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Discussion:You're not going to believe this!

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> You're not going to believe this!


JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
My head is spinning. I visited a client today who I thought was firing me. He'd hired a new bookkeeper two weeks! ago who was pretty talented, and I figured maybe she was even better than I imagined. But no...a couple things made him suspicious about her work, so he first asked me to review the QB file...about an hour of poking around, things don't make sense. So I run an audit report to see what changes might have been made. In two weeks....488 pages! Yes, she changed nearly every transaction for this year, a couple in 2005! and even one in, yes, 2004!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I screamed. Then I was incoherent...and now, now I think I just paid my son's first semester tuition at his new private HS!! What a mess, have no idea of how to fix it. Who wants to reverse 488 pages of entries? Big company, too...$3 mil in sales, repair biz...parts, AP, AR, the whole thing. Just had to share the story. (Why ok freakin' why would anyone change prior year financials????)

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
Wow! What version of QBs, JR? First, was there a backup made prior to the bookkeeper's start? I would go with that rather than trying to undo everything the new bookkeeper did. Second, in the future I would recommend that at least the prior year be closed with a password. You can even close any month, not just a year end. That would eliminate people from changing the books prior to a certain point if they do not have access to the password.

Bengoshi (talk|edits) said:

7 September 2006
I always hated that when you close in some programs, you can't go back. But I guess it really does serve a purpose.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
But the nice thing about QBs is that you CAN go back, as long as you know the password.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
The problem in QB, as I've mentioned to Doug Sleeter, is that we need a way to separately pw protect the year end without affecting the current year. I gave up on password protection after the first few days when the phone start ringing with folks who couldn't close out an open work order/estimate, or enter a Visa card statement...If we could lock down that year end...but that's the easiest part of this one. The worst is that if I do roll back to my last good statement, they lose a month's work of transactions, and we're talking about thousands....

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
Good point about the open transactions. FYI the audit trail will indicate changes to transactions even though no change has actually been made. For example, if someone goes into an old transaction to see how something was recorded and then clicks the SAVE button, it ends up on the audit trail. In this case it sounds like transactions actually were changed, and a lot of work needs to be re-done.


Well, at least this happened today and not April 1. Hopefully you don't have too many corporate returns due on the 15th.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
Yeah, but there is this Packer game against some 'team' in Chicago this weekend!

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 7, 2006
So you'll have your cheesehead hat on, right?

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

7 September 2006
OOH don't know about them Bears JR....jk they are one of my favorite teams!! Glad you kept your client, but don't they drive you freaking nuts???? Trying to save "money"...hehe

BottomLine (talk|edits) said:

7 September 2006
JR1 - do you have any backup's of your client's QB file? Even if you only have the trial balance from the last tax return, you can see if the "bookkeeper" actually changed anything or was just looking as Natalie mentions. I always get a backup of my clients files everytime I see them. So many don't do backups during the normal course of business and then call me in a panic when their computer crashes. If possible, I'd try to determine if the "bookkeeper" actually changed something or was just nosy.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 8, 2006
We can back up to any point in time, and I'm comparing current F/S's as they are, with what I have in my file. So I know they changed...now for the process of figuring out what must be changed back again, and what I can journalize. The trouble is that there is a front end program...that interfaces with all the daily RO's, and the inventory counts. QB has all the AP and checkbook. So I must tread carefully.

BottomLine (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
Yuck! Hope your son likes his new school. You will have earned it! I assume the "bookkeeper" is long gone.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
It ALWAYS worries me when I hear a client tell me that they have JUST hired this really great full charge bookkeeper and that they are going to take care of everything and I will no longer be needed to prep the monthly accounting - YA RIGHT! Real full charge bookeeper's are unfortunately very rare to come by. To bad to - because the real good ones are worth their weight in gold - the rest of them are no more than an accident waiting to happen. Sorry JR1 to hear you have been tasked with cleaning up another want a be's mess. Never fun. Billings may be good but it is work one wants to avoid. Frustrating and the client is not happy either. Good Luck my friend.


                             GO CHARGERS!

Taxref (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
I'm curious, did the bookkeeper offer any explanation as to why the changes were made?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 8, 2006
We'll find that out when she returns for the last time on Monday a.m. Even my wife asked, "Why would anyone change the numbers in a prior year?" I laughed...

BottomLine (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
IF she comes back. She may see the writing on the wall. Make sure no money is gone.

