but also your industry, is going to be really helpful so that you can set your systems up correctly from the start because if you start them incorrectly, you can’t just kind of like skip that period of time that you didn’t really do things correctly.
Linzy [00:17:28] No, no.
Andrea [00:17:28] We’re going to have to go back and fix everything and catch everything up or do a clean up, and that’s going to be more costly later on. If you don’t want to hire somebody from the start because of finances, which is totally understandable, I would say speak to somebody. They can help you figure things out, maybe set things up in Quickbooks. Maybe if you are going to use QuickBooks or anything else, but they can kind of guide you through it.
Linzy [00:17:55] Right.
Andrea [00:17:57] And then the other part of it would be bookkeepers are not as expensive as you might think that they are. So once you’re starting to feel like you have consistent income, I would say just reach out to somebody. Usually consultations are free. Just check it out and see if you feel like this is a good time. Right? Because another aspect of, for example, using a software like QuickBooks or any other software, is that therapists or business owners in general think that the best, like the software itself knows what they’re doing, like the software.
Linzy [00:18:33] Right. Yes.
Andrea [00:18:34] The software doesn’t know. Like it’s built there.
Linzy [00:18:39] Yes.
Andrea [00:18:39] But they assume that you know what you’re doing. So if you don’t have a basic understanding of bookkeeping or accounting, then everything that you’re putting that seems very simple might be ending up in the wrong place.
Linzy [00:18:56] Yes. Yes.
Andrea [00:18:57] And then you go back and you’re like, oh, my gosh, but I’m looking at my EHR and I’m making this much. But when I look at my QuickBooks or anything else, it’s wrong. So and then you start again. Having all of that feeds into how your perception about money is and your relationship with money. So if you can set it up right from the beginning the right way, you’re going to save yourself a lot of negative moments.
Linzy [00:19:22] Yes, it’s a lot of headache, a lot of cleanup. And I think also a lot of that like, you know, again, the deepening of the story of like this is hard. I can’t do it. Like, I’m never going to get this figured out. And, you know, you’re definitely speaking my language in terms of, like, get it set up from the start. You know, like folks who I worked with, too, who do it from the beginning. Sometimes folks talk about like when they do Money Skills and they don’t have a business yet, they’re like, but it feels kind of academic, like, it’s not really yet. I’m like, That’s great. I know it would be like meatier if you had like numbers to really dig into, but the fact that instead you’re like setting up your system thoughtfully from the start and you’re going to be directing money where you want it to go from the beginning, you’re saving yourself so much headache, right? That like, you know, that is like so much more valuable than, you know, being able to apply the things to real numbers that are terrible and that you realize you need to fix, right? Like it’s like the opposite experience of having, you know, sometimes I see a therapist – and you probably have too – who’ve been in the field for ten years, 15 years, 20 years, who never kind of got it locked in. And still it feels like confusing and cumbersome and unwieldy and they don’t understand their numbers. That’s like literally decades of headaches and uncertainty and financial stress that could be headed off, had the work been done at the beginning. And to be fair, I think, you know, a lot of these things are becoming more accessible. I’d like to think that the work that you know, you’re doing and I’m doing and being out on the Internet and trying to help the right people find us is making these solutions easier to find than they used to be 20 years ago. But yeah, the stress that can be saved when you do it from the start is significant.
Andrea [00:20:59] Absolutely. Because in the beginning, you’re going to have a very minimal amount of transactions. So you’re learning how to do something. It’s less work. It’s going to take you 5 minutes, 10 minutes. But if you’re working, like if you’re hoping to start it all later on, we want to have everything happening. Not only you’re going to be busier, you’re already seeing more clients, you’re already doing billing, you’re already doing social media, like you have so many other things to do. And then you’re coming at this with 50 transactions, 30 transactions. And this is income, and this is expenses. How about a credit card? And then what about this? So then it just becomes overwhelming. And like you said, we start going back into that negative narrative of like, oh, but I’m not good at this. When it’s not, but it might not be the case. You know, in most cases, I think that that’s not the case. I think it’s just we’ve got to put the pieces in place and let everything flow.
