Watch the webinar to learn the 7 bookkeeping tips for contractors. This webinar is co-hosted by Jonny Finity, Content Manager at Levelset, and Elizabeth Boals, the owner of Beyond Books Solutions.
Full Webinar Transcript
Jonny : So today we’re going to be covering seven bookkeeping tips for contractors. If that’s not what you signed up for, you can stay and learn some of our bookkeeping or go check your registration email again, but hopefully you will stick around and learn at least seven tips. I think Elizabeth might share some extra. So my name is Jonny Finity. I’m the Content Manager at Levelset.
Jonny : Levelset helps construction professionals make the payment process stress free. Our customers connect on our online platform to see everyone who’s on their project, easily exchange payment documents and quickly resolve any issues which leads to faster payments and fewer surprises. Speaking of fewer surprises, better bookkeeping can help. Obviously a lot of contractors have problems getting paid. They get paid very slowly and sometimes bookkeeping can help contractors make better sense of where their money’s coming from, where their money’s going, and manage those times of poor cashflow better.
Jonny : So Elizabeth Boals is with us. She’s the owner of Beyond Books Solutions, a remote bookkeeping service. She’s based out of Florida and she helps contractors and other small businesses manage their finances better through better accounting reports and tracking. So I’ll turn it over to Elizabeth in a moment. So first, this is my first time using this, so let me see if this works. We’re going to just ask a quick poll, how much of your job involves bookkeeping?
Jonny : So let me see if this works. You should see a pop up on your screen that asks, how much of your day to day job involves bookkeeping? Just choose one of those answers and I’ll give everyone a minute to answer those questions. So if you are either a full-time bookkeeper, accountant, some of you may do bookkeeping periodically but not as your primary job, and some of you might not do any bookkeeping but either are here to learn or I’ve been told that you will be doing some bookkeeping and want to find out some tips to make it better.
Jonny : All right, so it looks like most of you are full-time bookkeepers or accountants for a contractor, which is great. Then the next poll is how much training have you had or experience have you had in bookkeeping? Just to make sure we cover the topics that are most important to you, how much training have you had in bookkeeping? Either you might have little to no formal training and learn as you go. Maybe you’ve taken some classes but it wasn’t a primary focus on your education or you’re either a CPA or have a degree in accounting. Basically, you have a lot of training under your belt.
Jonny : All right. It looks like most of you have a pretty good amount of training in accounting, so that’s great. Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer all of the questions you came here to ask. So with that, I’m going to turn this over to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Yes. Hello everybody, thank you for joining us. Welcome to this webinar. We are happy that you’re here and Levelset experts and I are collaborating to provide good value, some useful information, to hopefully help some construction business owners with their finances, help them make more money. This webinar is specifically designed for construction industry business owners. The primary goal is for business owners to understand their numbers and know how to utilize their financial information to have bigger profits.
Elizabeth: So if that’s you and if you’re working with construction people, that’s could be useful too. So what we will discuss today is first, how the construction accounting differs from the regular accounting and why it is important to understand that. Also, we’ll look at some tips.
Jonny : Still there, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Yes. Can you hear me? Hello, hello?
Elizabeth: Can anybody hear me?
Jonny : Yes.
Elizabeth: All right. Did anybody hear to me before?
Jonny : No, for a minute. We heard you for a minute.
Elizabeth: All right. I’m not sure what happened. Let’s get back to it. So what we will discuss today is number one, how the construction accounting differs from the regular accounting and why it is important to understand the difference. We will also look at some tips on what to look out for while doing your bookkeeping and how to make sure that you’re recording everything correctly so you see both correct numbers and can make good business decisions based on those numbers.
Elizabeth: We will also discuss some software options that will save you time and help you stay productive and give you that peace of mind that you have everything in the right place. At the end, I’ll try to answer a couple of questions that are related to bookkeeping. So a little bit about me.
