What would you suggest?

Background:
New company consists of two partners operating out of their respective home offices. Each wants to use QB to create invoices. One intends to keep up
with bookkeeping although whether that will last is unknown. I'd be called in to setup the company file and do a monthly review. QB Pro 2005 is already in hand.
The first question put to me is how to handle the 3 users wanting to work in this company file. If this were your potential new client would you:
-suggest one partner keep their pc on all the time and allow the other partner and bookkeeper to remotely access the file
-suggest purchasing online subscription
-purchase & employ Karl Irvin's utility on all 3 computers
Why? I have no experience with the latter two and I haven't remotely logged onto a computer to use QB in forever...and it was achingly slow (compared to having the file on a local drive). Accountant has no preference except that they give it all to me but I don't see that happening right away.
--
Tara



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Run, do not walk, from this engagement. A small business that wants to have three users is asking for inconsistency, missing files, double billing, etc.
scfundogs wrote:

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I agree. There's a possibility that after having me setup their books the business won't want to pay for any further bookkeeping services.
--
Tara



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scfundogs wrote:

The right way is windows terminal server. It can be tricky to set up, but no one will ever regret it for performance. (Bonus you can set up instant and voice messaging, remote printing and maybe other necessary services too.)
You didn't indicate where the third user would be located. You also didn't indicate the volume on entries.
For very low volume Karl Irvin's utility might be acceptable, assuming everyone practices backups.
Next up the chain would be go to my PC or the like for the remote user.
Useless, is trying to set up remote peer to peer, unless they both have dedicated full T1 lines into their houses.
Online is an option, but I personally wouldn't want to be hostage to both Internet outages and SlowBooks server outages, and oops - you did pay the bill mistakes. Also I really don't know how secure the data is. Seems like someone might want to hack that site because of the large amount of credit card numbers stored there.
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From my limited knowledge of the people/setup the above isn't an option. My impression is that they won't want to change anything major or spend much money outside of possibly moving to the QB online version. I could be wrong but that's my hunch so far.

That would be me and I'd be working from my home office...unless they bring me their company file but since they want to work in it, at will, I don't see that scenario happening.

I can't speak for the others, only myself. The volume should be low as its a small interior design business.

This is what I fear will happen.

I don't think they do. I don't.

Yeah, these are all concerns I share. I'm not looking forward to this, if it works out, because I see alot of technical problems if not user errors. Its a CPA referral though and I hate to turn them down. IME when one of the CPAs I work with gives a bookkeeper referral they do so because *they* need the peace of mind from a client who either royally messes things up or doesn't keep up with the books at all.
Anyway, thanks for the insight.
Tara
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What has to be done is convince the parties involved that all the recording keeping functions should be done in one location. Do all three have access to a broadband internet conection? If they do then QB online starts to look good.

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scfundogs wrote:

you said the magic word, "designer." That translates to creative person hair flip! Run do not walk away. Exception, you are the only person to make entries.
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The terminal services idea is workable. If the one user has their pc on all the time, is behind a firewall and everyone runs Windows XP Pro, it's almost idiot proof. Remote Desktop to the one pc, and each user has their own ID and password. With limited user abilities. Or find someone with a file server to run QB on, and keep the file remotely, and everyone logs in there using RD.
Stephanie
scfundogs wrote:

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After thinking about Tara's comment that the two "partners" will not be sharing income nor expenses, and considering the type of business they are in, unless they are sharing something pricey like a decorator van loaded with sample displays, etc., they probably are better handled as two sole proprietors. How many people with like interests "go into business together", kinda' and what they really are doing is giving each other moral and technical support to pursue each one's individual dream. With separate income/expense items, it would be my recommendation to them not to combine the books and call each other associates or something rather than partners.
--
Sincerely,
Joanne
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It is not up to Tara to recommend how they should be filing their tax returns. This is a matter best determined by the CPA that referred the prospect to her.

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You are right. I missed that part of her OP.
Joanne
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Sorry - I responded to the wrong post. Ugh!!!
My suggestion would be to insist that if they want your help, you will keep the "real books" and they can create invoices on their books but they will then fax the invoices to you. In a later post you say the volume will be low which makes this work.
They will need to provide you with bank statements, check register and all the other things needed to keep your books accurate.
On a regular basis, you can provide your updated "real books" for them to overwrite theirs. That .qbb file can be sent as an email attachment or mailed on disk or flash drive.
In my opinion, QB on-line stinks as does Paycycle.
Although I love the creative mind and spirit of the "art/designer" client, the books are the last thing on their mind and organization takes a back seat to creativity. In short, they will neglect and mess in up in no time (in tandem to boot).
--
Sincerely,
Joanne
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I'll certainly stress letting me do the books but I can't insist...at least not until I can prove that the other way doesn't work.
One partner appears to be adamant that she do the books, or at least her portion of the books. This "partnership" is really one business where each partner does her own thing under the company name. They won't be sharing income or expenses so its already a unique situation.

That's been my experience but I can't force someone to hire me to keep the books if they want to do it themselves. My initial consult with them is tomorrow so I'll have a better idea of what they want afterwards. I just needed to know a little about this kind of setup from an accessibility standpoint before meeting with them. Thanks!
--
Tara



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I insist on various things all the time. The downside to non-compliance is either higher cost or no service. Works great for me and has for 25 years. The upside for me is wonderful clients with great books, timely reports, returns and structure. When clients realize that they are engaging the type of accountant I am, they either love it or look for a better match to their style.
Here's another idea. Have each partner keep individual books based on your chart of accounts. After you review the individual books, export to Excel and combine to create Financials. You can even make batch entries to your QB to use the QB reporting functions. You just won't have the detail.
--
Sincerely,
Joanne
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Sounds like a bad partnership right from the get go. Sometimes thanks but no thanks is the best answer.
--
Ron Anderson A1 Sewing Machine
PO Box 60, Sand Lake, NY 12153
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scfundogs wrote:

I don't think this is a QB problem as much as it is a company policy situation.
You are the "accounting department." They are each "profit centers." They should generate invoice vouchers, forward same to you, and the "accounting department" creates the actual invoice. The "accounting department," in turn, produces periodic reports on the profitablity, etc. of each of the "profit centers."
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