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Ok, I've got one...Business Manager

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Rich RubaschOk, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 1:51:50 am

Ok, we read the suggestions below to establish a good accountant to get the business rolling. I am a Sub-S Corp and have a great accountant. I also have recently commissioned a business lawyer because I am adding employees and getting an office etc. I want to manage the transition as legit as I possibly can and not run into any roadblocks later.

I have been doing most of the data entry of the books etc and doing quarterly filing etc. Do any of you use a business manager in your business, or is it just you and the accountant? I find I don't have the time I used to have to handle those tasks and it would be great to have a business manager handle the receipts, taxes and the books, and let the accountant only do the heavy lifting at year's end etc.

What do you think? Business manager a waste of money? Is there such thing as a part time business manager?

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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Nick GriffinRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 9:10:36 pm

Rich -
To my way of thinking, a "business manager" would be overkill. (Prior to correcting it, I had, in Freudian fashion, typed overskill - probably even more accurate.)

In the past we've had the part time position of bookeeper/admin assistant. On those occasions when there were a LOT of accounting transactions, bills to be entered, checks to be cut, errands to be run faster or closer than was practical for messenger services, the position was worthwhile -- or at least I thought so at the time. But when we switched over to Quickbooks Pro from a far more complex accounting program our bookeeper seemed to have a LOT of spare time.

Over the first 14 years I had five bookkeepers. The worst of them embezzled. Fortunately it was only $1,600 and she was quite surprised that I had been paying enough attention to catch her. The best bookeeper/ admin was a law student with mostly night classes. In addition to the accounting stuff she helped write proposals, press releases, etc. When our law student graduated we went through two others, but it was never the same.

When the last of our bookeeper/admins quit I didn't replace her and, for over three years have taken a few hours every other Saturday to do the Quickbooks tasks. The accountant sends in one of his junior people four times a year to reconcile stuff and he does all the tax stuff as needed quarterly and annually. Billing, quite possibly one of the most creative tasks in any creative business is, and always has been, done by me. Phone are answered by my VP, by me or by voicemail. Travel and many other things that the admin used to do are arranged on the net.

So, are there times when I miss having someone do the Quickbooks entries and be there to answer phones? Yea, but not anywhere near as often as I thought I would.

Hope this view is of some help in your decision making process. It works for me.

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Nick GriffinRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 10:52:37 pm

OR... did you mean Chief Financial Officer: one who manages billing and collections, banking relationships, cash-flow projections, financial planning, etc? That's something on a completely different level than I have in mind when I hear "business manager."

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Rich RubaschRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 3:21:08 am

No Nick, you nailed it in your first post and it was all I needed to hear. I certainly get your drift and take the advice business manager, book a little more time for my accountant to do some reconciling, and keep doing the basic entry myself.

I also agree that I don't want ANYONE but me doing the, indeed, is a creative task! And I like doing it and being responsible for what I am charging one but me to blame for a suspect invoice (never happened, knock wood). And, besides, I like being close to the numbers. It's healthy for my company anyway.

Thanks Nick.

But, does anyone out there have a different perspective? Just for giggles...

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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artyRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 1:17:38 pm

i don't agree with that at all...

we have a great system and a great relationship with our accountant and bookkeeper.
our bookkeeper comes in once a week to take care of all financials except check writing.

we meet with our accountant once or twice a year,

the thing is the financials take at least a day or two of your time a week (or more) if done correctly...i'd rather not try to be something i'm not, and for a few extra bucks you get it done faster and usually much better than doing it yourself.
use your time to make more money not trying to reorganize the money you already made.

if you are even thinking you need help than you probably do.

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Peter RalphRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 3:03:15 pm

the question is very similar to do you need a sound person or a director on a shoot. It cannot be answered in the abstract. It's always a "good idea" but often doesn't make a lot of sense.

Accountants and business managers are not all created equal. Many creatives have a touching (but totally misplaced) trust in professional advisors.

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Nick GriffinRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 5:33:38 pm

Arty -
I don't think this could ever be a "one size fits all" type of thing. The number of transactions we have can be posted and paid in 4 to 5 hours a month. Billing is something altogether different as it involves so many factors that only I know -- not saying this is a good thing necessarily, just how it is for me and our little company.

We're small. There are two of us with full time salaries & benefits. We have a core group of freelancers we use frequently, some freelancers that we may only use a couple of times a year and some crew hired as needed, almost always for out of town jobs.

If we had 15 people, and a correspondingly larger workload, having an in-house bookeeper would be required. But then I'd probably have to move from being the one doing stuff to the one managing others doing stuff. Oh, yea. I tried that in the eighties and truly HATED it, hence I'm now doing almost as much work with substantially fewer people.

BUT... that's me. And while it may be good for me, it may not be good for you. Your mileage may vary.

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artyRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 7, 2006 at 12:20:57 pm

i understand completely...
we too are a small two person operation that relies on freelancers....

and you are right....i think that everyone has to make their own decision...

all i can say, from my experience...since i found someone to come in once or twice a month to tidy up the books....i have relieved myself of stress and hours that i can now put towards my projects and the marketing that will ultimately make us more money.

i think i look at it from the stand point that an accountant wouldn't take the time to produce his own commercial or design his own brochure...

i also agree that you have to be very careful when deciding to open up the books to someone....we went in baby steps to ensure that we could trust our "money organizer"...and i don't think i would ever give the power to that person to purchase or write checks.

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Michael MunkittrickRe: Ok, I've got one...Business Manager
by on Feb 7, 2006 at 1:41:20 am

A "business manager" by definition is the person whose task it is to guide the proverbial ship to the port of call on the owner's terms in an organized and efficient way

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