Hello! I'm Kevin and I've always been the entrepreneurial and innovative sort. I founded a renewable energy marketplace which I ran for 4 years (https://www.mbioex.com), and I worked with many start-ups before, during, and after that experience. In finance, I learned to let the budgets and forecasts (pro formas) help derive the strategy so I've made many financial worksheets for my LLCs and others. I also learned about focus/distraction, when to automate, and when to listen to advisors and when not to. A lot is muddied when you're in the trenches working and cash needs are paramount with a new company so let me help you wade the waters.
I provide finance and strategy advice, but I also program (Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java), so I can provide architectural and programming advice on the side. My favorite companies are in e-commerce, health foods, education, and renewable energy, but I can help all grow and succeed.
These are excellent answers! And while this has been sitting on the board for awhile, for any new users I'd like to provide another perspective.
For about half if my clients that have never had bookkeeping before, my costs for the year are almost wiped out by the tax savings I discover for them (only considering base services, classifying, reconciling, chart of accounts, reports).
Also many clients I've taken on have mis-reported on their taxes due to bookkeeping errors. This may "flag" them for audit if the error is large enough. While some clients had errors that benefited them financially, others overreported by $10000 by misclassifying contributions as sales or other errors. Also, a bookkeeper can help track info for you. In a recent audit, a client lost $40k in legitimate expenses due to no documentation (receipts, bookkeeping), and there were also no 1099s sent out. These are big no-nos. This was for an audit of 2011, well before I was handed the books. The bookkeeper reduces your risk and can save you in an audit.
Finally, 90% of my clients have improved revenues once bookkeeping...so that now it more than covers base bookkeeping costs. Why? They see info monthly and presented to them. Initial reactions are beautiful. Clients are surprised, frustrated, encouraged, or any number of emotions, but at the end, they are motivated! They now have a "coach" with whom to discuss ideas. There is research to support that those that stay on top of their books grow faster.
Just like Suzette above, I do client bookeeping while looking to outsource my own. Why? I myself like to pay attention to my initial reaction to the reports and institute change! When I do my "own" books daily, I'm too into the minutiae and don't have the same reaction. Plus, I want to focus on my business, which is doing client books and developing new services to help them.
I agree with Chris. I also offer QuickBooks Online and and Xero-based solutions (even Wave Accounting), but I do not recommend bench.co yet because at one time I thought they were using proprietary software which makes me ask the questions: (1) How can you migrate in the future away from them? Chances are you would tackle this at the end of a given year, but there can be complications...and exporting/importing into a new solution may not be possible. You may want to know if this is possible with any solution, but its just that bench.co is newer and more likely you may need to do it ; And (2) If they are making their own software, will they get bogged down updating it in the future? The more users on their platform, the more feature requests, the more software developers required, and the more bugs. These are all good problems if generating good revenues, but I fear they may become a software company and not a bookkeeping company. My suggestion is to separate the two (again, under the assumption bench.co uses their own software). Choose QuickBooks Online, Xero, or Wave and you can "invite" an accountant directly to it. Or accountants like me do the reverse.. create an account for you and invite you to it. Then you have freedom to jump accountants in the future...and there are tens of thousands who serve QuickBooks Online and many that also serve Xero.