How are you investing your money for retirement? In this practical financial episode, Linzy and Kaci dig into what it looks like to wisely invest our money as private practitioners so that our money can grow for us.
“That is the good thing to know about money is that it is not permanent. I like to call money a renewable resource because if you lose it all, that’s okay! You can! You can lose it all, and you can still come back stronger than ever!”
Angie Noll is the owner of Reconciled Solutions where she and her team of bookkeepers, accountants and Profit First advisors help small and micro size businesses find visibility and clarity to their financials. She is a steadfast believer in business sustainability not only through ensuring long-term profitability but also lifestyle sustainability. Above all, Angie is a believer in having the heart of a teacher. Since so many small business owners are intimidated by their financials and tie money and success together with fear and sacrifice, she wants to help small business owners overcome their anxiety and tell the deeply personal story about our business and our lives through accurate and actionable financials.
In This Episode…
Does tax season have you feeling fearful and overwhelmed? Are you hoping to set yourself up this year to have a better experience by the time taxes for 2022 are due? Listen in as Linzy talks with Angie Noll, a bookkeeper who focuses on helping people in private practice take charge of their finances in order to get their money working for them.
Angie gives some great actionable tips that we as private practice owners can implement right now to improve how our financials are working for us, and she talks about what we can do today to get better control over our finances as we move forward in 2022. Angie also shares about how looking at our finances more routinely can help us take stock of what is working and what can be done to improve our work/life balance to ensure we’re looking at the whole picture.
Do not miss this practical episode full of great ideas just in time for tax season!
You can find Angie here: www.reconciledsolutions.net
Connect with Angie on Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angienoll/
Subscribers of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast can qualify for a 10% discount for 12 months when they sign for Balance Solutions Bookkeeping at $400/month AND $100 off Angie’s Group Coaching: Startup Solutions and Profit First!
Use this link: https://mailchi.mp/6e9a2d7c8788/therapist-bookkeeping
Free workshop: Setting Enough Aside for Taxes (in 5 Easy Steps)
A FREE workshop that teaches private practice therapists how to teel totally calm about your private practice finances knowing you have more than enough in the bank to make tax time a breeze!
In this pre-recorded online workshop, I teach you:
Angie [00:00:04] So that’s the good thing to know about money, is that it’s not permanent. So I like to call money a renewable resource because if you lose it all, that’s OK. You can, you can lose it all and you can still come back stronger than ever.
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 today’s episode. So today’s podcast is with Angie Noll. Angie Noll is a bookkeeper. She’s the owner of Reconciled Solutions, where she has a team of bookkeepers and accountants and profit first advisors. They work with small and micro-sized businesses, so for many people listening today, our businesses are actually right in the range of who Angie works with. And as you’re going to hear in this episode, a big part of what Angie believes is in financial sustainability and business, and helping business owners to achieve that and achieve profitability, but also at the same time, lifestyle sustainability. And that was actually a really pleasant, almost surprise for me, actually in this conversation with Angie is that we really got into talking about balancing money and numbers with your life and your lifestyle. Not necessarily what we would expect when we think of that stereotype of a bookkeeper, but we chat about that today. We also talk about how we’re all learning in terms of money and as business owners. Angie shares some of her own experiences with learning as we go. So, yes, even bookkeepers are learning as they go when it comes to money sometimes. And finally, we get into some real, tangible tips on how to set yourself up to be in a better position come tax time. So if with tax time coming, you’re feeling super stressed right now, we talked about ways to catch up that are not going to be as painful as what we sometimes tend to do when we need to catch up, but also how to set yourself up for a better tax season next year. Here’s Angie Noll. So, Angie, welcome to the podcast.
Angie [00:02:40] Thanks, Linzy. I’m so excited to be here. It’s a good day.
Linzy [00:02:43] It’s a good day, I’m excited to have you here. So Angie, you are a bookkeeper, and so I’m especially excited to have you on, like on the podcast we have that account inside before, but mostly we have therapists, right? Like mostly the folks that I’m chatting with on this podcast are people whose brains are, like, pretty similar to my brain. Right. We’re kind of the same kind of human now, something I want to start with right away, talking to you as a bookkeeper is kind of the elephant in the room, which is that I think that therapists can have this story about accountants and bookkeepers, like numbers people, that numbers people have like no baggage around money that they’re just like perfect money, perfect at math, it all comes very easily. They’re just like, they have this in the bag and they’ve always had it in the bag. Can I ask you for your thoughts on that kind of story that we might have, even unconsciously, that we might have about bookkeepers?
