The Year in Review: 2021

Ben Shor PortraitThe beginning of each year is always very busy for me as I run year-end financial reports for many of my clients in order to check for any bookkeeping errors they may have made.  In addition, if needed, I assist my clients in preparing 1099s to send to all service providers that are not incorporated and were paid at least $600 in total for the year.  1099s must be sent out by January 31st.

This past year I had my best year ever.  I worked with 103 clients this past year – 44 new clients and 59 clients who I worked with previously.

As my specialty is training individuals and small businesses to effectively use QuickBooks, once they are trained, many of my clients no longer need my services.  However, some clients have me come monthly or every few months to help them reconcile their accounts and help them with bookkeeping issues.  Other clients only have me come once a year to review their financial reports for the previous year before they send these reports to their accountant to file their taxes.  And some clients I work with on a continuing basis doing their bookkeeping.  I work with clients in their home or office, in my home office, or virtually using Zoom.

As I work primarily with QuickBooks, I do want to mention that every year QuickBooks Online continues to improve, and I now recommend clients use this software instead of using one of the QuickBooks Desktop applications.  Most of my clients can use the least expensive online version of QuickBooks, which is called QuickBooks Online Simple Start, and costs $25 a month.  But for clients with a more complicated business, they will need to use QuickBooks Online Essentials, which costs $50 a month, or QuickBooks Online Plus, which costs $80 a month.  The Pro Desktop version of QuickBooks costs around $350 to purchase, and you now need to update your subscription every year so that you are able to continue downloading transactions into QuickBooks from your bank and credit card accounts.

Many of my clients, who have been using QuickBooks for years, are still using the desktop version.  They haven’t wanted to convert to the online version because it was more expensive, and they would have to learn how to use the Online version, which is quite different from the Desktop version.  Now that QuickBooks requires you to update the Desktop version yearly so that you are able to continue downloading transactions, the cost of updating the Desktop version is more than the cost of the Simple Start online subscription.  Because of this, I think that many of my Desktop clients will convert to an Online version because of the many advantages the Online versions offers.

For individuals that have never used QuickBooks, and are ready to purchase it, I explain the differences between the Online and Desktop versions, and most of them choose to use the Online version.  As I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and I have passed the certification exams for both the online and desktop version of QuickBooks, I feel equally comfortable teaching my clients to effectively use either of these programs.

Up until a couple of years ago, I would occasionally recommend that a client use Quicken to manage their business finances.  But I stopped recommending Quicken a few years ago because my Quicken clients were having a lot of problems with this program.  I used to use Quicken to track my personal finances, and I have always used QuickBooks for my business finances.  But I stopped using Quicken, and switched my personal financial record keeping to QuickBooks because of problems I was having with Quicken.  In the past year, I helped a few clients move from Quicken to QuickBooks.

In late 2019 I expanded my services to include helping individuals and small businesses get more organized.  In early 2020, I presented seminars at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s administrative office and at Yavapai College.  These seminars were: Using Gmail Effectively, Using Google Contacts and Calendar Effectively, Using Google Chrome Effectively.  The seminars were well attended, but I stopped offering them once the pandemic started.  Helping individuals and small businesses get more organized is a small part of my business (Shor Solutions), but I hope to do more of that kind of work this year.

-Ben Shor
Shor Solutions