Small Business Accounting Case Studies – Online Bookkeeping Case History and Certified Public Accountant
Read the stories of how these business have used Rimberg Online Bookkeeping to save money, do what they do best, and create better business structures.
CASE HISTORY: A BUSINESS IS TURNED AROUND
Imagine being a restaurant owner, near bankrupt and owing thousands of dollars to the IRS. Your books are a mess, you don’t know what to do next, and your livelihood is on the brink of collapse. Read below to see how Robert Rimberg helped turn this business around.
Two years ago this past July, Robert Rimberg was sent in to see if he could help a struggling restaurant owner try to keep her business. The first meeting took place in a very expensive attorney’s office in midtown. The attorney was discussing Chapter 11 and present were Rimberg, the prospective client, her comptroller and the business CPA, who was known as an “expert” in the industry.
The CPA presented the most current financial statements which were from March 2006. The prospective client owed big bucks to the IRS, NYS Sales Tax and the Labor Dept as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars to vendors. The attorneys and the CPA were recommending bankruptcy, even though Chapter 11 is very expensive. Two hours into the meeting the prospective client pronounced loudly, “Rob, you’ve been sitting there for two hours and you haven’t said a word, what do you think?”
Rimberg asked all the parties in the room why they were looking at March 2006 numbers in July 2006 and trying to make a determination as to the future of the business. The CPA had a perplexing look. “Well, it takes a long time to prepare financials. We have been requesting information and not receiving it in a timely manner”. The Comptroller then stated “You have no idea what that office is like. My three assistants and I work day and night and are always behind. There are not enough hours in a day.” Clearly they were overwhelmed and not handling things very well.
It seemed that they had a good core business that had been neglected and what they didn’t have was a plan of attack. Robert Rimberg and Associates LLC was hired and implemented the following action plan:
- We fired the comptroller- High strung individual that was there for many years
- We contacted the government agencies and negotiated payment plans
- We worked with the assistants in how to close a month quickly
- We were able to present internal financials by the end of the following month
- We set up a system whereby the Company paid all of their bills COD. This allowed us to match current expenses with current revenues.
- We set up a budget with weekly cash flow projections, this included targeted dates when we would get out of the “trick bag”
And the beauty of this, we did it all remotely at an amazingly low cost to the client. Although there were a few setbacks, this client has a positive cash flow today and is well on their way to being financially sound.
CASE HISTORY: FROM CHAOS TO CONTROL
Meet an architect who finally figured out how to get out of his own way and get the financial pieces of his business systematized and outsourced.
Ten years ago Richard Bienenfeld, a seasoned architect known for designing and overseeing the building of large luxury multi-family dwellings in the New York City area shared a small office with just two employees, and another businessman in a basement of a Corporate Park. While Bienenfeld found that way too much of his time was spent on low pay off activities, like bookkeeping, his office-mate always seemed to have his financial situation covered. Bienenfeld, on the other hand, went through a series of bookkeepers, without a smooth enough system to manage and retrieve records, report things properly, and assemble financial information for taxes. Too much time was taken up worrying about the logistics of paying bills, keeping track of payroll, and navigating all the bookkeeping headaches of running a small business.
Then his office-mate shared his secret. It was Rimberg Online, a virtual bookkeeping service. He referred Bienenfeld to Robert Rimberg, and from that day on, the architect was able to focus on his foremost responsibilities—designing buildings and putting money in the bank. When Rimberg Online went virtual, Bienenfeld was one of the first to try it. Now he sits back and lets his administrative director and Rimberg Online take care of all the bookkeeping tasks.
“Robert Rimberg has given me good advice along the way,” says Richard Bienenfeld. “It’s easy to make mistakes when you are a small business owner and Robert Rimberg, and his team have given us help through the years. My administrative assistant loves the system because even when she works from home, which she frequently does, she can manage her end of the finances by using the online system and everything is done via QuickBooks.”
Rimberg Online also provides Bienenfeld with C.P.A. services, maintaining all the information for corporate tax returns once a year. He says they make the process effortless and he enjoys the personal touch Rimberg Online brings to his business. His fees, Bienenfeld says, are very reasonable.
Rimberg Online allows Richard Bienenfeld to focus on getting new clients, designing new buildings, supervising code issues and do what he does best. As a result, says Bienenfeld, sales have soared, and he has long since moved out of the basement. His office is now beautifully appointed in the center of downtown New Rochelle and the company has grown to 15 employees. “We’ve come a long way,” says Richard Bienenfeld. “And Rimberg Online has helped.”
CASE HISTORY: ONLINE BANKING AN “EYE-OPENER”
A business owner discovers that he actually saves more of his time by having his books outsourced.
When Len Rissman opened his Yonkers Pearl Express Vision Center franchise location in 1991, he had always outsourced his bookkeeping, although he had part-timers coming in for a while. Upon launching his Yonkers facility, he decided to find a new accountant/bookkeeper and met with several accountants, but he found the meetings tedious. He had the distinct feeling that the accountants he was meeting didn’t understand the nature of his very specific business needs. Then a sales representative recommended Robert Rimberg. Upon speaking with Rimberg, Len immediately felt relaxed and comfortable. Rissman happily handed over all his bookkeeping and hired Robert Rimberg as CPA of record for his franchise.
He was assigned a dedicated bookkeeper at Rimberg Online, who handles the invoices and pays the franchise’s bills after Len approves them. The same bookkeeper does all of Pearl Express Vision Center’s financial statements and oversees their payroll company. Additionally, Rimberg does Pearl’s annual and estimated taxes. The franchise requires quarterly and annual reports, which are delivered to Rissman in a timely fashion. “They even review my inventory,” states Rissman, citing instances when they flagged him to potential frauds and system errors. He says they have caught errors, and have no qualms about calling to help him get to the bottom of a situation—solve the mysteries of payables and receivables that sometimes come up when running a business.
According to Rissman, the work doesn’t require a full-time bookkeeper or accountant and he doesn’t want to pay medical and other benefits. He points out that having someone in-house costs more – even if they just come in part-time, and that his own workload increased with in-house bookkeepers since he had to do more hands-on work . With Rimberg Online, Rissman says, the staff is great – and there’s always someone available to help him.
CASE HISTORY: FOR REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT FIRM: IT CAN’T BE THIS EASY!
This business owner gets to be more in charge of her financial affairs.
“I choose to be in control,” explains Holly Schermerhorn, who manages East 22nd Street Associates, two building sites in New York City, from her Bedford, NY location, using Rimberg Online’s Virtual Bookkeeping service.
Holly enjoys having the freedom to write checks daily, do her own bank reconciliation, and pull up her own reports and projections, using the Quickbooks entry system. “I realize that Rimberg Online is able to interface as much or as little as I need them to, but being hands-on works for me,” she explains. “Some months I need a lot of help and others I need none, but I have saved money because I pay one monthly flat fee.”
She began using Rimberg Online a year ago, after noting how her husband’s monument sales company, CJ Stones, also in Bedford, NY, had profited from the ease-of-use of the online service for over two years. After a quick on-the-phone training session, Holly was handling her company’s books and checking her balances from wherever she happened to be. She was thrilled not to have to worry about security and when she needed help, she says, the Rimberg Online team is always pleasant and easy to work with.
“I would absolutely recommend Rimberg Online to any small business that needs bookkeeping help,” Holly adds. “With Rimberg Online, my finance information is all there.”