Angie [00:03:31] Well, Linzy, it’s not true. I mean, I don’t know how much we want to go into this.
Linzy [00:03:38] Sure, sure.
Angie [00:03:38] Yeah, we certainly don’t have our act together. And it was kind of funny, when I started my business years ago – I’ve been in business for 15 years and when I started my business back in the early 2000s, I just could not figure out that triangle between me as the business owner and the deliverable to my clients and the person that was working for me and to keep everybody on all three sides happy because the person that was working for me was always wanting more money and I wanted money to, and the clients wanted, you know, wanted to pay less and wanted less for their money, but they still wanted the deliverables. So that relationship was super hard and I had so many money shortages.
Linzy [00:04:32] Sure, right, yes.
Angie [00:04:32] And I’ve had to reinvent myself. So what it started out looking like 15 years ago, is not what it looks like today, and that’s because I’ve slowly made changes. So that’s the good thing to know about money, is that it’s not permanent. So I like to call money a renewable resource because if you lose it all, that’s OK. There’s – you can, you can lose it all and you can still come back stronger than ever. I mean, I think that Shaquille O’Neal, he went bankrupt. He talks about this story about spending $1 million in one day, and he really only had like seven hundred thousand to spend, but he blew a million, so he was in the hole three hundred thousand dollars for a single day.
Linzy [00:05:15] Wow. Right. And he came back from it, I assume.
Angie [00:05:19] Yes. Yes, he came back from it, he’s a wonderful businessperson. So, yeah, I think therapists might have that expectation that maybe all accountants and bookkeepers never make mistakes with their financials, but we do. And I would say, you know, on the reverse side of that, we’re thinking every therapist has got their crap together as far as other relationships in their lives. You know, they must have perfect relationships with their mom and their dad and their kids and their spouses and all that kind of stuff?
Linzy [00:05:50] Yes. And obviously, that is also not true, right? So which is, I think, great to hear, though, Angie, and I’m sure like people know that logically, of course, bookkeepers and accountants are humans who are also learning as they go. But I think that’s especially important for – if I think about the therapists I work with in the course, and the health practitioners in the course. And I think about myself like, I think when you are used to being good at things and when you’re used to being a high achiever in other areas, it can be really demoralizing and defeating when money is hard or when the business isn’t working or, as you say, like the way it’s set up is just not working and you’re struggling at something and it feels like it’s not going to work. And I think a lot of therapists at that point, think about giving up and just like going back to group practice, right or even changing careers. And what I’m hearing from you is you can reinvent yourself, like even if you start off on the wrong feet or with the wrong structure, that’s not going to work. You absolutely can learn these things as you go, and even people who literally do numbers and finances for their business have to learn the financials as they go sometimes.
Angie [00:06:52] Absolutely. I’m still learning things every day, 15 years in business. We’re talking about intimidation factor, and so many people have intimidation factor when it comes to their numbers. But it’s interesting that therapists, when they’re working with bookkeepers and accountants, they might have this intimidation factor fear of their financials, understanding their money demons and all this kind of stuff. But I’m sure that we can flip that around 100 percent because think of the clients that you’re meeting with day to day, people are scared to go see a therapist. They’ve probably got their stuff together. There’s intimidation factor there. We don’t want to tell them our dirty underwear. You know, all that kind of stuff. And I almost think we’re in the same business because bookkeepers and accountants, we also know our clients dirty underwear. We just have a different way of doing it. We know where they eat, we know what they spend too much money on. We know its clients are slow paying them, which clients are really good about paying. We know lots of stuff about their business. So I think it’s just overcoming the fear, the inadequacy, the do I deserve this? You know.
Linzy [00:08:12] Because what I’m hearing is like, you know the intimate details of your client’s financial lives, right? We tend to know the intimate details of our client’s emotional lives, their relationships, their inner worlds. You know their financial lives. And I’m curious, Angie, with that, like what do you see as kind of like your role? How do you think about what you’re doing with clients when you are working with those numbers with them? And when you do know their numbers, what are you trying to accomplish with them?
