Plan with the end in mind

I recently gave a small talk about what I do at a business lunch. When people see that I am a Quickbooks Advisor, they automatically label me as a bookkeeper. By trade I am a project manager. In my 10 years of project management experience, I have found that the reason that most project fail is because of money, or lack thereof.

During my last 5 years at my old job, I was fortunate to apprentice with an a Fiscal Monitor. We would go on site visits with contractors and go over their books. Tracking grant money from our office, to their office, through the project. It changed the way I looked at projects. When I was thinking about leaving my government job. A friend told me that I should get Quickbooks Certified. It would up my game as a project manager. She was right.

My first Quickbooks install was for my own small business.  I planned with the end in mind.  At the end of the day, the end goal of a project is to make money.  I decided how I wanted to track my income, my expenses, reimbursable purchases, etc. I could track who owed me money.  I could easily run reports to see how much money I made in a month (or how much money I needed to make to pay my rent the next month).  I had actual numbers to support estimates for clients.  Then, when I sold my business a month ago, I had realistic information for the new owner on her sales projections.

I’ve been able to take a more holistic approach to finance than many of my peers because of my experience as a project manager and my time conducting contractor audits.  Most accountants and bookkeepers don’t have field experience, or they choose to just see numbers as numbers.  When I take on a new client, I let them know that I will be as invasive as they want me to be.  I can be just a numbers girl, or I can make sure that they make as money as possible.

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