YDMN 06: Facebook Strategies for Bookkeeping for Tradies

Stephanie Campanella
May 8th 2018

Stephanie C.: This is your digital marketing nailed podcast with Stephanie Campanilla, episode number 6.I’m still practicing my tail in, just FYI. Alright, today I have an amazing guest in le’ office. Her name is Cate Kemp. Hello, Cate.

Cate K.: Good day, Steph.

Stephanie C.: So good to have you. I thought it would be really valuable to have you on the podcast because man oh man, you know backtrack to I think it was six months ago, when I wasn’t using that amazing software that you gave me, I’d say my accounts were probably a little behind. You know, they weren’t too behind, I’m pretty diligent, but they weren’t as pretty or compliant.

Cate K.: Or fun.

Stephanie C.:
No, it definitely wasn’t fun. So I thought Cate would be an awesome guest to have on the podcast because she’s gonna share with us some insights on how to nail your books. How to get that going so that it’s not a nightmare and it’s easy.

Cate K.: Great, I love it. Not a nightmare and easy, and that’s the key because no matter what it is in life, if we don’t like doing it, we will find every reason to not do it.

Stephanie C.: And then procrastination sets in.

Cate K.: Absolutely, and so what we try to do is give you the tools and the mindset so that the whole bookkeeping thing, that just has to go away. Nobody does bookkeeping anymore, it’s not a thing. We just need to give you the tools and the know how to kick that out the door and get really simple ongoing compliant fun accounts rock and rolling.

Stephanie C.: Not that I really cared about being compliant, but when you realize that you’re not being compliant and if something happens you’re gonna be in big trouble, that’s something to consider definitely.

Cate K.: Yeah. No we do try not to use the “C” word.

Stephanie C.: I haven’t had anyone use the “C” word on the podcast yet.

Cate K.: Oh, well scrub that last bit. We weren’t using the..

Stephanie C.: Nevermind.

Cate K.: But, you know what, you are right. You don’t know what you don’t know, particularly around GST legislation, which is insanely complex in some ways. And so, it’s nice to know that you’ve got tools that are at least taking care of most of that on your behalf, and that you’ve got a bit of a culture going in your business of documentation and really tight financial record keeping. And I think that’s most of the journey won there.

Stephanie C.: I like that you’ve just coined it as a culture. Document keeping should be a culture in the business.

Cate K.: Yeah, it should be, but it also shouldn’t be something that’s hard to do. It should be an everyday, day by day, just you don’t even notice that it’s happening.

Stephanie C.: Alright, and I can prove that this is correct because I can’t actually count. I really struggle…

Cate K.: As she holds up her hands.

Stephanie C.: I’ve got ten, I can go to ten, that’s it.

I’m not the best at putting the figures together but the matter of fact is this software that we can talk about today it’s gonna make things a lot easier. So let’s backtrack for a moment. Cate, I wanna talk about how we first met. It’s getting a little romantic in here, but… Do you remember how we first met?

Cate K.: Was it at a bar?

Stephanie C.: Oh my god. I believe that we were in a van on the way to Tasmania.

Cate K.: That is true. There must have been lots of bars in between there though.

Stephanie C.: Oh we definitely started with a bar the night before.

Cate K.: Yeah.

Stephanie C.: Dying to shout out Captain Sonja. But I think we had known of each other before.

Cate K.: Yeah, absolutely. I knew your name.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, I knew your name. So, but we sort of hadn’t really sort of sat down and done anything together or gotten…

Cate K.: Or said hi, really, face to face.

Stephanie C.: … Yeah, we just kind of were looking at each other from across the room, in mesmerizing like…

Cate K.: Aw, yes.

Stephanie C.: …So we met hiking.

Cate K.: Yes we did, and it was a great hike.

Stephanie C.: It was an amazing hike.

Cate K.: Where I think we didn’t talk too much about business.

Stephanie C.: No we didn’t.

Cate K.: Which was unusual because I think we talked business ever since, really.

Stephanie C.: The one memory I have of you is when we’re in the van and you’re sitting in front of me and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, like systems, processes, I’m gonna speed up your business, I’m gonna make this stuff happen. You’re gonna be more profitable if you do the things and systems and put them in place.” And right then I was like, “Ooh, she sounds cool.”