Angie [00:08:36] Well, the biggest thing that we’re trying to accomplish is that they have visibility and clarity to their financials. That’s super powerful. There is power in understanding and absorbing and being able to make decisions more than just on how we feel inside ourselves and on our gut, but based on numbers and data and the story that the numbers tell. So the numbers do tell a juicy story, and that’s what I want therapists to understand is if we set this up, we’re going to be able to tell those details about your business and you’re going to be able to make better decisions knowing this.
Linzy [00:09:16] Right, having that clarity and that’s empowering, right? As much as that can be scary to face. And I mean, you and I are doing similar work in different areas supporting in different ways, but helping people get that clarity, it can be scary. Sometimes we don’t want to know what it is, but it’s only when you have information that you can actually do something about it and improve it.
Angie [00:09:33] Yeah. And then I think, you know what happens after fear, the fear of the unknown, the intimidation and stuff. And if you let us get past that and work through those numbers with you, well, then the next thing that might happen is there’s a bunch of guilt that comes in, right? Like, why did I spend that? How did I get this credit card debt? You know, I’m in this position where I am, not where I should be at this age or stage of my life and all of that kind of stuff. So then, we’re probably not your favorite person because you’re feeling guilty, right?
Linzy [00:10:09] Yes. To draw it back to therapy because now you’re getting me thinking about all these similarities. I feel like it’s the same thing with therapy and the way that we work with clients or we also have folks in the course who are like dietitians where you’re helping your client look at what they eat, right, or like, look at their exercise, their relationship to their body. And yeah, sometimes that’s not actually the fun role to be in because you’re sometimes, you’re getting people close to stuff that they’re avoiding because there’s hard emotions there. Right? And so, yeah, that’s interesting to think about how we probably project a lot of our feelings onto bookkeepers and accountants in the same way that our clients projects feelings onto us as therapists or practitioners where it’s like, Oh talking to her is stressful.
Angie [00:10:46] Yeah, right.
Linzy [00:10:47] But it’s about things that are there anyways.
Angie [00:10:50] Right, and if you think about it, if your client is coming to you with their personal issues and they’re having that conversation, you don’t want them to feel, you know, judged or guilty or upset about how they’ve handled stuff because we cannot change the past. So that’s why it’s so important to remember this whole concept of money being a renewable resource. We can change things today for the go forward, so that we won’t make those mistakes again, and we all have that ability to fail forward to fail faster. We know that the fail is coming, but can we learn from it and move forward faster and reestablish our financial health and wellness?
Linzy [00:11:37] Right. Because as you say, it’s a renewable resource. There’s always opportunity to make more money as long as you’re working and able to work right, which for most of us will be for a long time. There’s always the opportunity to make more money, make it in a more strategic way, put it to more strategic ends and have your financial picture look really different, even if you’re like 20 or 30 years into your private practice. There’s still always opportunity to turn it around.
Angie [00:12:00] You know, I know you talk some about Profit First, but I just completely believe in this ability to draw the line in the sand and say, You know, I may have made this mistake in the past, but no more. Today, I declare permanent profitability, and I think that’s just super powerful. And that’s what you get when you have good clean books and visibility and clarity to your financials.
Linzy [00:12:26] Absolutely. Now, Angie, we’re coming into tax season, dun, dun, dun. I’m sure – I was going to say a busy time of year for you, but maybe not. I guess you’re really helping folks throughout the year so that tax season is not that crazy of a time for you, right, like everything is done already by taxes season?
Angie [00:12:43] Yeah, January and February and March are really, yeah, we’re busy.
Linzy [00:12:46] OK, you are. Yeah. So, for people listening today who are maybe not feeling quite so clear about taxes, I’m curious if we can dig into taxes a little bit. I’m wondering from your experience, Angie, what are some of the biggest mistakes that therapists end up making, that makes tax time harder?