Linzy [00:21:53] Totally. And, you know, as you’re saying that, too, I’m thinking about how I think so many therapists and health practitioners have the story. Money is hard. So when they hear things like this of like, well, make it easier, they’re like, Well, but it’s not easy. It’s hard. So I’m going to unconsciously, I don’t think consciously, but like, that’s what I noticed in the course of this like contrast of folks who are building system for something that isn’t a problem yet. They’re like, but it’s supposed to be hard. So I must not be- this must not be right because this isn’t hard. Right. And so I think, you know, part of it is letting yourself start to understand that money can be easier – if not easy – when you do have these conversations with folks who can help you set up the right systems from the beginning. And when you do have the right supports in place, money isn’t hard. I think what’s made it hard is that we have like the lack of education, you know, like the lack of knowing how to use the tools. You know, we don’t have money modelled to us. Like there’s all these reasons that it’s been hard, but it doesn’t have to stay hard. Even if that’s been your past experience.
Andrea [00:22:53] Right. And because we feel like it, like you were saying, it should be hard, we overcomplicate things.
Linzy [00:22:59] Oh, my gosh. Yes
Andrea [00:23:00] And we just bring all the systems that are the most complicated things. And just – one spreadsheet for this, this software for this, my notepad for this. And then it just becomes so over complicated because of what you said – we feel and we think that it should be hard, so we unconsciously go at it to make it hard.
Linzy [00:23:24] Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So when folks are working with you and getting bookkeeping and there is an up to date bookkeeping happen, you know, they’ve got that delegated to somebody on their team. What do you see are the benefits of that? What’s helpful about that for therapists and health practitioners?
Andrea [00:23:40] I love that. That’s one of my favorite parts of bookkeeping, because bookkeeping is that, sure, like the actual recordkeeping of things, but then it’s what you do with that information that really makes a difference. And you were saying, for example, like, I want my clients to feel like they are the CEOs regardless of where their business is at. And everybody’s going to have different goals. So for somebody, ten clients is their goal. Somebody, a group practice is their goal. It doesn’t really matter where your goal, where you are, or what your goal is. Bookkeeping and the information that bookkeeping provides for you is kind of like that map of this is where you are and it shows you the reality. And when you know where you want to go, you start putting like the steps in place in front of you and you can grab that information. For example, one of my clients, she works with a business coach, and according to her business coach, she was telling her, I think you can spend 5% of your expenses into marketing, according to where you want to be.
Linzy [00:24:49] Right.
Andrea [00:24:49] So we were looking at the numbers. Where are we right now? We’re at 3.4. Okay. So next month, I know to put more money into that. Okay, How about next month? Where are we at? Okay, we have a little more room. So it’s also a good compliment to folks who are working with somebody like you, with a business coach. Because you can easily grab that information that is kind of expected for you to know in many situations. And it’s going to be easier to make those choices if you don’t know how much you’re spending on something or how much money. How much money is coming in is not really an issue. Having seen that to be an issue because just know that. Yeah, but is where the money is going. Like, for example, a very common question is I know that I’m making money, but I don’t know where my money is. We have that, right. By having your bookkeeping in place, you know where it’s going. And sometimes it’s a hard reality and you have to work through it. And it really shows you your conscious and unconscious- I say beliefs around money. If you tend to withhold on, for example, spending money. You’re going to see that in your.
Linzy [00:26:02] Yes, you are. Yes.