Cate K.: Right, and you did, and then you did, and you are, and it’s going great.

Stephanie C.: Man, I am super systemed.

Cate K.: Busted, we’re great.

Stephanie C.: Is “systemed” a word, or should I say “systemized”?

Cate K.: You know what systems a word now!

Cate K.: It’s real.

Stephanie C.: Alright, cool. So, I guess that’s the love story of how Cate and I met. I guess we caught up after the hike and we discussed processes and how I was doing books and accounts and all this kind of stuff, and you kind of suggested that there was a better way to do things and an easier way. And, of course, I already had a solution, well no, I don’t need that. Probably a little, I wouldn’t say hostility, but there was a barrier. I was like, “I don’t need that”, and as I continued to struggle and I continued to hear Cate’s voice in my head, I realised Cate might actually have the secret here. She might actually be able to save me hours of not only my time, but hours of an accountant’s time and a bookkeeper’s time, the people that are taking care of the docs in the business. Once I kind of changed my mindset, I guess, on the fact that things can get a lot easier, then yeah one hundred percent I got Cate in.

Cate K.: Yeah, and that’s interesting because you, like stacks of other business owners, don’t really articulate the time it takes you to get that kind of stuff done.

Stephanie C.: Hell no.

Cate K.: And so many wives at home too. We’re talking to so many tradies and stuff and they go, “Oh, it only takes me five minutes, it only take me five minutes.”

Stephanie C.: Yeah, it’s just five minutes.

Cate K.: But the reality is that it’s five minutes over and over and over and over and if you break that down into seconds, if you can save twenty seconds, thirty seconds, even fifty seconds, but you can save that over and over and over and over, you actually can make a huge impact on your day. It’s this one percent rule. So little improvements, one percent everyday, actually over the long term, provides you with amazing and massive results. And so what we did for Steph was just said, “You know what, we’re just gonna take all those five minutes’ away. We’re gonna actually kick data entry.” So absolutely no more data entry, so no typing anything into the accounting platform.

Stephanie C.: I hate to interrupt here. But what I was doing, what was my time suck, is that every time I got an invoice, I was in jumping in a XERO, the accounting package, XERO.com/au.

Cate K.: Yeah, like XERO, but no the “Ox”.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, no “ox’s” here. So what I was doing is I was doing all this data entry, you know, I bought some equipment like this microphone, let’s say. I’ve got to put the line item in, I’ve gotta put where I bought it, I’ve gotta scan the receipt so there’s a compliance piece there, I’ve gotta say how much it is, hit “save”, then wait for the reconciliation. There was all this work, and I kind of enjoyed a little bit of that data entry.

Cate K.: Awe, yeah, because it was taking you away.

Stephanie C.: Yeah.

Cate K.: Giving you a bit of a zone.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, I was in my zone. That’s what I do, my accounting for two hours every morning. I was like, “Oh”. And then Cate said, “Seriously, two hours, is that all? Because I’m sure you’re doing it during the week too.” And, I was like, “Oh, yeah.” So, what the software actually did was it stopped me from doing all my data entry.

Cate K.: Yeah. And so then there was no filing, scanning, shredding.

Stephanie C.: No.

Cate K.: It’s all taken care of so you don’t have to file anything. Who loves filing, anyone?

Stephanie C.:I, no.

Cate K.: No. Here’s a better question though, who’s making money from pushing paper? Because it sure as hell isn’t me.

Stephanie C.: It’s nobody.

Cate K.: Yeah, nobody’s making money pushing paper.

Stephanie C.: No.

Cate K.: So kick that shit.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, yeah.

Cate K.: You know, no filing, no scanning, no shredding, no data entry.

Stephanie C.: Even if you look at the big end of town, those roles where your young female in the office, she was just there to file. Those jobs don’t exist anymore.

Cate K.: Gonski. Yeah, absolutely gone.

Stephanie C.: And because it’s awesome software.

Cate K.: Yeah.

Stephanie C.:So sorry you don’t have a job anymore, but this is awesome.

Cate K.: But there are other jobs coming out.

Stephanie C.: Yes, yes.

Cate K.: Our kids will have jobs we don’t even know about now.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Cate K.: That’s all fine, but you’ve got to get that out of your business because what you do in your business has to be generating a profit, and the more stuff you do that is profitable, then the better your business is, or maybe it’s just that you get to spend more time with your kids, or you’re not fighting with your wife over the admin.