Elizabeth: As Jonny mentioned, I am a remote bookkeeper and advisor for mostly construction business owners. I do help other businesses as well, but this is the niche that I’ve chosen and I am really enjoying it. I help business owners all over the country to save time, save money, and put more money into their pockets by doing their books and helping develop the profit strategies to help earn more money.
Elizabeth: I started my business because after I got my degree and my daughter was born, I didn’t feel that the corporate world was exactly for me. So I thought that helping business owners is more interesting and rewarding. So, why am I telling you this story? Because as a business owner, I know exactly what everybody goes through. I started the business thinking that bank balance accounting works and you look at your bank balance and see how much money’s there and then when you start it and anything above zero is a good day and then more work lined up and your bank account starts to grow.
Elizabeth: But then the bill started to roll in and after a few weeks, you’re back to the zero and you get a serious of small project that you’re getting started. You’re excited it’s a new business. But then you thought that as soon as you get those money, you made a profit and you felt pretty good, but that only lasts a few days. After you pay the bills, you realize that having that money in the account was really like having zero money on the account because you knew there were expenses floating around that were going to surface any day.
Elizabeth: So then I realized that doing the regular bookkeeping for my clients was not enough. That those numbers were extremely useful. If I show the business owners what they need and they can use them to develop the strategies that would help get bigger profit, that would be way more useful than just perhaps some documents for the CPA.
Elizabeth: So that’s how I got my business idea. So first, we’re going to look today at why the good bookkeeping matters and this reason that bank statement of content does not work. That’s one of the reasons that you need to realize that you have to look at your numbers, at your real numbers. Another one is that, for example, in the construction professionals nature, it is to focus on work. It’s about building stuff with your hands. This is why you got into business first. This is your passion, your business and managing the money may become a little bit stressful and drains your energy.
Elizabeth: But when the money comes in and gets us about the zero balance, we go back to the thing that gives us the most pleasure, right? This is work, but the work is started and create the problem. It doesn’t produce the income we need to operate the profitable business and selling more work, just expands the money problems. So that’s one of the problem.
Elizabeth: Another one is what I like to call a craftsman cycle. I’ve learned from one of the books that I used to read a long time ago. The craftsman cycle basically gives you a full sense of security because when we think that because we’re busy and the money’s coming in, we’re making a profit. But there’s a big difference between the revenue and the profits.
Elizabeth: The craftsman cycle doesn’t really show you that difference because if you’re focused on pricing, on getting stuff done, on finding work, then that all helps you generate the revenue, but the revenue isn’t enough to generate the profit. Then you can just run out of cash. Many business owners get trapped in this every day. They think that the more projects they get, the more revenue they create, but maybe just can’t get out of this overspending. That’s one of the reasons.
Elizabeth: Knowing your numbers is something that you… you have to know your numbers because this is how you can make the right decisions for your business. Otherwise, you’re just trying to get silence. Also, bookkeeping matters because you can do more accurate bidding, right? If you create the correct estimates and you apply the right markup and look at your previous numbers for previous projects you know what mistakes have been done and you know how to create a better estimate. So that would mean also more money in your pocket Because you will mark it up correctly, you will account for all of your expenses.
Elizabeth: Another thing that it helps with is controlling of the cash. You probably heard about cash flow management before and what it is basically is you need to make sure you have the right systems in place if you’re checking your financial statements, that includes the statements of cash flow, to make sure that you are getting paid on time that you are not paying all of your vendors, and contractors, and all their own people before you even have money because that’s when you get into trouble if you get into multiple lines of credit, you use your credit cards, and then those percent interest and late fees and overdraft fees. That’s just not leading to anything good ever.
Elizabeth: So when we talk about construction accounting versus regular content, there’s a lot of things that are different. First of all, the accounting methods, in the regular accounting, you have cash method and your accrual method. The accrual basis is the method of recording transactions when they occur, when the revenue is on, when expenses are incurred even if the payment hasn’t been received, or maybe yet. So that would allow you to track your receivables and payables.
Elizabeth: While in construction industry, there’s several more. Some of the most used ones are percentage of completion that allows the contractors to determine if a specific project is on track, right? There’s the completed contract method that allows to report the income only after the project completion. That’s when we go for short term contracts, right? There’s a cost plus there’s a fixed method.
