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New Client Software

  • 8 posts
  • # 112399

Hello there

 

I am new to the forum, and have a question! I am a qualified bookkeeper and starting up a new bookkeeping service. I am a little unsure however, when I get a new client, how to provide software. Is it standard for a bookkeeper to have software in place and provide this for the client, or do you set them up on a new subscription, which they cover the cost for?

If they are already using software or excel, then I could continue to use that for them, but with clients who don't currently have any sofware, is there a standard practise. I have worked for a bookkeepers previously where each new client was subscribed to Xero, which the client was invoiced for monthly.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Lisa

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  • 157 posts
  • # 112400

I can't comment on other software, however, as a Xero only paractice, the Xero subscription for my clients is included in their monthly fee. I don't do hourly rates, only fixed monthly charge, and therefore the Xero fee is included(built-in the pricing structure).

I am sure others will give you insight in to how they work with other subscription software, desktop software and using excel. I personally would never use Excel to do anyone's books, its a spreadsheet and not an accounting system - just my opinion.

  • 8 posts
  • # 112401

Thank you for you reply, so depending on which way pricing is done, it is a cost thats covered by the client ideally. 

As someone starting out, I have thought about going with an hourly rate, perhaps £17-£18 initially. I suppose it would vary greatly from client to client how many hours go into each. Do you think then that the software would be a fee I absorb into the hourly rate, or invoice the client for seperatly?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

  • Member PM.Dip
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  • 33 posts
  • # 112402

Hi Lisa, 

There is no right or wrong way of going about dealing software for your first client. If you are happy to promote the benefits and costs of a subscription package like Xero from the outset then go for it as it makes it really easy to pass on the cost to the client. 

It may be worth you trying some of the other types of software around that are not expensive when you first start, just to get a feel for what is out there. I started with VT+ as it was a 60 day demo, cheap for a bookkeeper starting out and is really simple to use and I used this for about a year alongside a copy of Sage that an accountant I work with provided.  (make friends with an accountant they may be able to help you with this!!) Solar is also another company that offers a good, low cost option when starting out and a good length demo period Moneysoft money manager is another alternative that's worth trying. 

I found by having a background knowledge of different product it helped when talking to clients about software, not all of them like the idea of the cloud, some what to get involved, some want nothing to do with the paperwork and couldn't care less what you use as long as it's done and they don't get fined!!! 

I hope that makes sense??? 

Good luck 

Sarah 

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  • 33 posts
  • # 112403

If you are using Xero and working on an hourly rate then be upfront with the client and invoice them for it other wise in absorbing the cost you will work potentially for about 90 mins free of charge for each client!! (if they take the standard Xero package!) 

If you sell the benefits of Xero to the client and be upfront they will be OK about it!! 

If you look at the cheaper packages that you buy outright for £250 for the year you will be able to absorb this across all of your clients?? I hope that makes sense?? 

  • 8 posts
  • # 112405

Thats really helpful, thank you. I will have a look at the ones you have mentioned.

I suppose if I was using a particular software and then wanted to change, it would be a case of converting the clients data to the new software..although that would probably be unnessesary. Hopefully the clients would be happy to go with my preference and be invoiced for it, and if not, I could use the more cost effective software and absorb into the hourly rate.

Would it effect the accountant I was using different software to them? 

Thanks again for your help,

Lisa

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  • 33 posts
  • # 112406

Of the ones I mentioned Solar and Moneysoft are the easiest to convert for any accountant as you can export it as a CSV file and the accountant can up load it into any software. 

When I used VT I was working with an accountant who actually recommended it to me as a starting point, I have worked with other accountants that don't like it but will use it and I've worked with accountants that are happy to just use the trial balance from it and do their thing!!! But where there's a will theres a way!!! As I said if you build good relationships with accountants they may able to help you with software. 

As for converting data to other software down the line that's really straight forward to do at year end or quarter end (eg after VAT return,) to take the trial balance or export to CSV file and upload into new software. 

 

Hope it helps

Sarah 

  • 8 posts
  • # 112416

Thats great, thank you so much for the information.

Many thanks

Lisa

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