Go Bucs!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
And sometimes these full charge bookkeepers bring along the recommendation that the client seek out so-and-so bor tax preparation. A professional I know fell for this, told me he would not need me but before the other man could finish a return, IRS came about back withholding taxes that were posted in QB, but where checks were written to and cashed by Lady Full Charge.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 8, 2006
This gal was quite bold. On day 1 or 2, she told the owner that he was overpaying me, that I didn't know what I was doing since I wasn't a CPA, and that she'd prefer to bring her own staff on as well. Can you imagine, if she did bring on her own staff and accountant, even if she were honest, when the day came and she left...the whole staff goes, too! Just dumb. I don't yet understand her motivation...I wanted it to work, but alas, we're past that now. She wasn't up to anything nefarious...just arrogantly assuming she knew more than anyone else.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
Oh JR....how this infuriates me!! I too have clients who hire "in house" personnel and yes, they may know debits/credits, but they have no clue about laws or regulations regarding posting entries that "look good on paper".

YAYYY I got a new client this week; travelling again; have not even unpacked since my Nassau and Maine adventures, but now on to even more South Florida for the weekend to help a new client. Thankfully, he has noone who understands accounting or quickbooks, so this one is fairly easy to get a hold on...but it is late in the day and I don't want to drive anymore today.

Of course we are overpaid....hmmmmm. Why is it that we work double time for no extra pay in order to help our clients? And aside from that, we go the extra mile....hooray for JR!!!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 8, 2006
Maybe I could be paid even more if I WAS certified!!?? Hmmm......

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2006
You could CHARGE more, but paid more? I doubt it...they still nickle and dime you

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 9, 2006
Why is it that there's an expectation of a discount or lower fees from a CPA or tax preparer or even pro-bono work? When I took my printer in for a five-minute fix, I had to pay the full one-hour price.

LJACPA (talk|edits) said:

9 September 2006
I agree, Natalie. I wonder if attorneys give away as much as we do. I had a potential client come in (his office is right across the parking lot from my office) and set up a time to come in the next day to discuss his business, taxes, etc. So, he comes in, tells me he's a physician and does all of his work as a consultant. He brought in his prior year's returns and lo and behold, no office (is only temporarily in office space until he gets internet in new home he just purchased), no malpractice coverage needed, does his consulting over the internet (I'm going to find out how this works!) and his net was over $250,000! We chat for 40 minutes, I tell him my standard fees, including the fact that I only charge hourly for consulting at $125 per hour. We get done and he thanks me and leaves, never even thought that I might desire to charge him for my time. My fault, I could have said something, but it just gripes me that so often it's just expected that we'll (I'll!) just give my time away. I've got to change and be more agressive I guess because, you're right, rarely does anyone else offer fee consulting, service or anything else. Why should I?

BottomLine (talk|edits) said:

9 September 2006
Glad to hear giving away time/advice is not just my problem!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 11, 2006
Well, phase I is done. Exceedingly short meeting...now I get to figure out how to fix the mess. Thanks for everyone's input/condolences...!

Gosix (talk|edits) said:

11 September 2006
<phase I is done. Exceedingly short meeting...now I get to figure out how to fix the mess>

Less than 3 minutes?!?

What sort of changes were made for example?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 11, 2006
Nearly every transax in 06! There's a front end program for order entry and sales, inventory, cost of sales...and she decided she didn't like how that front end program worked (without bothering to learn how it worked!) and so in QB, which it interfaces with, changed all the inventory purhases to COGS, directly! So the front end program is hitting COGS, and so are the purchases....! And she felt that that would give her better control on expenses...ahem. Yeah, twice the COGS and no inventory. Imagine. And, without any tax knowledge, changed the equity section of an LLC/1065 to look like both a C corp AND a sole prop, combined, but alas, not an LLC! Just a small pic of what I'm up against. Fortunately, the computer system here is phenomonal, and we can roll back the calender to wherever we want and start over. So that's what we're doing, reentering two weeks of data. It's the shortest way to the best answer....

Gosix (talk|edits) said:

11 September 2006
Why would someone be so brash to do all that? Was she a ProAdvisor or a degreed accountant? Did the client not like his current system?

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

11 September 2006
LJACPA.... Oh yes, it happens to attorneys too! I got this tip from a book for salesmen years ago, and it does help. If I have the slightest doubt that I have a "tire kicker", or "just looking" potential client, I tell them "Look, your time is valuable and so is mine. What exactly do you wish to accomplish by our meeting?" A person looking for purely free advice is usually put on the spot by this and will respond with some vague, but telling, statements; then I can politely get rid of the most obvious offenders right there on the phone. If I do make an appointment, but still have some doubts, I make sure I control the first 15 minutes of the discussion with questions (particularly about thier past accounting records, legal records, accountant, attorney etc). I've found that 90% of the time, if I ask the right questions, I don't get short-changed on my fee. If they don't want to answer my questions, but just want to tell me their "story" (hit me up for some "pointers" etc.), I stop, tell them my fees, and give them my standard new client forms to fill out, and tell them to call me for a second appt. This takes 15 minutes, and the bad ones never call back.

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