Elizabeth: The second difference is categorization. The regular business will genuinely have bullet one to five categories of products and services and then in construction there’s up to 100 different categories. Where the cost is the same thing, every job has to have direct and indirect costs that are recorded into hundreds of categories correctly.
Elizabeth: The job costing. Construction business owners have a lot of projects and job and process and you absolutely have to track every revenue, every expense, even overhead has to be included in every single job costing. Otherwise, you don’t know what your numbers are for each project so you cannot really see if you are even on track. The job costs really helps you allocate the direct and indirect costs and the revenues for each projects.
Elizabeth: Also, construction retainage which is the final amount of payment that’s kept by the customer to ensure the satisfactory completion of the projects and they’re paid with increasing completion until they’re finished. It differs how you record that versus your regular accounting. Also, there’s change orders that you absolutely have to keep track off your purchase orders. The most important in my opinion is estimates because that’s what it depends on, right? If your job is going to be profitable mostly depends on estimates if you have it done correctly from the beginning.
Elizabeth: All right. So now we’ll get to the seven bookkeeping tips. The first one is to keep a good record of your receipts and transactions. So here I wanted to mention that a lot of people lose track of their records just because mostly they don’t have time to figure out the system, how to keep them, right? Receipts get lost. You may be using cash and then you cannot find the records of it.
Elizabeth: So I do recommend to use cash as little as possible because even with credit card statements you can see those expenses and you can record them even if you cannot find the receipt. But that brings me to the second one, you absolutely have to keep your receipts for the reporting in case the law is common for you, in case you have to do it after the tax is filed. You have to present your receipts, you absolutely have to keep them.
Elizabeth: There are numerous programs, apps, software, even the ones that you can install onto your phone and just snap a picture of the receipt and either keep it on cloud storage or categorizes right there like QuickBooks is offering one. It’s a really, really good easy way to make sure you stay on top of keeping your receipts. Then you don’t have to keep the physical copies of your receipts, so no more shoe boxes.
Elizabeth: The next one is use the right categorization. That’s pretty much number one mistake that I see of business owners that are using the accounting software. When you don’t categorize correctly, it can create all kinds of problems only for filing taxes, but also for your understanding of what’s going on with your financials. Most often I see loans being categorized as expenses instead of notes payable, so that belongs to the balance sheet, or interest expense that comes from those loans. That doesn’t get recorded.
Elizabeth: Depreciation expense from your assets, your fixed assets doesn’t get recorded a lot, but at the end of the year, your CPA should catch those mistakes and make sure that you are taking advantage of all of the deductions that you can get.
Elizabeth: The second tip is use job costing. I cannot stress this enough because I talk to a lot of people that don’t keep track of every single job separately mostly because they think that they’re not large enough, their projects are not large enough. But even with the projects that are in the range of 5,000, $10,000 it is important to make sure that you know all the revenues and expenses for each project separately.
Elizabeth: You can do job costing in your project management software or even your accounting software like QuickBooks. Even QuickBooks Online, at the moment, offers you different ways to track job costing. You can either use sub customers as jobs, you can use glasses and locations, you can use projects.
Elizabeth: Every single business owner should decide for himself which way is better because it would depend on the job that you perform. Some in construction business are building homes, others providing services like plumbing and electric, so it all will depend on that. Then you would need to update those records frequently. I would say it depends on the project, how often. My advice is at least weekly, monthly because you cannot afford for each project to go unaccounted for. You have to know the numbers for each one of them.
Elizabeth: Then I would advise to track change orders. Many times I hear from clients that they like to not charge for small change orders period because they think that they provide extra value for the customer. But not only the customer can take advantage of that but also, this is what eats up your profits. If you don’t account for your change orders, if you forgot about it, if you don’t have the contract for it, if you decided to give it away, this all goes out of your profits out of your pockets.