Angie [00:13:04] OK, so let’s talk about taxes. There’s a few things that we can do with our financials, and I think that the most is to keep it organized throughout the year because, well, now we’re sitting on February, the end of February, going into March as we record this. I can tell you that next January or February, when you’re trying to pull together your taxes, you’re not going to remember what happened in 2022. So just keeping organized throughout the year, and it doesn’t have to be a super complex system. You can have a January through December hard copy folder and a digital folder, and just put stuff in receipts that happens in January in the January folder and stuff that happens in July in the July folder. And that is one thing that really helps, so I would suggest that. Another thing that I could suggest is that as a small business owner, I don’t care if you’re a solo entrepreneur and you’ve been in practice for twenty five years, you still want to keep your personal expenses separate from your business expenses. That’s super important because that business is your livelihood, and we need to be able to extract its performance from your performance because the business may have had a good year, but you may have had a crappy year. I bet that happened for a lot of therapists during pandemic, like their businesses were going crazy. But personally, they’re like, I’m struggling with the same stuff, the same lockdown issues that everybody else is, and my personal mindset isn’t good. So that comes into play with our financials. We have to have it separate so that we can view it separate. It’s not an end all situation as far as if you didn’t do that last year, oh, no, I’m screwed, I didn’t do it last year. You know what? We can still make do and what I would suggest, if you’re a person who’s, you know, just getting started and you haven’t separated business from personal from a bank account level and a credit card account level, that what you can do is go to your banking or credit card institution and download your activity into spreadsheets and then just highlight the ones that are separating them. If you have more personal transactions, just highlight the business transactions. If you have more business transactions, highlight the personal transactions. It makes it a lot easier for us as bookkeepers to get the year end totals correct and to get the right numbers in the right spots.
Linzy [00:15:46] So just taking that time to pull it out, and that’s a very systematic way to do it that you’re talking about, like just grab everywhere that your financial information is. And I love that, that’s such a simple tip, but I can see that making a huge difference, like highlight the thing that there’s less of. So if you’re looking at a personal bank account and for every one business transaction, there’s five personal, then just focus on picking out those business transactions, highlighting those, so that they stick out. Yeah, you are absolutely speaking my language. I always suggest people do that bank account separation first because I think, as you say, like it creates such blurriness of not being able to distinguish what’s even happening with the money. But as you say, too, it’s like maybe your business is doing really well, but you can’t see that information because personally, you’ve had a hard year and maybe you’re spending quite a bit of money and you don’t feel the gains in the business because you don’t even see like, oh, the business actually made a lot of money, but then I spent a lot of money at home. But if they’re mingled together, you can’t separate that information and see what’s actually happening.
Angie [00:16:39] Yeah, I mean, so many people say at the end of the year, like, where did all that money go? I don’t see it right? Well, you’re really going to have troubles seeing where all the money went, if you’ve got it all lumped into one bank account. So really, the very first thing you need to do is to set up separate business and personal bank accounts.
Linzy [00:17:00] That’s the biggest thing. And then, you know, the second piece, as you mentioned, is if you haven’t, here’s a process to do it. Print that stuff out. And I would suggest, like this is my therapist brain, like set up a reasonable amount of time to work on it. Figure out what works for your brain because I’ve definitely heard stories, Angie, of people, they take like an entire weekend.
Angie [00:17:16] Oh yeah.
Linzy [00:17:17] It’s just a weekend of hell, of just like, you know, and they lock themself in a room because I think there’s also this element of like, now I have to punish myself, you know, like, I didn’t do this all year. So now I can make this easy on myself, I have to get it done. So they set it up in a way that’s even like, not that pleasant. Like, I’m going to close myself in this room and I’m not allowed to come out until I’m done, which is like a pretty like hard line way to treat yourself.
Angie [00:17:38] Yeah. No food or drink in here. You know, this is strictly work. And you know, got to have somebody standing over me, beating me a little bit.
Linzy [00:17:47] Yeah, right, so I never do this again. Yeah. And like, I would be curious to hear more from you about like, what would you suggest therapists or health practitioners, if they do find themself in this situation, it’s like they’re coming to tax time. All their money’s mingled together, they’re going to have to pull it apart. What is your suggestion for like how they should think about this, how they should treat themselves? What’s your bookkeeper perspective on this?