Stephanie C.: Or we go surfing.

Cate K.: Or we, yeah, cause Steph and I hate doing that on a Friday morning.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, I should mention Cate’s key to happiness is surfing one hundred percent.

Cate K.: Yeah.

Stephanie C.: Cate set me free last year when she invited me out to go paddleboarding, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So, thanks Cate. Go Umina. Alright, so let’s get real stuck into what the hell are we talking about? What is this piece of software? This magical thing that you have brought into my business that has just meant the world to me, I’ve got so much time back.

Cate K.: Alright, so what we set you up with was Squirrel Straight. And it is a fantastic little piece of software, and it’s Australian. And that’s one of the reasons I really like it. It’s been developed for Australian legislation, for Australian GST, it uses an Australian workforce. It’s absolutely no offshore workforce with this software, and in fact, they employ the disability workforce in Sydney, and the long term unemployed. Now, I love that. I love to tell my clients that, I think it’s fantastic. But that’s really just icing on the cake.

The cake part is that Squirrel Street takes care of receipts and data capture for your business and it’s both digital and paper based. So if you’re like me actually, and I so cannot take a photo of every receipt that I’ve got from Bunnings, that would drive me bat shit(remove) insane. But what I’m really good at is if I get a receipt from wherever, Bunnings, a café, office works, or I open my mail and there might be an old bank statement, or one of the rare paper bills these days, I just shove that in my Squirrel Street magic envelope. And I send that off once a week, and it all gets scanned for me, it’s all processed for me, the data is extracted from those documents, and then any receipts or invoices or expenses are pushed out into my accounting file without me having to even touch them. So it’s just easy.

Stephanie C.: So literally you’re in your Ute all day.

Cate K.: Yeah. My counting ute.

Stephanie C.: You’re in your motor vehicle all day, and you’ve been at a job in the morning, and the job in the afternoon, you had to go to Bunnings, pick some tools up, you had to go get some cement or sand or you know whatever; actually you make cement, you buy sand, excuse me for the builders listening. But you go and buy all those things and you’ve got all these receipts. So what Cate’s saying is that there’s actually the magic envelope that you just keep in your car. All the receipts go into this envelope and at the end of the week before footy training or whatever…

Cate K.: Yes, yes.

Stephanie C.: … You simply just throw that envelope in the mail, it goes to Squirrel Street.

Cate K.: Yep.

Stephanie C.: And the Squirrel’s take…

Cate K.: And the Squirrel’s square all that away for you. And then that’s all scored securely online. On any line with the new ATO security and privacy principles that were released in March this year.

Stephanie C.: So this is the thing about using Australian software.

Cate K.: They have to be, right? And that just alone, it takes away filing, scanning, shredding, and data entry out of my business and it provides with the level of automation. And just to process it means everything happens as you work day by day as opposed to having to get around to dealing with the paperwork.

Stephanie C.: At the end of the quarter going, “Oh my god.”

Cate K.: Holy moly.

Stephanie C.: Where are all the invoices? My accountant is going to kill me.

Cate K.: And we don’t want that.

Stephanie C.: Yeah.

Cate K.: We don’t want that.

Stephanie C.: So let’s just make this super simple and process. So, from your car or your office or wherever you’re going to do this, you throw it all in an envelope. It goes out into the mailbox, into Squirrel Street. The Squirrel’s do the data entry. So they enter all the data for you.

Cate K.: For all of those receipts.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, for all those receipts.

Cate K.: And then you sync it up with your accounting platform.

Stephanie C.: Right.

Cate K.: And you have to do that, it’s just a set up process.

Stephanie C.: Yep.

Cate K.: And then once you’ve got all of those syncs in place, so you’ve linked it to your accounting package, then they will just push automatically out so that you don’t have to do data entry.

Stephanie C.: So for me, my Squirrel Street talks directly to XERO. So now that I don’t have to do any data entry, all I do is, I actually scan some receipts in. I don’t send.

Cate K.: You don’t use the magic envelope?

Cate K.:Because you can use mobile apps and you can snap photos or you can send emails into your Squirrel Straight account, and that’s really easy.

Stephanie C.: Yep.

