Business Systems: Can Your Bookkeeping Practice Really Run Itself?

Most independent bookkeepers struggle with their bookkeeping business systems to gain true efficiency and harness automation. But somehow the vast majority of us are stuck in a cycle that has us working longer and harder.

We’re struggling both with their time and their money. Work-life balance, never mind a vacation, seem out of reach, or at least not sustainable when busy season descends.

That’s why I was super excited to be able to interview Mike Michalowicz about his brand new book, Clockwork, which promises give us an implementable path to change all that. And as you’ll see in the interview, what he’s teaching us works for bookkeeping business systems specifically!

Watch this 23-minute interview and then get the book TODAY! (I got an early copy and am already reading it a second time now! Listen, and you’ll understand why)

Would you rather listen to the interview on the go?  Download Audio Here (right-click and “Save As…”)

Interview Highlights

Why This Book and Why Now?

Every book Mike writes is to address a challenge that he has faced in his own life as a business owner.

Profit First was written to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty on a financial level. Clockwork has been written to give the business owner his / her life back with regards to time; truly achieving life balance. Clockwork is about living life the way you define it.

As business owners we have a hierarchy of needs:

  1. Sales – like oxygen to a business
  2. Profit – like food and water, sustenance for a business.
  3. Time -the quality of life that makes it worth it – the balance to do what brings you the most joy.

Clockwork is about having the time to do what you want, when you want, both in your life and your business.

Why Clockwork for Accountants and Bookkeepers?

With Profit First Professionals, Mike has worked with accountants and bookkeepers specifically to transition from compliance-only services to a consultative model surrounding profitability.

With automation and the downward price pressure through commoditization of our services, most accountants and bookkeepers have the ‘work harder’ mentality. That means we are working more than ever before! That doesn’t work because we can’t work any harder.

As far as business owners go, accountants and bookkeepers are part of the group of entrepreneurs who need Clockwork the most!

How Can We Sustain Income (and Increase It) Without Being In the Business?

To do this, you must offer something new and distinct. Most importantly, you must have the mentality of an entrepreneur, not a doer. You must have the mindset of someone who uses other resources, other people, and channeling these collectively to have a consistent outcome that drives the business forward.

Then you must remove yourself from doing the work, and instead, be designing the business.

How is Clockwork Different than Other Business Systems Books?

Other great books about getting your business to run without you are The E-Myth for Bookkeeper by Michael E. Gerber and Work the System by Sam Carpenter.

Clockwork shows you step by step how to make the transition to working on the business and not needing to work in the business. It’s not something that just happens at a specific moment, but it’s a transition.

Many see our relationship with our business as a Parent-Child situation. The business is viewed as our ‘baby.’ We feel we need to take care of it until ‘one day’ it will be ‘mature’ and sustainable on its own. Clockwork challenges this perception.

Mike sees us as having a conjoined twins type of relationship with our business. We are very closely integrated into the very life of the business. We need to separate ourselves in a very surgical, disciplined process. This is the process that Clockwork walks you through a 7-step process so that in the end, the business can run without you, and flourish independently.

The result is you will be able to take a four-week, completely unplugged vacation, and the business will ‘run like clockwork’ without you.

One of the Case Studies in the Book is a Bookkeeper!

Cyndi Thomason of Bookskeep (who is also a Profit First Professional) used the Clockwork process and it culminated in a four-week totally unplugged vacation to Hawaii, just a few weeks ago (at the time of this post).

While she was gone, her business thrived. The business even got new clients while she was gone. Prices were increased on two clients. Her team of four people took ownership in the success of the business.

Going forward, she is taking one week off, disconnected from the business, every month!

Cyndi expects revenue to surpass $500K this year, and double that next year because of this shift in how she is running her practice. It took her 18 months for her to go through the Clockwork process. (HINT: Watch the blog, because I will be interviewing Cyndi about her experiences with this next month!)

How to Remove Yourself from Your Business

Start by declaring to absolutely taking a four-week vacation, scheduled for 18 months to two years from now. This causes a mind-shift that helps you realize that your business must run without you to do that.

This process can absolutely be done even by a solo practitioner, using contractors, part-timers and systems.

The biggest change that makes this all possible is a mindset shift.

The Book is Based on Results

Mike tests what he teaches on himself in his own businesses. He is his own first Guinea Pig. He started writing this book six years ago. A lot of what he tried didn’t work, and is therefore, not included in the book. On what did work, he tested with friends’ businesses too.

The book includes only what has worked for multiple businesses in the real world.

With focused action, the entire process takes approximately 18 months to complete, start to 4-week vacation. The key is a behavioral change. So with the deadline of 18-months, it’s far enough in the future to achieve the results and still make the needed changes.

Without making the commitment and working the Clockwork plan, you’ll never have the choice or freedom to participate in your business and achieve the balance needed to love your business and your life at the same time. Clockwork is about freedom of choice.

If this sounds good to you, then the first step is to get YOUR copy of Clockwork TODAY! (I’m already half-way through my second reading!)

Pick up your copy TODAY! Click Here

If you had the choice, how much would you want your business to run without you? How involved (or not) would you be in the day-to-day operations?

Please comment below and share your vision of your perfect bookkeeping business systems and operation.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, Mike did not pay me in any way (except that promised breakfast, we'll see if he pays up! 😉 ) to do this interview. I am promoting Clockwork because I believe in the principles he's teaching and implementing them myself in my own business. I am, however, using Amazon affiliate links for the book. I might make a few pennies from that (literally) if you click and buy (no extra cost to you), but it's more so I can measure if you like what you're learning on the blog or not. 

Sharing is caring!

About Gabrielle

Freelance bookkeeper, trainer and consultant who works with internet savvy business owners and bookkeeping professionals to maximize cash flow and support true win-win business success.
This entry was posted in Articles, Audios, Q & A, Videos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Business Systems: Can Your Bookkeeping Practice Really Run Itself?

  1. Steven Chase says:

    Great interview Gabrielle!

  2. Kim M Harris says:

    Interesting, video not available to watch.

  3. Jessica says:

    The video is not working but the article information is good. This book is next on my to read list as it seems to be expanding on the process that I have been working on over the past couple of months and I document my systems and implement automation in my practice to help me get closer to this goal.

  4. Hi all – I’ve been traveling today, so not sure why some had trouble watching the interview… unless YouTube was having some problems earlier. It seems to be working fine now. You can also download and listen to the audio, which is highly recommended. The article doesn’t capture all the points and examples that Mike made on this discussion. I am so happy to be able to share it with you because it was really good.

    Yes, Jessica, I’m doing the same myself – I’m now reading through the book very slowly with the intent of implementing every last bit of it! We’ll have to compare notes as we go along! 🙂

Comments are closed.