Angie [00:18:07] Well, I do think that, you know, it goes to kind of those successful mindsets or I’m a big person with understanding the Atomic Habits by James Clear, he writes a book about atomic habits. And so setting yourself up for success, I know that dealing with your financials is something that might be very painful for you. But we do our best work in the morning when we’re full of energy and setting yourself up for success means maybe setting aside thirty minutes or an hour, you know, consecutively for a week to work on that. And when the timer goes on, your time starts and you get to it, you have to focus. And when the timer goes off, then you get to quit and just reward yourself. I mean, a big thing is just saying, I did it, I did the task. I ate the frog, I did the thing that I didn’t want to do, and now I can go on to the other parts of my job that I like a little bit better.
Linzy [00:19:05] And with that Atomic Habits, I’m not familiar with – I know the book, but I have not read the book. Is there a certain period of time that’s suggested there or do you find your own period of time that works for your brain? How does that work?
Angie [00:19:15] No, I don’t think there’s a period of time. Atomic Habits is about, just establishing ourselves for success and what success means to us, and how can we take our bad habits out and regrow into good habits, right? Replace those habits. So that’s a really great book. But that concept of, we do our best work in the morning is very well documented in a lot of business sources – will document that. And working in snippets, it’s not working in a – I’m going to lock myself in this room for the next 72 hours until the job is done. Nobody can work like that.
Linzy [00:19:57] No, certainly not. And I think with that, something I think about a lot Angie, is when we do stuff like that, if you already have the story that money is hard and negative, that’s only going to deepen that story so much more, right. Because now you’ve actually created a situation that is hard and uncomfortable. And you know, now when you think on finances, you’re just going to remember this like horrible experience of like, well, finances is when I lock myself in my room for three days to do all the tracking I didn’t do all year, right? So it just reinforces that negative story and negative experience of money, when we do punish ourselves in trying to catch up in that kind of restrictive way.
Angie [00:20:32] Yeah, I mean, I really think that money is something that we need to look at every month and probably more than once a month. Even if you’re a solo practitioner, I would say at least twice a month, you need to be kind of adding up the totals, seeing how things are going. So if we follow that Profit First concept of the 10th and the 25th of the month, you know, we generally have to look at our personal bills about twice a month. So why not be looking at the business at the same time? And as you think about it, on the 10th of the month, you should be wrapping up what happened in the prior months and paying the bills from the prior months. And then by the time 25th comes along, you should be able to be saying, well, this month is looking pretty good or it’s not looking good, and why is it not looking good? And what am I going to do to change the trajectory as I move forward? A lot of times too, I think that when you think about bookkeepers and accountants, you think about us as being historians and we’re always looking at the past performance of the business. But really, managing your financials, past performance, that’s a lag major, it’s stuff that you cannot change. But a lead major is stuff that you can change. We have to change that mindset, of thinking about our financials is something that’s all historical to something that is, history is going to give me good clues about solving the way I want to move forward and what my future looks like and how do I lead into the success that I’m trying to reach?
Linzy [00:22:17] Yeah. I mean, something I think about a lot Angie, is having presence with money, right? Like, as you say, not just looking at it later to see what happened because it’s done, as you said earlier, the past is the past. Right. And so now you’re looking and you’re thinking, Oh, I really overspent on business expenses this year. It’s too late at that point, right? I think about it as developing, especially for therapists who have like anxiety or shame, or all these hard emotions about money that make them avoid it – developing the ability to be present and be with. And I think, if I think about kind of what the ideal of bookkeeping is in my mind, that’s what it’s about, right? Is having a relationship with a bookkeeper who is going to give you information ongoingly and quickly and be able to help you look at things that have just happened so you can adjust your behavior like, now. Not look back and wish that you had done it differently. Is that an accurate description of kind of what bookkeeping is about or would you describe it differently?
Angie [00:23:10] I think so, I mean, I think it’s all about marrying the history with how we want our financial health and wellness to be. So what is really powerful for me is setting yourself up as an observer in your business. You know, not the business owner, but I’m just a random observer, and I’m going to look down on these financials and see how it feels. OK? So for example, if you have determined in your business that you want to see twenty five clients per week, then if you’re doing a 10th and a 25th review, then you can look back at the past two to three weeks and say, OK, I saw 20 this week, I saw twenty eight that week, I saw twenty three this week. That felt for me, it felt good. You know, this way it didn’t feel good that way. It wasn’t worth Work-Life Balance for taking care of my kids and whatever responsibilities I have outside of my job. But just kind of having that ability to set yourself aside from the financials and see, well, look, when I did twenty five sessions per week, that resulted in this kind of financial gain. And was that financial gain feasible and reasonable for me as it relates to work life sustainability and how I felt about my day to day and my positive and getting all the things that I want to focus on in my life, done.