Elizabeth: So I would always say, think twice before you let that go. Also, you would want to analyze the numbers. You need to make sure you know what went good, what went wrong, and we all make mistakes, we learn from our mistakes. Then for the next project, we make sure that we can have our numbers correctly, which leads me to the next tip.
Elizabeth: Review your key construction reports regularly. This is the list of reports that is my favorite. Number one for me in construction is estimate versus actual, which shows you how much your expenses were compared to what you estimated to be, what unexpected expenses occurred, what price increase happened. All that again, helps you in the future to account for those price increases, to account for contractors raising their prices, to account for something unexpected that you might discover behind the walls.
Elizabeth: Then you have your profit and loss by job, the report that helps you see every single expense for each job. You can see your job profitability and the time that were spent by job as well. The next tip I have is, don’t forget to pay yourself. Yes. So this one is important because many business owners that I talk to only pay themselves the owner distributions. There are several reasons for that. The first one is that they don’t want to pay taxes. I know that your accountant says that you will save money on your taxes by paying yourself with the owner’s distributions. But they are for the owners of businesses that are making profits, not for employees working in the business.
Elizabeth: More often than that, I work with business owners that do a lot of work themselves. They’re doing their marketing, they’re doing their administrative tax. They’re even working themselves on the jobs. Sometimes they’re a one-man show, but they don’t pay themselves for that. Technically, this form of conversation, the owner’s distribution, may save you some money in taxes, but the money, the profits you’re missing out on because you aren’t charging enough for the value of your work is costing you way more than what you’re saving in taxes because you’re paying yourself as an owner of a business that is making the profit, but you’re actually working as a non paid employee for an unprofitable business many times.
Elizabeth: So when you pay yourself, you are using this amount of money as an expense, right? So that is coming out of your revenue. So your profits will be less. So you will pay less taxes. So you can even do the math one of these days and see if you will save more money this way or if you don’t pay yourself, right?
Elizabeth: All right. Tip number five, increase revenue, cut expenses for more profit. So we have this formula that everybody knows revenue minus expenses equals profit. Well, that means that to reach the right profit, you have to cut expenses, right? This is number one thing that everybody starts doing. “I need to cut my expenses.” Or, they start thinking that, “I need to get more jobs. I need to get more projects,” right? “I need to increase my revenue.”
Elizabeth: But 100% of times you have to do both. You have to get more jobs, but at the same time you have to look at all of your expenses and see which ones you can get rid of. If it’s subscriptions that you’re not using, if it is vendors that you can talk to and make sure you get the discounts that you deserve for being a loyal costumer, whether it is… Let’s see what other expenses that are very, very… either way.
Elizabeth: Overhead. Overhead is a very, very high expense that many business owners don’t account for. Because when you do job costing you think that you don’t need to include those costs. But at the same time, when you are running your business, you have your insurance, you have your brand, you have your equipment, you are using many of those costs for your jobs, all the permits, all of that has to be included into the job costing, right? But at the same time, many are thinking that when you get paid for this job, you’re profitable and then those costs come in and you realize that those money are gone.
Elizabeth: Another important thing to look at was the risks. It is important to include those risk factors that I’ve talked earlier about something unexpected, like a price increase. You have to include that into each estimate as a contingency line, a little pad in here, in there. I was giving them an example earlier about one of my clients having a great strategy when he knows that some prices may go up or something maybe unexpected. He just adds one to 5% before he adds his markup for the project. That really has helped him save a lot.
Elizabeth: All right. Moving on to our next… Oh, I forgot to mention, why is there a different formula? The revenue minus profit equals expenses. For those of who don’t know me, I am a huge fan of profit first. It has helped a lot of my clients. It has helped me to reverse the formula a little bit because when you focus on profit first, you start spending less. That’s like my most favorite part of the system is that when you set up money away, each percentage of allocation from each of your job, from each of your revenue every month, then what you have left is less money to spend on expenses. When you see that you have less money to spend, then you spend less money. You start to figure out something to get discount on or something to get for free and then that would relate to the cut in expenses to get more profit.