Andrea [00:26:03] If you like to spend without reservations, you are going to see that. And for example, the benefit of a customized start of accounts, which is just the list of categories for your income and expenses. Yeah, it’s really, really important as well. Instead of having just like a regular whatever comes with your software kind of thing. To customize it a little bit more for your preference so that when you’re looking at it, you can find answers a little bit easier according to what you’re looking for. So how much of my spending on contractors. Are all of my contractors therapists, or are some of them at minimum? Okay, I know now how much I should save because everybody talks about saving, you know, like you have to have money saved for payroll or things like that. You know, how much money to save, you know, your net income, which is going to help you to save for your taxes, which is something else that business owners kind of struggle a little bit with. So it just provides you the information that you need on an ongoing basis. And if you have it up to date, it’s not going to be such a struggle to find any. You can literally get these reports with just a few clicks if you are using a software, and you can just go in and check, okay, I have room for more or I have some bills coming up or you know, it’s just providing information for you to make better decisions.
Linzy [00:27:31] Absolutely. And the word that comes up for me around that is clarity. Just gives you clarity. You understand sometimes you might not like what you see when you have clarity, right? Sometimes it might be better than you thought, but either way, you now have clarity and then you can make informed, empowered, and strategic decisions ultimately by having that information. But without that information, what I also find too, is often our negative stories will lie to us about what’s happening. You know, like it’s like I sometimes will see folks’ bank accounts and like from talking to the person, my impression, you know, in the course is that they have very little money and things are very tight. Their practice is not doing well. And then I see their bank account and it’s like somewhere in the realm of ten times more money than I would expect to see. And it’s just like there’s a complete disconnect here, right? But without because they haven’t yet developed the literacy and the understanding of the numbers and like what the numbers need to look like and then really being in touch with what they actually do look like. They’re living in a totally different reality than their numbers. Yeah, they are living like they have no money. And their bank account is overflowing with money. That’s really just kind of sitting there not realizing any potential, not paying down even debts that they have or taxes that they owe because they’re so mired in the story that they don’t have enough. Right. So there can be complete fiction going on when we don’t have that clarity and don’t understand our numbers.
Andrea [00:28:50] Yeah, we jump into assuming pretty much we just think. And then, like you said, we tend to like- our assumptions tend to be negative stories about things instead of, you know, I’m going to think of the best case. It’s just always, I don’t have anything. I’m going to run out of money. I don’t know what I’m going to do next month.
Linzy [00:29:09] And close my practice and live in a box.
Andrea [00:29:13] Why am I doing this? I should have stayed back in my group practice like, yes, we just jump into assumptions that are terrifying when having this information is really not that complicated and it’s really not that hard. And I know that it feels that way, but it’s not. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes.
Linzy [00:29:33] Yes. So, Andrea, then to give us a sense of how you work with people, what is your relationship look like with your clients? What are you doing for them? How often do you communicate with them?
Andrea [00:29:43] Yeah. So when it comes to the actual bookkeeping, I’m the one who takes care of pretty much all the categorization. Sometimes people come with spreadsheets, for example. That’s what they have been using or if they haven’t been using anything at all. So I. Kind of like start them up in software. I take care of their monthly reconciliations, which that’s another word that people run away from, like, Oh my gosh, reconciliation. Yeah, we took care of all of that. And then either on a monthly or quarterly basis, what I do is I have a client call with my clients and we go over their reports. But I always like to start with asking my clients, what is it that they want to talk about? Because I don’t want them to feel like I’m just lecturing them, you know, like you’re just coming with your coffee and you’re just listening to me. I make it very conversational because ultimately I’m doing this so that they can get better at managing their money and managing their business. So we- I ask them, you know, what is it that it’s bothering you? What is it that it’s just hovering in your mind? What do you want to talk about? And we look at those numbers, and when you have everything organized and like again, I keep talking about software because that’s how I do it. And for example, Quickbooks. Yeah, we can literally just click on a number and then you’ll have a list of transactions.
Linzy [00:31:01] Everything that makes up that number.