Linzy [00:24:38] Yeah, I like that. That’s a very balanced approach to money. I really like trying to balance right, between the numbers of what the numbers tell us, because you might look at the numbers be like, that’s a great number. Wow. When I see 30 clients a week, I’m frickin rich. But then if you do think of the other side, like you said, like what was how did I feel that week, was able to be present with my kids that week? Oh, I forgot to pick my kid up at school that week because I was so busy and distracted. That gives you different information.
Angie [00:25:02] It gives you different information. And like I’ve been hearing from a lot of therapists over the past year that so much had gone virtual, right? And there’s a virtual burnout. And maybe the emotional exhaustion that comes with being in person is different from the virtual exhaustion. And maybe it’s better or worse. I mean, everybody’s individual, but you know, taking some of those into accountability is going to help you determine what you’re shooting for in the business. Does that make sense? Like what are my goals?
Linzy [00:25:37] Yeah, because both matter. Numbers matter, but also, what is your actual experience? Is this sustainable? Is this the business that you want to be running? I sometimes see therapists and business owners where we get so fixated on a certain number that we’re not being honest with ourself, that this is not sustainable or this isn’t actually the life that I want to have. But the numbers, I think also when we get fixated on certain, what I would maybe call vanity metrics. Like, this year is going to be my like, six figure year or I’m going to hit three hundred k this year. And usually I find those metrics are about revenue because that’s an easy, quick – that’s your biggest number, right? Is your revenue number. We don’t necessarily stop to think about, does this actually fit how many clients I’m able to see? Am I actually being my most effective self or am I actually like pretty tuckered out by the end of the week and not doing my best sessions? You know, am I actually getting time away? Am I able to like, have quality energy left for my spouse or my partner? Like, those questions, in my mind are just as important because that’s about your actual life.
Angie [00:26:36] Well, I would say that this is something that accountants and bookkeepers have in common with therapists because we get really hooked on those vanity measures. I know I do, personally. That would be a money sin for me, is that I get hooked on the vanity measures, and I’m really not measuring it against what it feels like in my lifestyle.
Linzy [00:26:57] Right? That’s only one piece of information. I always think about it, and maybe this is a little morbid. But like, first of all, life is short and unpredictable, but also like if this is our one and only human life and I don’t know if it is, is this how we want to be spending it, right? And it’s so easy sometimes, especially when we’re in certain age ranges, like I find or maybe it goes on like this forever, like in your thirties, you’re kind of establishing, you’re building. Your forties, you’re trying to create like stability for your kids, be able to send them to school. But then I’m sure probably retirement starts to become a big pressure in your fifties, if you’re not already set up. There’s always some reason to be working extra hard or seeing more clients than you really ought to be, right.
Angie [00:27:32] My high school girlfriend, she told me that it’s just wrong. We should have babies when we’re in retirement so that we can be spending all that time nurturing.
Linzy [00:27:43] Totally.
Angie [00:27:44] You know, and when we’re young and our joints all work and we have the energy and then we should work when we’re getting older, because then we’re more mature anyway.
Linzy [00:27:55] Yes, true. Yes, there’s always some sort of life stage that maybe makes us – we’ll work on that. So Angie, I’m wondering for people listening, what is the biggest thing that you would suggest, that’s like a good enough, that can make tax time better next year. Like I heard, bank account separation, but you and I were chatting before about some other things, too. What would you suggest if they’re like, OK, I want to get a little bit better at this tax time? I know it’s going to be hard. I want to make next year’s tax time not this painful. What would be like a minimum, doesn’t have to be perfect thing, that they could do to improve their relationship with taxes?
