Are you claiming all the expenses you can in your therapy biz? FREE TRAINING

Is your bookkeeping system (really) set up well?


I thought my bookkeeping systems were great. Then I learned how my bookkeeping could be doing much more for me and my business.


Your therapy business is relatively simple, so you might think you don’t need any help from a bookkeeper. You can do all of your bookkeeping yourself.


Here’s the thing: There’s a difference between getting ongoing help from a bookkeeper and getting help from a bookkeeping trainer.


Now I am totally converted to the idea that we all need some help from a bookkeeping trainer.


I thought I was doing everything correctly with my financial systems. I keep my own books and I probably always will. If you are familiar with this blog, you know that I love systems and I love to track. I track every dollar that comes in and every dollar that goes out. I’ve got a business budget and projected earnings for my practice. I LIKE to take a few minutes every day and a couple of hours every month to track my money.


I don’t need a bookkeeper to take over my daily and monthly financial tracking.


My accountant doesn’t complain that my business figures are missing anything.


So far I’ve avoided working with a bookkeeper. I’m self taught. I do things the way I do them. I don’t need any help! (I always thought).


I sat down with bookkeeper and bookkeeping trainer Andi Smiles recently, and I started to question that.


With her open smile, lavender hair, and unique personal story, she made me feel comfortable right away. I met with Andi because I was looking for a fabulous bookkeeping trainer to guest teach in my Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program. I wanted a pro to guide my therapists in setting up their bookkeeping systems correctly and to answer all of their bookkeeping questions.


I wanted to find the right bookkeeper; someone who would fit with the safe energy that my groups tends to have, and who would not scare my wonderful therapists away from looking at their finances. Two of my awesome therapist clients had loved working with Andi.


When Andi told me about her approach to finances, I knew we had found our woman. She wants small business people to develop loving and transparent relationships with their finances. She’s about empowerment rather than fear or intimidation.


She founded a non-profit serving women in Peru, so she knows how to use financial systems to make great stuff happen. (Have you seen the paperwork involved in starting a non-profit?)


I told her some common questions therapists ask:


How do I deal with credit card fees on my schedule C at tax time?

What exactly can I claim as a business expense?

What kind of bookkeeping system is best for my simple business?

What’s the best way to pay myself?


Andi told me how she would answer all of those questions. Not only did I love the way she answered, but I also realized I wasn’t keeping my own books in the most effective ways. I’ll be taking notes along with the other therapists.


In the Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program, she’ll take the reins for an entire lesson. She’ll  teach the foundation of how to set up the bookkeeping systems for your therapy business. Then she’ll talk to our small group for 90 minutes on a Q and A call to answer individual questions.


Even if you don’t sign up for the Superpower program (starting next month), I want you to get some help from Andi. I’ve invited her to co-present a free online workshop for you. 


(Sorry, this workshop is over.)


We’ll focus on just one important area of bookkeeping in this free online workshop: claiming expenses for your taxes.


You want to claim everything that you can, because you want to take home as much profit as you can. On the other hand, you want to be very clear that everything you are claiming is legitimate. If you ever get audited, you want to know you’ve claimed expenses correctly. Andi will show us how to do that.


Claim your spot and be there. Remember, it's free! Don’t worry if you can’t be there live. Sign up and you’ll have access to the recording for 48 hours after the workshop.


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Doing The Taxes For Your Therapy Practice?


Are your finances disorganized?


Maybe you’re struggling with tracking down all the numbers you need to get your taxes ready, and you’re feeling frustrated, anxious or even ashamed. You’re not alone. Lots of therapists in private practice lack a clear set of financial systems.


When you're preparing your taxes, you're reminded of every way that your financial systems are failing you. 


It’s a good time to consider making your systems better. Maybe you’re considering investing in a bookkeeping application to help you with your finances. It may be a great idea, but before you do, get clear on the systems you need.


The tool you choose is less important than the consistent habit of using whatever system you have. Even if you only have a spreadsheet and a calendar, you can track the numbers you need. I use quicken for personal and business finances, but there’s no one system that’s perfect. Just a few others to check out are FreshBooks, Quickbooks, Xero, and YNAB. As you read this, think about how you’ll create a system that suits you and your business.


There are a minimum of 3 things that you need tracking systems for in order to make your taxes easier next year. 


  1. expenses paid

  2. bills yet to be paid

  3. collected and uncollected fees


When you have a hole in those tracking systems, you lose time and money. You also experience a feeling of overwhelm every time you need a information and you can’t find it. Disorganization leads you to spend time trying to track down information for client receipts, lose money when you don’t claim all your business expenses, pay late fees, or lose money in uncollected fees.


Now I'll go over the bare minimum you need to do in order to track those 3 things. 


Expenses Paid


Daily or weekly:


  • Keep a big envelope or file for your business receipts for each year. File ALL of your business receipts in that envelope. Sure, you can file your receipts in several different categorized files. If you’re in business by yourself, one file is probably going to be easier and less time consuming.

  • When you receive receipts online, label them or put them in a special email folder so you can find them easily. You’ll need all of those receipts if you get audited.

  • Categorize your expenses. If you use a program to track your finances, go in and choose or create a category for every business expense. If you’re using a spreadsheet, create categories that you can use each month. If you don’t do this daily or weekly, you’re likely to forget what some expenses were. Use categories that you’ll use for your schedule C at tax time. If you don’t know what they are, look up Schedule C categories. Go ahead. It’s easy to google.




  • Add up all of your business expenses so that you have a picture of how much you’re spending in each category and how much you’re spending overall. If you’re using a bookkeeping application, you can have it generate this report. Easy peasy.




  • File the past year's big envelope. Start a new big envelope.

  • Add up all of those monthly numbers for each category to create your schedule C.


Bills yet to be paid


  • Use a separate bank account for business expenses.

  • Put any bills you can on autopay. Keep a list of these so that you’ll notice if any aren’t automatically paid due to a glitch in the system or an expired credit card. Losing your URL due to a late payment would be a real bummer.

  • Keep all incoming paper bills in one place. Once a week pay those bills, write a note on each bill of the date you paid, and then file them right away (with your other expenses paid).


Collected and Uncollected Fees




  • Use one system to record the sessions and fees you collect every single day. The low tech system is to use your calendar and make a note right there of what your client paid and whether there is any fee to be collected. Be consistent with your record keeping so that no uncollected fees fall between the cracks. Online scheduling systems like simple practice and cliniko can hold your scheduling and fee information in one place.

  • Generate any requested receipts.




  • Add up all collected fees (be sure not to include any sessions for which fees weren’t collected). Record this monthly number.




  • Add up all of the months of collected fees. That’s your number for Gross receipts for your Schedule C.


Of course there's much more you can track, and over time you may choose to use a more sophisticated set of systems. First get really consistent with the basics, and notice the peace of mind it brings you to be more organized.


Is it time to get some help with building the business only you can create? Apply for a free consultation with me.