Business owners face many challenges in terms of operations but thanks to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), financial management does not have to be on that list. Katy Winders, Assistant Director of Finance and Operations for the SBDC, recently met with Intern Byron Anderson, to get more information about the upcoming series of QuickBooks classes designed to make life easier for business owners.
Byron: Katy, what is your background and position with respect to the QuickBooks initiative?
Katy: I’m originally from Long Beach, California and as a teenager I began taking care of bookkeeping for the family business. I later received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach. After moving to Stanislaus County in 1997 I operated my own bookkeeping business and first began teaching and consulting for the SBDC in 2013. I joined the Alliance SBDC team full-time in January of 2015 and have been using my 14 years of QuickBooks experience to manage our monthly workshops, where I also serve as one of three instructors.
Byron: What is the background need or needs driving the QuickBooks training initiative?
Katy: Every business needs to know how they are doing in regards to their finances. It’s important for every business owner to manage their cash flow, plan for future business projects, manage growth, and handle other basic operations essential to daily business operations. Business owners also need to understand how to read a profit & loss statement as well as a balance sheet. Our training is designed as a comprehensive program covering the basics of setting up a company accounting file to more advanced functions like generating financial reports. There are many software products designed to manage a small business, but QuickBooks is the best known and accepted program of its kind.
Byron: Are the seminars just for Stanislaus County?
Katy: No, we cover four counties: Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa and Tuolumne County on a rotating basis.
Byron: What stumbling blocks do most business owners encounter with bookkeeping and how does your QuickBooks training address gaps in skills or knowledge?
Katy: Most business owners are passionate about their business and what they do on a daily basis but dislike the bookkeeping side of it. Whether the business owner does the bookkeeping functions or hires it out they still need to understand what the numbers mean to their business. They need to be knowledgeable about the accounting processes. In our workshops we give the how-to tips but also talk about business practices, fraud and potential pitfalls.
Byron: What are the deliverables from the training?
Katy: We offer 15 QuickBooks lessons over three progressive workshop dates. Each session may include demonstrated lessons and self-paced work with particular examples, which apply to your own business.
Byron: What will participants receive in the way of training materials?
Katy: The course includes 15 lesson packets and sample QuickBooks files.
Byron: How many people did the SBDC train in QuickBooks last year?
Katy: We had a total of 138 last year. The classes were offered as beginning and intermediate so we had some returning students from the beginner cohorts.
Byron: So you expect to have repeat participants?
Katy: Yes, and once they take the classes they usually get a one-on-one no cost consultation because some participants have needs more specific to their business. Others need help with initial set up.
Byron: That’s a nice bonus. What are the training dates and cost?
Katy: Our next training will start in Oakdale on April 13th. We have an upcoming May training event in Sonora and return to Modesto in June. The Modesto training date is not on the schedule yet but will be soon. The cost is $149 for three training sessions.