Elizabeth: It’s a whole other conversation really on profit first and on job costing. I hope I get to do with the webinar about that too. All right. For our sixth tip, focus on productivity. So the first thing that I recommend to many people is to get the software. There’s three types of software that has really helped many of my clients. First, there’s accounting software. You sort to have it to make sure you’re ready for your taxes and to help you pull up all of the necessary reports for your business as a whole.
Elizabeth: So the first one, of course, is the balance sheet. Sorry. We’re looking at the wrong one. So the first software is the accounting software. There are many options out there, which is QuickBooks that has QuickBooks online and QuickBooks desktop. Your zero, your sage, your wave, you can choose what works for you the best.
Elizabeth: The second type was the project management software that helps you control every single one of your job. It is an absolute lifesaver for job costing as well. But besides the fact that you can create estimates, send out bids, send out invoices, pay your bills out of that, you can also schedule your team, you can communicate with your team. It is absolutely wonderful tool. There are many reports inside of them as well.
Elizabeth: My recommendations are going to be coming from my experience. The ones that I have worked with and I really enjoy is buildertrend, co-construct, procore, and nullify. Nullify is more for starters I would say. But it is really, really easy to use and I really like co-construct. That’s the latest one that I had the pleasure working with. So the third type is not extremely necessary. Yes.
Jonny : Elizabeth, I think if you hit the right arrow key, it will show the bullet points.
Elizabeth: Yay. All right, here or there.
Jonny : Also, Doron asked if you could repeat the software recommendations again.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes. Sorry, I need to open the chat. I don’t know how to open the chat in this position. So for the software, the ones the project management wants are buildertrend, co-construct, nullify, procore. Those are the most popular. Those have been very easy to learn because every single software is… it takes time to get used to where everything is located. But they are very robust. They provide a lot of value. For example the co-construct I’ve been using lately. It has all sorts of templates for your estimates, for your bidding and everything interconnects and you can just create one estimate and out of that you wouldn’t have to retype anything. You just click Create the Bid, then you can just click to send it. You can create purchase order side of that.
Elizabeth: Yes, I can definitely email these. There you go. Perfect. Thank you. Doron. Yes, I’ll email those to you. I’ll add how each one differs and what helped my clients to choose the ones that suits them as well. So the third one is the internal communications that are really something like Slack or monday.com has been very helpful for my clients as well because sometimes when you grow bigger and you have a big team, you need to communicate with them and it’s like an internal communication, the one that your customers would not see like in project management software, right? You can share pictures, all of the messages, documents. It has been very, very useful.
Elizabeth: The second one for productivity is the good time management. I’ve been actually asked a lot about what helped my clients and I’ve been talking about blocking time for each one of things to do, so to speak. You block let’s say three hours of the first day that you need for a meeting with the potential clients, checking your job size then you have three hours to do administrative work, maybe some accounting in there, then you have three hours block to four… I’m not sure. Anything else that you need to get done. That has been very helpful. I like to do a brain dump too to make sure I have the list of all the things I need to get done for the next week and categorize them as the most urgent and important ones.
Elizabeth: Then the urgent, non-important, and important, non-urgent. That really helps with productivity. All right. Moving on to tip number seven is to improve accounts receivable. So I put in here the survey that Levelset conducted with the TSheets that the majority of the contractors rarely or never charged interest on late payments. They’re desperate to get paid at all. They even provide discounts and only 4% of contractors consistently receive upfront deposits on their jobs.
Elizabeth: So here, I wanted to mention the ways that you can improve your accounts receivable. So the first one is invoice fast and then the voice often because we get so caught up in day to day operations and everything that we need to get done. Then we don’t way to send out the invoice to a client. Instead, we should have it ready and waiting for when the project is finished and make sure that it’s directly delivered to the client.
Elizabeth: The next step is ask for deposits. I know many of you are going to argue with me that it’s not the way to go, but most of the people who started implementing deposits, it doesn’t have to be 50%. It could be less but do ask for it. Otherwise, what business owners start to do is dip into lines of credit and the credit cards and that gets them into the debt. They think that they will pay it off fast. But here come the overdraft fees, the light payments fees, the interest, and all of that I bet you never accounted for a new estimate that you will occur that, so what happens? It comes out of your profit. It comes out of your pocket.