Cate K.: But I just think for myself, personally…

Stephanie C.: Yeah, send it away.

Cate K.: Just having to remember to take a photo of everything, I’m not really consistent at that.

Stephanie C.: See, I do a lot of selfies, so I’m used to it.

Cate K.: Yeah, Steph is really consistent at that and that’s great for her. Honestly, the idea of me taking a photo of every single piece of paper.

Stephanie C.: Kill me.

Cate K.: Kill me now, I just shove it in my envelope and I don’t think about it ever after.

Stephanie C.: Yeah. So once all that Squirreling work is done, I’ll jump into XERO and just hit “reconcile”, like reconcile, reconcile, reconcile. And, the data entry is done. And then my accountant will be like, “Hey Steph, make sure all your books are up to date for March 31st, because we’ve got to do a BAS.” Well hey, it’s not like this implosion in my brain like, “Oh my gosh, I have to dig up receipts from January 1 to March 30.”

Cate K.: Yeah. No, it’s all done already.

Stephanie C.: It’s done, it’s done. Yeah.

Cate K.: You do a quick check of Squirrel Street to make sure there’s no automations that need to be set up and off we go.

Stephanie C.: Yep. Brilliant. Alright, so I guess that’s the how, how it all works.

Cate K.: Yeah.

Stephanie C.: So is there any barriers? What’s the hardest thing about setting this thing up? Is there anything hard?

Cate K.: Just doing it. Yeah and like your books.

Stephanie C.: Just making the connection.

Cate K.: Yeah, just understanding that you’re gonna invest fifteen, twenty minutes in setting it up.

Stephanie C.: And it’s done.

Cate K.: And you might invest another ten minutes a month just to maintain your automation over the first few months. Like we’re saying, “Hey, Squirrel Street, every time you see an Office Works receipts, I want to push that Office Works receipts to printing in stationery in my file.”

Stephanie C.: Yeah.

Cate K.: Or, “Hey, Squirrel Street, every time you see a taxi receipts, I want you to code it to travel and I want you to push it out to my QuickBooks file.”

Stephanie C.: And honestly those little automations, I remember setting them up, and every time like say if I buy something from Dick Smith’s, I’ve never shopped there before, yes Squirrel Street does say, “Hey Steph, where would you like this to go? Do you want us to set up a rule so that you never ever have to say, Dick Smith was a computer purchase, let’s say.”

Cate K.: Yeah. So after you’ve set this up, and it’s really not rocket surgery. It’s not complex.

Stephanie C.: I can’t count, remember?

Cate K.: Once it’s set up, it’s good to go and it just makes such an ongoing impact to your business and then you’ll start to notice that there’s so much more time that you can either funnel toward profit or toward value. So that might be your family or doing more things that you love.

Stephanie C.: I think a big thing to point out here is the fact that your books will be up to date. So you’ll go into your profit and loss and you’ll actually be able to see top line sales. You’ll be able to see expenses and then your bottom line. So you’ll actually know how you’re going.

Cate K.: Yeah. Give you some clarity, and feeling in control I think is so important to us as business owners.

Stephanie C.: Yeah.

Cate K.: You’ve just got to know where you’re at, you’ve got to feel good, you’ve got to feel like you’ve got it handled.

Stephanie C.: Yeah. Awesome. Cate, so what accounting software works with Squirrel Street?

Cate K.: Oh I think we play with nearly everybody in the sandpit.

Stephanie C.: Oh.

Cate K.: So as long as you’re using some mainstream cloud software. Let’s say XERO and QuickBooks online is a great piece of software. MYOB Essentials or Account Right Live. So MYOB Cloud software that you can access from any computer, anywhere, that will all link to Squirrel Street. Of course the most popular accounting package world over, is still Excel. It’s true. Squirrel Street will export and do data analysis out to excel for you. So you can look for how much you spent at Bunning’s over the last three months.

Stephanie C.: Wow.

Cate K.: And dump that into a spreadsheet or dump out your expense claims if you’re a contractor.

Stephanie C.: My face. I’m just like, holy cow.

Cate K.: See we don’t even do that with you. So yeah, if you’re a contractor and you put claims out with your invoices, you can dump those out of Squirrel Street into a really neat report that has both the summary of the costs as well as the images attached, which can work really really effectively and just save a bucket load of time and it means also you won’t miss expenses that you need to claim on jobs and stuff.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, wow.

