Meryl Johnston of Bean Ninjas joined Mel Power and Matt Wilkinson on the podcast
She shared about her story and experiences, her tips for managing teams including which metrics to focus on when running a bookkeeping firm.
Meryl also shares her experiences with outsourcing work to India and the Philippines.
We got so many great tips from Meryl and we’ve noted some down here:
Hire someone more skilled than you think you need
Meryl’s top tip: have an exit strategy in place!
Drap a map, list procedures, prioritise what is most important to your customers
For procedures, create a roadmap and assign who is going to do what
Bean Ninjas recommends Sweet Process to make documenting processes easier.
We’d like to thank Matt Wilkinson of Bizink for co-hosting the podcast with us at the Accounting Business Expo. We partner closely with Bizink because we love the work they do helping accountants and bookkeepers with their websites and online marketing. bizinkonline.com
The post #36 – Meryl Johnston – Living a passionate life appeared first on The Revolutionary Firm.
Meryl Johnston runs Bean Ninjas, a bookkeeping service primarily for online businesses. She’s based in Australia. In this episode of The Next 100 Days Podcast she advises us about cloud accounting and how you can move to the cloud and sort your book keeping problems easily in the next 100 days.
Meryl had a traditional path – university and worked at a mid-tier firm where she became a chartered accountant. She questioned why she was working in a Melbourne firm and moved to a Gold Coast. To another firm. She repeated the same long nights etc, so decided to start her consultancy business.
Having thought about the frustrations of working a consultancy business, she started Bean Ninjas in July 2015 with a business partner.
She wanted recurring revenue.
Fixed cash flow that she could predict each month.
Making it easier to hire a team.
Concentrating on one defined task, to make it easier to systematise the business.
Bean Ninjas now have a team of 10 and 100 clients.
Meryl Johnston - Bean Ninjas and cloud accounting in the next 100 days
Who are Bean Ninjas?
Bean Ninjas offer a bookkeeping service. Requires a lower skill set. Make sure all information in accounting software is accurate. Day to day transactions, sales, expenses and payroll are all entered accurately.
Her clients include ex-accountants – it’s a task they realise they ought not to do, so they free time to grow their business. Some business owners are in a mess. Once the business gets to $100k they ought to be focusing on other areas rather than accounting.
Meryl has taken a service business – consultancy and created a systematised product business.
She learnt quickly to identify her market. A market that has a particular set of clients.
She has 3 fixed pricing tiers, fixed service products suited to different clients. Once she realised which clients saw value in the different aspects of her product, and where her unique skills were, she evolved her prices into the 3 pricing tiers.
She worked out there is a gap in the bookkeeping industry in understanding online businesses.
They might be selling overseas
They might have customers throughout the world
Their business works online
They might have a remote team
They might pay their staff in different currencies
The business might be selling on Shopify or Amazon
To do the bookkeeping for those types of business requires knowledge that traditional bookkeeping services don’t possess. Bean Ninjas now specialise in this area. They didn’t start with that niche, but their business evolved there.
What cloud accounting service do Bean Ninjas use?
Meryl's team uses Xero as her accounting service and Shoeboxed for receipt processing She also uses Skype and Slack as tools to communicate as her clients are remote. Bean Ninjas are not the right fit for someone who wants a book keeper to visit their premises, Most of bookkeeping happens online now anyway.
Xero takes bank feeds. Xero has 500 add-ons. Bean Ninjas makes sure everything is setup correctly. Less about entering information but more about ensuring the system is setup correctly.
Kevin has experience of this too. He bought Shoeboxed, a plug in for Xero, taking photos of receipts and automatically enters the information. He admitted the image capture was a little wrong – it meant he had to correct the currency back to £ from $ on occasional receipts, but even with this issue the time saving is enormous. ReceiptBank is similar but excellent too.
Kevin also has T Sheets, to record consultancy time. T Sheets works with Xero to link timesheet and client billing. We featured another Xero add in in episode 72. Floatapp. Kevin also uses Floatapp with Xero to forecast and manage cashflow.
There are lots of plug-ins for all kinds of business. Think about what industry you are in to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.
What influenced the Bean Ninjas mindset?