Elizabeth: Most of the time, contractors have to pay for materials and for labor before they get paid by the customer. All right. Do we have some questions? Yes. Darren says, “Deposits are great. It’s not a reflection of a credit risky company. It is smart.” 100% agree with you. All right.
Elizabeth: The next one is progress invoicing. That is extremely, extremely important because again, if you do not constantly bill for the percentage that was completed, especially if your job was taken a long time, it is a very expensive job. You cannot pay for the whole thing yourself. Do not fund your client’s projects. That’s their projects. They should fund it. You’re here to perform the work.
Elizabeth: So every time you have a percentage that you both, you and the customer, agreed on, you have to get paid for that in order to move on to the next stage. So again, you don’t have to use your own money. The next one is choose your customer wisely. At the beginning, I know on my own too that we tried to get any job we can, we accept any costumer we can get. But at the same time, there’s a study made that 20% of our customers are making up 80% of our profits, which means that not only that 20% is the customers that we really want to deal with.
Elizabeth: I know it sounds horrible, but at the same time, if you are not careful about who you work with, then getting paid becomes very hard. Then you have to find lawyers. Then you have to find other ways, file mechanical lines, and so on to get paid. The next one is leverage your contracts. If you don’t have your contract in place, then it’s very hard to run a business. I feel that the time’s off handshake and trust saying everyone are… I don’t want to say that they’re gone, but it’s hard to find nowadays. So be careful. Take care of your business and have good contracts in place.
Elizabeth: I even say that for change orders, you have to have a costumer sign the contract before you perform that change order. You have to present them contract, they sign it, they paint for the changes that need to be done that they requested, and then you start the work. This way, you wouldn’t have to worry about your accounts receivable growing.
Elizabeth: A couple other tips that are small is if you make your invoice look clean and on point, make it visually appealing, then you don’t want to leave customer confused because that will delay the process. So when all the descriptions are there and they know what they’re paying for, that’s very helpful. Also, there are many programs that you can use even to just send invoice where the customer can just open email, click on the button, and pay right there with their credit cards. It’s way faster for them than to send you a check. That’s why they will do it faster if they have money, hopefully.
Elizabeth: Also, don’t be afraid to follow up. It’s easy for invoices to be missed or lost by the client. Be sure you follow up with phone calls, with emails just to make sure that you get paid for what you earned. As was mentioned before, discounts. I am not a big fan of provide and discounts for faster payments, but sometimes they work. If you are in horrible pinch, by all means do it. But what I also would do is include the late payment penalties into your contract. That might make your customers pay you faster. Let’s see. That’s our seven tips. Let’s get to some questions. Anybody has any questions?
Jonny : If you have any questions, just type them into the Q&A or directly into the chat box. Actually I have a question, Elizabeth. Have you found a good strategy with your clients when asking for deposits? Is there a good strategy of approaching a general contractor with a request for a deposit? Do you have any suggestions for how to get a deposit?
Elizabeth: It just has to be your policy of your business entity. When you meet up with the customers and you present what you can do for them, the quality of work that you have down for others. You have your testimonials, you can show them what you’ve done and basically, you’re telling them, “I am an expert that you need.” Then you line up your contracts saying, “This is what I require. Don’t be afraid to give me a deposit. I will not run away with it. You can see my credentials. I’m not going to throw it away just so I could run away with your deposit.” That makes people more comfortable to work with you, to be okay with that because I know many contractors don’t like deposits because they think they will lose the client, but maybe it’s okay. Maybe it’s okay that you will lose this client because you might not get payment at the end of this.
Elizabeth: If he doesn’t want to pay the deposit, if he doesn’t want to fund the project that he wants to be done for him, then I don’t know. You should think if you want to work with this client.
