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How a great bookkeeper can help you: Data insights

Pictures from advisors at Scaling New Heights 2019 | Purchase orders report | Data insights | Knowify

Most contractors feel like they’re drowning in administrative work. To think about all the moving parts of even a single job is to invite a brief episode of vertigo—bids, contracts, change orders, purchases, timesheets, schedules, invoices, vendor bills… the list goes on and on. But what you probably see as annoying paperwork can (and should) also be thought of as something else: a trove of valuable business data. Somewhere, swimming amid all of that administrative pain, are real business insights that you can use to turn your contracting firm into a more profitable, faster-growing version of itself. How can you tease those insights out? We think a great place to start is with your bookkeeper/advisor.

A great bookkeeper or advisor, armed with the data and tools that Knowify can provide, can discover things about your business you never knew before.

A bookkeeper worth keeping

What makes a great bookkeeper? Knowify Advisor Kim Isaacman is a walking example of one. Isaacman, who has worked with Knowify since its inception, has a passion for helping small businesses succeed. She uses Knowify to guide contractors in the development and management of their businesses. Her primary goal as an accountant is to give the contractors she works with a better understanding of their own data, rather than keeping them in the dark. After all, Isaacman believes that a business is unlikely to succeed if its owner doesn’t have a keen understanding of the many drivers of their profitability. That’s where Knowify comes in.

Isaacman acknowledges that not every contractor has a natural knack for data-crunching. Yet her clients have a clear and holistic understanding of their data because of Knowify’s easy-to-interpret profit and loss diagrams. Then she can go in and add an extra layer of analysis, using Knowify’s reports to tease out things like which sorts of jobs have higher margins, which crews or crew foremen tend to be more productive, which jobs are consistently being overbid or underbid, and so on. As you can imagine, these sorts of analyses enable business owners to take the sorts of actions that can really help drive improvement in a business over time.

Accounting where it counts

Isaacman remembers an era early on her accounting career when she had to deal with large quantities of paper documents that had a tendency to become disorganized. It was this experience that inspired her desire to find a software that could streamline her bookkeeping practice. Her insights about accountants’ needs were invaluable to us at Knowify as we set out to build the perfect product for contracting, and it’s because of Isaacman’s feedback that Knowify is the quality software it is today. Isaacman—and other contracting accountants around the globe—appreciates Knowify’s straightforward contract, change order, and invoicing tools. It’s a world away from those early days of stacks of paper bound with rubber bands. A paperless bookkeeper might seem like an oxymoron, but Isaacman is living proof that it works.

The takeaway

So what lessons should you take away from Isaacman’s illustrious career?

  1. A great bookkeeper or advisor can provide you with the data insights you need to make better decisions—and make your business stronger over time.
  2. Master workflow automation. Streamlining your practice will make dealing with data a cinch!
  3. Stay up-to-date on apps for contractors. To contractors, the idea of construction merging with tech might seem a little far-fetched. It’s your job to convince them otherwise. Once you introduce your clients to user-friendly technology like Knowify, they’ll never go back to the dark ages of the construction industry.
  4. As an added bonus, to all you bookkeepers or advisors out there: Specialize in construction! Construction accounting is a market full of amazing opportunities to help small businesses grow. The better you understand the industry, the better prepared you’ll be to help contractors achieve their goals.