Guest author Maureen Stevens of Sheer Distinction Services, LLC. discusses her business and how she is working smarter with Bookkeep automation.
About the business
My name is Maureen Stevens, and I am the Co-Owner of Sheer Distinction Services, LLC. We are a family-owned business. My father is my partner and my son (when not serving in the United States Army) is working alongside us to provide concise and distinct services to our clients. We are a firm that provides ecommerce bookkeeping for clients on multiple platforms, including Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Woocommerce, and more.
My days are broken into 4 different categories.
- Current clients, based on their individual plans: daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
- Prospective client meetings & onboarding
- New clients clean up their historical finances and follow up weekly meetings.
- Business development: perfecting processes, organization, and growth of my own business.
I love my job. I love meeting clients that are passionate about their jobs. If they love what they do, their personality exudes energy, joy, and creativity. Working with individuals that are happy and joyful becomes infectious. The favorite part of my job is digging in and fixing issues, the bigger the mess, the more of a challenge it becomes. It is rewarding to help someone feel more at peace and less stressed. Working with clients that are appreciative or just as engaged as I am in their business is motivating. Personally, I need to keep growing and being challenged. The ecommerce industry is constantly evolving, becoming more detail-oriented and transparent. Providing an understanding for my client’s hard work is gratifying. Learning from mistakes is a natural and elevated approach to business success and development.
Pain points in the business
What processes did you find made you work inefficiently?
Many times I have met with business owners during an onboarding call, and they communicate that they have a set number of accounts: bank, credit cards, and payment processors. Inevitably, as I dive into their finances, I find other accounts they have not mentioned within the historical period I am cleaning up.
What does this mean for you?
I now build a regular weekly meeting into our clean-up until the QBO account is completely cleaned up to meet and go over all my questions on a zoom call so that I can continue to move forward. I will communicate in between the meetings on slack but that weekly follow-up meeting becomes a stopgap to get through any outstanding issues.
When and why did you start using Bookkeep?
When I decided that the ecommerce industry would be the niche I wanted to throw myself into, I signed with another integration. After a lot of time spent working with them and being extremely frustrated with poor customer service, I started to look elsewhere. I reached out to Bookkeep and was given an immediate response. Jason, David, Anish, Alta, and the entire team have gone above and beyond. They immediately respond when I put a note in the chat box, dive into my questions, and provide answers/solutions as soon as they have results.
Ecommerce bookkeeping is very different from traditional brick-and-mortar type bookkeeping needs. I have had clients share that they have exhausted their efforts with accountants and bookkeepers that don’t understand this niche. Ecommerce bookkeeping has a huge learning curve. Understanding how to tie out sales and how to approach balance accounts and payment processors was never taught in bookkeeping courses until just recently. Each sales platform and payment processor reports differently and are constantly changing in hopes of improving themselves. This affects our bottom line; it is time and money for both bookkeepers and business owners.
I needed to figure out how to do my job correctly and efficiently. I needed to be able to ask questions and receive answers in real-time. Thankfully I heard about Bookkeep on two different media outlets. To date, the team at Bookkeep continually takes the time to clarify any questions or issues I may have with my clients’ reports.
How’s it going now?
Once my clients are set up and the reporting ties out during the clean-up, I very rarely find any hiccups. A daily report is sent by Bookkeep to keep me abreast of each client’s attached applications. If an error arises, the directions on how to address are found within the clients’ connections. If I still have questions, Anish and Alta jump right in to help.
What are you doing now with that “free time?”
The reporting done by Bookkeep is priceless. Work-wise, the time saved doing manual entries has allowed me to bring on more clients and grow and develop my business in a more robust manner. It is important to me to have a relationship with my clients. I want to make sure that they know my mission is to help them create and develop their own businesses. Transparent and precise financial reports provide them with a vision of what they have done in the past and what steps they can take to move forward on an upward trajectory.
The benefits of having Bookkeep in my business has provided me with personal opportunities that are immeasurable. I am a wife and mother of 5 boys. We like to travel to warm climates where we can experience different cultures and marine life. Having the time to grow my business has afforded us the opportunity to do so.
Do you recommend Bookkeep?
I recommend Bookkeep to ALL ecommerce bookkeepers. I have joined many groups on Facebook, and when they ask about an integration, I will go into detail about why I believe Bookkeep is far superior to its competitors. Customer service is a top priority. I have asked them to develop applications for sales platforms and payment processors that they didn’t have in the past. Readily, Jason will put it on his list, and as a team, Bookkeep is striving to broaden the spectrum of available applications. Most importantly, knowing that my needs are heard is important to me. I know I am not just a number at Bookkeep.
Sheer Distinction Services, LLC (LinkedIn)
Sheer Distinction Services, LLC (Facebook)