Andrea [00:31:02] Yeah, right. And then they’re like, Oh, okay, this makes sense. Oh, okay. All right, got it. Or for example, professional development is something that it lately it has been one of the biggest expenses across the border. Oh, yeah. So we look at those and then I ask them, for example, questions like, okay, is this giving you the benefit that you’re in for? If not, do you think that it is time to maybe not continue or what about for next year? Or if we look at the totals of the bank accounts every month, okay, this is how much money you had last year compared to this year. What do you think about this?
Linzy [00:31:45] So, yes.
Andrea [00:31:46] I’m mostly asking questions. And I think that therapists are so good at listening and so good at asking questions that because of that, you’re in such a good place when it comes to money, because that is exactly what I do in these calls. Yeah, just kind of like sparking that curiosity when it comes to money and just saying, Oh, what is making this number? Like what is a total? Why am I spending money on this? Am I making the money that I’m making? Does that make sense to the amount of time that I’m working?
Linzy [00:32:20] Yeah.
Andrea [00:32:20] Is it time to hire somebody else? Should I hire a VA? I’m not making that much money, but I feel like I’m working 50 hours a week. Yeah. So all of these things, it just takes taking this time and looking at your numbers with a few questions in hand.
Linzy [00:32:38] Yeah. And I think like a mindfulness kind of phrasing around that would be like being with like you’re helping just, you’re facilitating people being with their numbers and helping to guide them on like, what are those key numbers that we look at? What are the key numbers we compare those with? You know, like when we do see a number that’s not what we want it to see. I’m hearing like you ask some reflective questions.
Andrea [00:32:58] Right.
Linzy [00:32:58] To get them thinking and, you know, those are skills, you know, that I’m also trying to help folks build and learn. But it can be so nice to have somebody with you, right, like that kind of – coregulation would be the therapeutic term for it – like somebody else’s nervous system with your nervous system to, like, keep you from going, like I’m failing or whatever negative story pops up. Right. But you know, also with you, they have that professional expertise of like you, this is what you do, right? Like you are a professional bookkeeper. And so you’re going to be able to help them focus on those numbers that really matter.
Andrea [00:33:33] Right. And because you are, for example, you are paying me or any other bookkeeper that you hire, you are going to want to get what you’re paying for, if that makes sense. So it’s going to be harder for you to skip that, meaning that if you were to just not have anybody, that you’re paying them for that. So you just leave it for next month and then next month comes around and you’re really busy, so you just leave it for next month and then the end of the year comes and you never really got caught up and you keep going. You’ve never really looked at anything. But if you have somebody there as part of your team, you’re more likely to get things done. Your bookkeeping is more likely to get up to date. Like, our work depends on the information that you provide. So, you know, and you coming into that call, again, it’s you showing up.
Linzy [00:34:23] Yeah. Yeah.
Andrea [00:34:25] And it takes time. Like, I like to say we all have different starting points, so it takes time. You can’t really expect that. You’re just going to be super hearing numbers after the first call. You know this. It takes practice, it takes time. And the more that you get into the conversation, the more that you come into these calls, the better you’re going to feel about it and the more confidence that you have that is coming from that practice, it’s going to show up. And you making stronger decisions. You feel confident about them because we make choices every day, whether we see it or not. We are making choices every day. But are you making stronger decisions than before.
Linzy [00:35:10] Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I love that. I think part of what I hear in that and something I love about delegating is when we do bring the right person into our team, we are delegating a task, but we’re also delegating bandwidth. Right. Like you’re holding kind of that bandwidth to be like, Hey, finances, let’s check in. I need this thing from you. Right. And like, because that’s, I think, something that can be such a struggle when we’re busy, and especially if folks are like running a practice and you have kids at home or you’re taking care of aging parents or like there’s all these other demands on our time and energy. And part of staying on top of finances, like staying on top of all the other services, is just like the bandwidth to be like, okay, now I’m going to focus on this. I’m going to shift gears and I’m going to create space. And one of the nice things that I’ve noticed about delegating, you know, now that I’m at a place where it’s like I’m the boss of the numbers, I’m not giving responsibility, but I am giving up tasks is it’s like somebody else is like, Oh, hey, it’s the first of the month, let’s get your stuff together, which is something that therefore I don’t have to hold that in my mind. And I get to use my energy to do the things that I’m really good at or the things that only I can do in my business. Because bookkeeping is not something that only I can do. But recording this podcast is something that only I can do, right? So right, you get to use your energy differently.