Angie [00:28:29] Yeah. OK, so then we’re going to go back to keeping things organized throughout the year. We’re going to get to the bank and separate those accounts and start using them separatingly. And if that means taking a certain credit card or debit card out of your billfold so that you won’t use it, then do that. OK, so just being very purposeful about that and then just kind of generally knowing your categories, I mean, if you set yourself up to look at your financials twice a month, any bit of organization that you can do twice a month is going to help. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but I would say there is really two types of expenses, and dumping it into two categories of expenses would be really useful. So the two types of expenses would be what accountants refer to as cost of goods sold or cost of services. And the other one would be operational expenses. So your operational expenses are made up of the general and administrative stuff, it would be: your email subscription, your phone service, your medical biller and all that kind of stuff, people that might answer the phone for you, paper supplies, business cards, all that kind of stuff, listings, all your sales and marketing stuff, like if you paid for a listing in a professional directory, that kind of stuff all goes in OpEx, and those are part of general and administrative. And then on the flip side of that is the cost of goods or the cost of services. So that is if you are paying someone else to deliver services to your clients. So if there’s therapy services that are delivered by somebody else, the type of expenses that you are paying to that other therapist are going to be considered your cost of services. And really, there is no money in your business until the cost of services is covered. So you have total revenue coming in and then you’re going to pay a contracted therapist or specialist to help deliver that service to the clients. And then from there, that’s where you have this real revenue and you’re going to pay different operational expenses out of that, you’re going to pay yourself out of that as well. Being able to separate that into the different hats, so to speak, in the business, I would say, is super important.
Linzy [00:31:07] So even just having those two things separated, like just make sure whenever you pay one of your subcontracting therapists or practitioners, categorize that one way, business expenses the other way, even that is a huge start.
Angie [00:31:18] Yeah. And one other thing I want to mention, Linzy, that I see people make a mistake on is paying themselves in different ways. So what I mean is, this month I’m going to pay my rent from my business checking, but next month, there’s enough in my personal account this month, so I’m just going to pay it for my personal account. That’s a mistake. Either you’re going to pay it from one or the other account, but not both. And so then setting yourself up for a systematic owners pay, just paying yourself, is my owners pay going to be a transfer from my business bank to my personal? And I always set it up in that direction every time I have a little bit extra versus, oh, my credit cards really expensive this month, so I’m going to pay as much as I can for my personal account. And then the rest of it, I’m going to pay for my business account because I’ve got money in my business account. That’s a no no.
Linzy [00:32:15] And what is it about that, that is a no no?
Angie [00:32:17] We can’t trace it back. Again, we’re sitting there a year later trying to figure this out. We don’t remember? We can’t get a clear idea of how much you’ve been paid, and we need to know how much you’ve been paid.
Linzy [00:32:30] Absolutely. Yeah. And something with that, Angie, that it makes you think about is, you mentioned this a little bit earlier in passing. Like when we do it, you’re suggesting right now, do it the same way, do it the same way, so you see what it is. But also when you do that in February, when you pay, you know, your credit card half from the business and you pay your rent from over here. You think you’re going to remember, but you won’t remember. You won’t remember next tax season, right? And so that’s also where I think that wisdom of what you’re talking about of like just working on it regularly, you know, like every couple of weeks. Like in the course, I suggest every week because people tend to be more avoidant. So with more avoidant, it’s actually better to touch it a little more often, realize that it’s not too scary, you don’t die. Come back the next week, do it again. Those things are fresh in your mind and you’re able to – even if you do something imperfectly, you’re able to label it properly, so later you remember what it is. Rather than a year later, almost being like an archeologist on yourself. It’s just so much more mental work and emotional work later, than if you’re keeping, even just kind of good enough records as you go.
Angie [00:33:26] Good enough, right. And you know, what happens is, if you put it on your calendar every week and you’re going to spend an hour a week on it or two hours a week, it becomes less cumbersome and burdensome because, you know, you only have to spend an hour. I only have an hour scheduled. All you do is get through this one hour and I don’t have to do it again for a week, you know, then it just becomes less of a big deal and more of a, Oh yeah, I can get that done and it feels OK.
Linzy [00:33:55] Yeah, it takes the charge out of it. And I would say, you know, it takes the phobia out of it because you do it, you don’t die. It’s not that hard the next week, you’re like, Oh, you know, well, I did this last week and it wasn’t that bad. And it gets easier as you go along. Awesome. So, Angie, one final question I have for you is, when would you say it’s time for a solo practitioner or a group practice practitioner – we have both who listen to this podcast. When is the right time for them to hire a bookkeeper? What would be the things that would let them know, it’s time to start looking around for a bookkeeper?
