Archive for April 1st, 2009

Dear Danielle: Should I Provide Bookkeeping or Not?

Dear Danielle:

I purchased some of your business products this week and Love Them. One question, in the price section of services and throughout some of the contracts it states this contract does not include bookkeeping. Is it normal to charge more for the bookkeeping service? —IK

There’s no “normal” way to do things. The great thing about being in business is that you get to decide whether or not you want to include something in your administrative support.

What I wanted to do by separating bookkeeping in the contract template was bring it to your attention that bookkeeping is a different service, skillset and business altogether from administrative support.

You see, a lot of people in our industry (dare I say, most of them) struggle to earn well. A lot of times that’s because they don’t understand what they specialize in (i.e., administrative support).

And what they do when they don’t understand this is they lump everything together.

By not differentiating that administrative support is a skill and value that is separate from other categories of business, they deprive themselves  of the opportunity to create another stream of income in their business.

So you can decide whether or not you want to provide bookkeeping in with your administrative support.

Maybe you decide that bookkeeping is a category of training and knowledge (and value) that is completely separate from administrative support and therefore warrants a separate charge to clients for that work.

You might even decide to offer a completely separate retainer or add-on fee for that work.

On the other hand, you might not be a bookkeeper at all and decide not to provide it whatsoever (it does require special knowledge, skills and training and there’s a great deal more liability when you are dealing with someone’s money and finances after all).

In that case, you would simply let clients know that bookkeeping is a separate industry/profession from administrative support and refer them to some fabulous bookkeeping experts you know of (it’s always a good idea to connect with experts in other fields so that you can refer clients to each other).

Hope that helps!