Andrea [00:36:25] Absolutely.
Linzy [00:36:26] Yeah. It’s the beauty of having support and and a good team and the right team when you find the right fit.
Andrea [00:36:32] Exactly. And so, for example, something else that I like to do for my clients is keeping notes of our conversations. Like when we’re talking, I keep notes and I think that that is I don’t know, you tell me, Linzy, like I feel like that is such a good, like great gifts because you guys are always taking notes.
Linzy [00:36:49] Yes, we are.
Andrea [00:36:50] And I know that that’s one of the, you know, like, oh, my gosh, notes. So, you know, at the end of the call, your notes are here. And usually the feedback has always been like, Oh my gosh, great. Like, I don’t have to keep track. Not only of everything that you’re telling me right now, but I have to keep notes. It’s all there. It’s all organized, and you can always come back at it.
Linzy [00:37:10] Yes. Oh, that’s great. That’s very therapist of you, Andrea, to keep notes. I feel like that’s not standard financial professional process or whatever. I’ve certainly never experienced working with somebody who’s also keeping track of our conversations. So that’s great.
Andrea [00:37:26] That’s good to know. Yeah.
Linzy [00:37:29] So, Andrea, thank you so much for joining me today. If folks want to get further into your world, where can they find you?
Andrea [00:37:38] Yeah, well, they can find me on LinkedIn. That’s where I kind of like hang out the most. I just find me with my name, Andrea Rotondo. And you can also find me on Instagram @andrea.rotondo And my website is Liquid Cents Bookkeeping. Cent is C E N T S, but Liquid Cents Bookkeeping dot com.
Linzy [00:37:58] Awesome. Thank you so much.
Andrea [00:38:00] Thank you for having me.
Linzy [00:38:14] In my conversation with Andrea, I was so struck by how invested she is in wanting her clients to really understand their numbers and feel empowered. And I think it just says so much about how personal fit is so important, right? Like, if that’s something that is important to you, looking at a bookkeeper, there are people out there. There is Andrea. There are people like Andrea who just like we are invested in our client’s well-being as therapists and health practitioners. They are equally as invested in their client’s well-being as bookkeepers. Right? And it’s finding someone who is going to take that- have that same kind of value values that you have. If that is something that you want and need. I think it’s so easy for us to make stories about folks in different professions and, you know, put thoughts into their head, you know, which are usually just our own negative thoughts, like they’re judging me. They think my numbers are terrible, they think I’m an idiot, whatever. Right. And we put those words into their minds and we end up having this very- sometimes we get very messy relationships to financial professionals because of what we believe that they’re thinking. But often it’s not what they’re thinking at all. They’re here to help us and support us. And if you do feel like your accountant is actually judging you, or your bookkeeper’s actually judging you, then it’s time to move on and find someone else if there really is bad vibes in that relationship. I so appreciate Andrea for coming on the podcast today. If you would like to follow me on Instagram, you can find me @moneynutsandbolts. We are sharing free emotional and practical money content on there as well as some reels – working on my reels. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave us a review. It’ll take you 2 minutes and it really helps people to find the podcast. Thanks for listening today.
How can you get your numbers working for you as a group practice owner? In this episode, Linzy dives into the steps group practice owners need to take to make your numbers start working for you.
How can you get your numbers working for you as a group practice owner? In this episode, Linzy dives into the steps group practice owners need to take to make your numbers start working for you.
Do you sometimes wonder if you made the right choice by starting a group practice? Do the finances feel like they just don’t work? There are lots of great things about running a group practice, which Linzy explores in this episode, and there are also unique challenges that make being a group practice owner challenging.
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