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QuickBooks Online Cleanups: A Journey of Lessons Learned

Veronica Wasek
Posted by Veronica Wasek on Mar 14, 2024 12:14:15 PM

Jumping into a QuickBooks Online cleanup can feel like a rollercoaster of surprises. Having handled countless cleanup projects, I've gathered valuable lessons from what I’ve seen. Join me as I spill the secrets and tips I've learned from tackling tough cleanups!

Lesson #1: Diagnose for Success

Imagine this: you have a new client, hopeful for a quick fix. They think it’s a straightforward project taking just a few hours. A couple of fixes here and there, then everything will be perfectly balanced. But the truth is, things are usually a big mess and we're not getting paid to diagnose the bookkeeping problems. When I first started handling cleanups, I wasn't paid for the time spent figuring out financial issues. This led to frequent surprises in the books, taking more time than I planned. Since I charged by the hour, clients struggled to see the value in what I did. Instead, they only saw the cost increasing.

I realized the blind approach wasn't working, so I introduced my paid diagnostic review service. The idea was to get a full scope of work before starting the cleanup while still being compensated for my time. I created a thorough checklist of everything to review in QuickBooks to find any issues. Now, I knew what to expect and what needed to be done. This not only helps me but also lets me confidently show the client the value of my services.

Lesson #2: No Need to be a Salesperson

As an introverted bookkeeper, the idea of having to sell something made me want to hide under my desk. How do I promote the paid diagnostic review, sell a full cleanup, and confidently ask for money? It was overwhelming so I changed my mindset to ease the pressure. I didn't have to be a salesperson; I just needed to talk as a specialist, an advisor. It was like being a doctor diagnosing a problem and recommending a solution.

Now, in a sales chat, I talk about the client's issues and then suggest either the paid diagnostic review or a cleanup. After that, I will say, “The pricing for the service is…” and tell them the pricing. Finally, I ask my magic sales phrase: “Would you like to move forward?" This makes it easy for both of us and shows I'm not just trying to sell something. By suggesting a solution, stating the price, and asking if they'd like to continue, it's a smooth way to turn a potential client into an actual one without feeling like a salesperson.

Lesson #3: Organize with a System

When I started doing cleanups, I was confused with big questions like where to start, what to clean up, and how to know when I'm done. So, I made a cleanup plan. Breaking it into steps helped me stay organized and not feel overwhelmed. I even drew it out in a flow chart:

5MB Cleanup Workflow

In the chart above, I outlined my cleanup process. It starts with a signed agreement and a paid invoice, goes through onboarding, cleanup planning, actual cleanup, client communication, issue resolution, reviewing work, both mine and my team's, finishing the cleanup, and ends with a client meeting.

One big lesson from this process was creating a cleanup checklist. It's a simple tool that covers everything from bank reconciliations to sorting out undeposited funds and checking Profit and Loss accounts, Balance Sheet accounts, and inventory. This checklist ensures I don't miss any important steps during a cleanup.


As you step into your QuickBooks Online cleanup, keep in mind the lessons I've learned from handling countless projects. My goal is to provide insights that boost your confidence and success in the cleanup process. Every cleanup has its own quirks, but armed with these lessons, you're better equipped for a smoother journey!

Join Veronica for her "QuickBooks Online Clean-up: Going Beyond the Basics" session at the Scaling New Heights conference this June in Orlando, Florida, and learn more about her process and how to profitably offer clean-up services in your firm.

About the author:

Veronica Wasek is an accomplished entrepreneur, influencer, educator, and accountant. She is the Founder of Mavency – an award-winning bookkeeping firm that specializes in helping Shopify and TikTok Shop sellers. Her presence in social media is well-known, including her 5 Minute Bookkeeping YouTube Channel and Facebook community. She also runs the 5MB Academy, an online academy for bookkeepers and accountants. Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant and is advanced certified in QuickBooks Online. Her expertise has earned her a spot among the Top 100 and Top 10 QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Veronica lives in Sugar Land, Texas, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Eric, at their farm.

Topics: Modern Practice


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