Accounting Opportunities: Personal CFO

Some individuals and families need daily, hands on financial management... kind of a personal CFO of sorts. While most of these people are of the high asset, high activity sort, some are merely going through some sort of crisis, are seniors without a support system in place, or a variety of other issues. For whatever reason, they need a butler who specializes in financial matters.

At its very simplest level, you might be asked to pay bills for a client. To do this efficiently, I require access to their online banking account so that I can quickly and accurately download the transactions into Quicken.

Once downloaded into Quicken (or similar software), you can quickly record the income/expense account for each deposit and withdrawal. Alternatively, the software can be set-up to automatically do this for you under most circumstances. Also, the software will automatically reconcile the account after each banking connection.

With the recording of all transactions, you can now easily prepare an income statement and general ledger (so to speak) for the client, all automatically from the software. The time required to download the transactions, assign the correct income or expense categories to each, and prepare an income statement should take about 30 minutes, maybe less.

Personal bill paying is not a huge money maker, but still profitable. More importantly, it can be an entre into other parts of the client’s business which can really help build your practice.

The logistics involved in paying bills is a bit more involved, but not complex. I will share this with you in my next writing. Other topics will include client reporting, document retention, and gateway conversations with the client for additional, more profitable work.

Irvin Jaffe is an MBA, CPA in private practice for decades dealing exclusively with the daily management of high asset/high activity families and individuals. He routinely deals with both personal and business related issues.