Angie [00:34:25] If you’re not able to pull it together, to get the work done, or if your time is just too burdened. A bookkeeper is probably the easiest first thing that you can outsource. So if your schedule is jam packed with clients and you’re going to be more profitable and more peace of mind satisfied by not having to do the books yourself, it’s OK to hire a bookkeeper and you can still be mindful and know your finances, even if somebody is putting it in into the books for you, right? It doesn’t have to be that you have to categorize every transaction. Your bookkeeper gets to know very specifically about your business and understand how you go to market.
Linzy [00:35:11] Yeah, the way that I think about is your bookkeeper, they’re doing the labor for you, right? Like they’re organizing things, they’re making sure everything’s together, but you’re still responsible for it, right? And you can still have an empowered role in running your business finances. It’s just now your bookkeeper is taking their time to do something that you have better uses for your time.
Angie [00:35:30] Exactly. I mean, if your superpower is doing something else other than bookkeeping, then don’t do it, right. Use your superpower where it’s most powerful.
Linzy [00:35:40] That makes sense. So, Angie, if people want to get more into your world, where’s the best place on social media for them to follow you?
Angie [00:35:47] Probably LinkedIn, Angie Noll, is my number one spot that I hang out on social media. And that’s Noll, N-O-L-L.
Linzy [00:35:56] And Angie, do you have any special offers and promotions for our audience? I know you do.
Angie [00:36:02] I do for Money Nuts & Bolts listeners, we have a 10 percent discount for 12 months when you subscribe for our Balanced Solutions Bookkeeping. And also, I have a group coaching course, it’s called Startup Solutions and Profit First. And it’s about marrying your financials from a compliance tax standpoint with financial health and wellness, and putting permanent profitability into your business. So we can offer a $100 discount for that group coaching course as well.
Linzy [00:36:37] Great. OK. So 10 percent off bookkeeping services for a year or $100 off that coaching course. And Angie, you are a profit first consultant.
Angie [00:36:45] Yes, I’m a Profit First Mastery Member.
Linzy [00:36:48] Correct, so you live and breathe this stuff. So if you’re interested in that, we’re going to have the links in the show notes. You can click the link. We’ll put Angie’s LinkedIn link in there as well. You can check out those offers that she has, that we have a discount code with her. Angie, thank you so much for joining me today. I feel like this is – even for me, this was a very like, therapist and bookkeepers, maybe we’re more of the same than different.
Angie [00:37:12] Perfect. I think we do have a lot in common.
Linzy [00:37:15] Awesome. Thank you, Angie.
Angie [00:37:17] All right. Take care.
Linzy [00:37:32] There are many things that stuck out to me from this conversation today with Angie, but one of them is about that intimidation factor that she talked about. You know, where when we tell stories about certain types of people, certain professionals, how that actually makes it harder for us to work with them because we are telling a story that they’re perfect and they can’t relate to the fact that our business numbers aren’t working or that we’re not paying ourselves in consistent ways. When often, probably they can relate more than they’re going to let on. Just like us therapists and practitioners, sometimes we can relate a lot to what our clients are talking about. But because we’re in a position in that role to support them and treat them and serve them, we’re not going like, Oh my God, me too. But we probably could, a lot of the time. And it makes me wonder about how many accountants and bookkeepers might actually be a lot closer to what we’re experiencing than we think, because so often, you know, we apply our gifts to other people before we apply them to ourselves. So something to think about the next time you’re sitting across from an accountant or your bookkeeper and you’re thinking that they have this perfect relationship with money and they live and breathe numbers and can’t possibly understand what you’re going through, they might understand more than you think. And I hope that that reality check helps you to ask more questions, not assume that they’re judging you, but actually build a relationship with them to help you get the most support that you can because they do have skills and knowledge that you don’t. And they’re also humans who want to support you and teach you. If you’d like to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We’re posting content on there all the time about both the practical and emotional parts of money. And of course, as always, if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would love it if you would take a minute to go review it on Apple Podcasts. That helps other therapists and practitioners find us, which is wonderful. It’s always wonderful for me when new folks find the podcast and it helps to help them have a better relationship with money. That’s what I’m all about. Thanks for listening today.
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