Cate K.: So that’s really really cool.

Stephanie C.: So it’s just gonna work.

Cate K.: Yeah it’s gonna work. Look, if you’re using some old outdated desktop software like the old MYOB desktop, look MYOB doesn’t even support that product anymore.

Stephanie C.: You should turn it off.

Cate K.: Maybe, well look, it’s got its place in the world, but maybe just give me a call and chat about some alternatives because while that software isn’t costing you anything, and I know it’s what you’re used to…

Stephanie C.: Yes, Free is never good for business.

Cate K.: …In this day and age, in our business environment now, it’s just not doing you any favors at all.

Stephanie C.: Yeah, absolutely. You need to use tools in your business that are developed for today’s business.

Cate K.: Yeah, absolutely.

Stephanie C.: Day to day, yeah.

Cate K.: They’re mobile, agile, and flexible. The old desktop accounting products, they’re just not cutting it.

Stephanie C.: Yeah. Cool. Alright, is there anything you cannot send to Squirrel Street?

Cate K.: Yes, so you cannot send medical documentation to Squirrel Street. I know, right?

Stephanie C.: What do you mean?

Cate K.: For obvious reasons.

Stephanie C.: They don’t want my blood test?

Cate K.: Yes, they really do want your blood test, Steph. There’s more stringent privacy requirements obviously around medical data. But you can, and people do, send absolutely anything else in. If you talk to the guys at Squirrel Street, they will tell you all about really interesting documents that they’ve received including money, checks, passports, unbelievable.

Stephanie C.: Wow.

Cate K.: So really some good stories that you should give them a call and have a chat. When I’m speaking to people working with me, which is like anything at all related to your business financials or your business operations, you just send into Squirrel Street so that you know where it is, it’s stored securely online and you can search for it easily and quickly just like a web search. So that would be receipts, invoices, bank statements, insurance certificates, notices from the ATO, your workman’s comp insurance, any of your claims documentation. Anything that you need to resources in reference to your business, goes into Squirrel Street. Just avoid the medical tests.

Stephanie C.: Yep. No bloods. I’ll stop sending that one later today. Alright, so I think a big thank you. Round of applause.

Cate K.: Oh, thank you.

Stephanie C.: Thanks so much for coming into the recording le’office today and I’m sharing your wonderful insights. Cate, you know, she didn’t even ask, I just kind of said, “Cate can you come in and can you do this?” She’s a real trooper. It’s really helped me take back time and just clean everything up and everything is up to date now. Everything is there, done, on the day, so big thank you to Cate Kemp from SBFO.com.au. Now I guess if someone listening wants to call you, talk to you, ask more questions, of course, I again can’t count. I’m no good at accounts, I’m not a bookkeeper. If someone wants to take action here, or have got some burning questions, how can they get in touch with you?

 

Cate K.: Look, the easiest thing to do is jump onto our website at sbfo.com.au. SBFO is short for Small Business Financial Operations, so sbfo.com.au and go to the section “Click the Clutter” and “Ditch the Data Entry” and that’s right on the home page, and that is where you get started on your journey to kicking that administration time sync right out of your business.

Stephanie C.: Perfect. Awesome. Now I of course will update the show notes and make sure that Cate’s social media, her LinkedIn, and Facebook and the website and all those links are gonna be on the blog or the show notes. So if you are still fluffing around and can’t find Cate, then help’s on the way, I’ll make sure that we’ll make it nice and easy.

Cate K.: Just reach out, I’m really easy to find.

Stephanie C.: And Cate’s also lovely, so don’t be afraid. She might take you surfing though.

Cate K.: Yeah, watch that.

Stephanie C.: But it’s a good thing. Yeah next thing you know you’ve bought a board and lost your paddle. She lends you a paddle. Alright, let’s stop because we’re gonna talk all day. Alright, well thank you so much everyone out there. If this content was of value to you, then please do me a big favor and share it with five friends and if you love love love this content, and you love Cate, well hell, go and connect with Cate as well, I’ll make sure that all the links are at the bottom of the blog article so that you can totally do that. Alright, over and out. Thank you so much for listening. Ciao.

Cate K.: Bye.