Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 674 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today from Brian, but before we get to that, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, which helps me manage my books. And by books, I mean my business finances, from the income to the expenses to invoicing. Actually, what is really cool about FreshBooks, not only do they make it really easy just to keep track of everything with their software, but with the expenses, they help you by—you're able to connect to a credit card, for example, your business credit card to your account, so that everything that you purchase is already up there, and it's just there automatically, which is really cool.
So, it makes it a little more passive, plus come tax season which is, you know, I know it's August now, but April is coming around the corner. It makes it really easy to print out all of those forms you need. Everything you need to know what is going on, and you can hand it off to your CPA. If you do your books yourself, it can, again, it makes it super easy. And they make invoicing really easy too, so if you have any clients that you bill, just again the tops off for that. Again, if you want to check it out for 30 days for free, head on over to freshbooks.com/askpat, and make sure you enter AskPat in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
All right, now here's today's question from Brian.
Brian: Hi, Pat. This is Brian with cprforeducators.com. I wanted to start off by saying that I am a huge fan of the show. I get a ton of great information and advice from you, and I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today if it wasn't because of you, so thank you for that. My question today is about how you organize your bookkeeping. I'm creating a site that sells courses, and my goal is to keep it as passive as possible once it gets set up. I've used Zapier in the past for other projects to connect sales to my bookkeeping software, but I am concerned that it might get too confusing in this particular case, creating a new customer every time someone makes a purchase.
So I wanted to see what you suggest if this method of creating new customers every time someone made a new order was the best. Should I bash them all together at the end of the month, or is there another way that you use that seems to work best or that other bloggers or course graders use? Thanks again for everything and keep up the good work, and look forward to your response.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Brian. What's up? Thanks so much for the question. It's no coincidence that I had put your question here when we had talked about FreshBooks as the sponsor, because they are one company that has helped me very much in the past with keeping track of my books when I was doing it all on my own after initially trying to do it with spreadsheets, which was a hassle for sure. FreshBooks makes it really easy, like I said earlier, but currently I have somebody do it all for me. I have a bookkeeper, and they actually work under my CPA so it's all under one house, which works. His name is Dave Heistein, and you can find him at profitwiseaccounting.com. So, he's somebody who specializes in helping people who have online businesses and other types of businesses too. Manages your books, but also everything related to taxes and CPA. It's all handled for me, which is great. Now, when you're just starting out, you might not have that capability to hire somebody like that right away, which I didn't. But when my business started to grow, I found other people to help me with a lot of things, bookkeeping included. So that's one thing I recommend or at least shoot for, but when you are starting out is, try to make it as easy for yourself as possible. Getting connected with something like FreshBooks is great, but when you are selling something—for example, a course—what you want to do is have the shopping cart and all of the systems in place. The thing that you're using to keep track of your credit cards and all of that stuff. To have it all work for you as best as possible. Because yes, you can do it manually, but there are systems in place.
For example, if you were to get set up on teachable.com, which is what I'm using to create my own course and sell my own course, you can hook it up to your Stripe account. You know, I would recommend setting up a Stripe account. Many online services and tools that you can use to deliver software or deliver courses. Even some WordPress plugins that allow you to create courses on your own site. You know, you can connect your Stripe account, and when you connect your Stripe account, that automatically keeps track of all the income coming in, and you can actually connect it to your bookkeeping services. If you have one like FreshBooks, so you'd be able to you know, using Zapier, even not using Zapier, many of them have those, kind of those compatibilities built in or the integrations built in. You know, Stripe by far is the one that most people use to collect payments and accept credit cards, and that just again makes it really easy to keep track of everything.
So that's what I would do. I have yet to launch my course at this point in time, but if I were going to launch it soon, which I am going to launch it soon, you know it will be collected through Stripe, and connected that way, and Teachable—they have that integration on board. But yeah, that's how I would do it, but again, like I said earlier, you might want to look forward to having somebody else come on board to help you out. Whether that's somebody who's working full time or, you know, my guy's not even full time, he's just kind of on a contractual basis, you know, paying him a fee to keep track of things, and also I pay him around tax season.
But you might want to start with somebody who you know who helps with keeping track of books if possible, to check in with every week, and that way they—you can give people access to your accounts, you know, user or accounting access, which limits their capabilities of doing things on some those accounts but allows them to keep track and to see everything that is going on. And yeah, so again, having other people who are experts in that field help you is one of the best things you can do. You might not be able to start off that way, but if you can, great! If not, having that software like FreshBooks can help you manage your business finances, can be really helpful. And then when you sell stuff, having it connect to theirs, just so it's easily automated, even better. Plus, with the sort of credit card integrations with FreshBooks so you know you would be able to keep track of your expenses too, so if you do any advertising or anything it's all in there. It's great!
So Brian, hopefully that helps and gives you some ideas. Thank you so much for the question. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, and I wish you all the best. And to everybody else out there who has a question, if you want to get featured here on my show just like Brian, head over to askpat.com. You can ask right there on that page. I also want to thank freshbooks.com one more time, and if you want to check it out for 30 days for free, just head on over to freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter AskPat in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Thanks so much, everyone. I appreciate you. Here's a quote to finish off the day from Confucius. He said, “To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage.” So do what's right. Take care, guys. I'll see you next week. Bye.
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