Jonny : Yeah, we say that all the time. It’s all about choosing the right customer. If you’re working for a customer that isn’t paying you or isn’t paying you on time and is making you chase them down for an invoice, is that really a customer that you want to work for?
Elizabeth: I have a client that… he has a customer that he work with frequently. He completed many projects for them and he said, “I know these people, they always pay on time. They want another project.” He said, “This is the kind of people that you will trust that they will pay you.” But he goes, “I still ask for deposit because I need to fund this project. I don’t want to get into another line of credit. I don’t want to pay interest on that.” You know what? This customer said, “No problem.” Because they know I provide quality work and they gave him deposit and they did the progress payments and his job was profitable.
Jonny : Yeah. One tip that one of our customers shared for some people that have problems getting a deposit of the GC or the contractor that hires you is unwilling to give you a deposit. This customer said it’s worked for them in the past to ask them rather than give them a deposit to pay the supplier directly for the materials that they need for the project.
Elizabeth: That’s a great idea. I agree.
Jonny : Giving a deposit to the contractor, paying some of the bills that they know are going to be coming up in the first period while they wait for the first payment.
Elizabeth: Yes. If they have the progress invoice and in place, right? They agreed on, I don’t know, 30, 30, 40 or something like that. Then the first part has to be fondant somehow. That’s usually a deposit. But if they want to fund this first part, I don’t know, even if it’s 20%, structure your frame of work. So the first one is not that big if you don’t want to ask for a deposit, right? But they have to pay for contractors. They have to pay for materials. The only problem with that is again, your overhead costs that are not accounted for, that you have to pay for. That’s the only problem. But it could be a good way to deal with that. Yes, I agree.
Jonny : One last… unless there are any other questions. I had one last comment on improving our accounts receivable. You had mentioned just the importance of maybe letting your customers know the penalties for slow payments rather than giving them a discount for faster payment, notifying them of the penalties if they pay late.
Jonny : One of the things that we’ve been writing about a lot lately on our blog is prompt payment laws. There’s not just laws on a federal level, but almost every state has laws requiring payment within a certain period of time on both public and private construction projects. A very effective way of getting paid faster is sending a demand letter that references those prompt payment laws. Those laws actually allow you to charge interest. They require the hiring party to pay interest if the payment is late beyond a certain period of time. Sometimes it’s as short as seven days but they have to pay.
Jonny : Very effective-
Elizabeth: That’s a very good information. Construction business owners are not really in business to chase the money, they’re not in business to hire lawyers to get paid. So I always hate to hear that they have to file this and file that and wait for court orders. If there is a chance that you can do so many things to get paid faster before it comes to it. But yes, you sometimes you just have to go with the legal help.
Jonny : All right. Well, if there’s no more questions we can move on.
Elizabeth: All right. Yes, ask an expert. Levelset experts are here to help you guys.
Jonny : So we do have the expert center. We were getting about 300 or more questions. Among those there’s a lot of legal questions. We have a teams of lawyers, both an internal team of lawyers and lawyers across the country that have signed up to answer questions for free as well as construction accountants. I know Elizabeth has answered some questions on that platform. If you do have any questions about accounting, about legal help, if you’re having trouble getting paid on time and want to know what your legal options are, definitely post a question there. We have a lot of experts in almost every state that can answer questions and I know Elizabeth is also willing to help answer questions as well.
Elizabeth: Yes, for sure. Come and ask the question and I will do my best to answer those. You can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website beyondbookssolutions.com. You can also follow me, connect with me on LinkedIn. I love that platform. I post there regularly all sorts of small tips, big tips, videos. I am going to start making a lot of tutorials for QuickBooks. So yes, connect with me if you have any questions, I will try to help.
Jonny : All right. Thank you all very much for attending this webinar. Thank you again to Elizabeth for sharing your knowledge with us. I know you’re very busy.
Elizabeth: Yes. Thank you for inviting me. This has been a pleasure. I hope this information will help some people and yeah, it’s been a pleasure.
Jonny : Okay. Thank you all.
Elizabeth: Thank you, bye.