Excel Training, Word and Powerpoint too

Knutsford Admin is pleased to announce the launch of Excel Training (our favorite topic) plus Word and Powerpoint.

Based at our office on Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire we have a room set up for training purposes – there is one trainer and space for 3 students with a larger screen for all to see.  The courses can be tailor made to suit your requirements or we can teach you skills and good habits that will stand you in good stead.

You are welcome to bring you own laptop so that you can take home what you have learnt and you’ll be provided with information sheets.

Watch our website and twitter for details of planned courses.

Day times are £50 per person and include a light lunch, they run from 9.15am to 3pm.

Evenings are £25 per person and run 6pm to 8.30pm

Individual tuition can be arranged to suit please call during office hours to enquire 01565 625615.

 

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

Knutsford Admin would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas.   There will be plenty of people out there who are looking forward to a well-earned break, hopefully not too many who are scrambling around trying to get their accounts done at the last minute!

Throughout 2012 Colette and I have worked together on a number of clients projects in a job share way.  Some projects involve weekly visits to those small businesses that need all round admin help primarily centred on their bookkeeping packages: SAGE and QuickBooks.  However our work is not purely focussed on the computer, we have mopped floors, cleaned windows and cleared junk off shelves so that filing systems can be established!  Examples of some of the work we’ve carried out:

  • Co-ordinated Health and Safety inspections and overseen the development of the office manual
  • Organised insurance policies and claims
  • Created job descriptions, time sheets, holiday records, work contracts
  • Started and manage a twitter account
  • Created bespoke excel spread sheet solutions: a bookings diary for a cattery, a register for fitness classes with an automatic totals page showing who’s paid and how many in each class
  • Reconciled a year’s worth of neglected bank accounts in QuickBooks and SAGE
  • Transferred utility, phone and card machine companies

Certainly, there’s been a great variety of jobs to keep us on our toes.

Knutsford Admin will be recruiting a new team member in January 2013, one aim is to have our office door open, at Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, to drop in visitors for one off admin tasks and to be able to offer a more immediate response for clients who maybe need a task completing urgently.  This might be:

  • booking tickets for a journey
  • making a phone call on the client’s behalf, where another voice can be useful
  • carrying out some quick research
  • sending an email perhaps chasing a debt
We also look forward to continuing to use Microsoft Office 365 in 2013 with our newly created Team Site.  Each client will have their own secure page where we can share access to relevant documents or spread sheets, I’ll be writing a bit more about this in 2013.

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas season, enjoy the break and we look forward to working with you in 2013.

Very best wishes

Helen

Founder Knutsford Admin

Knutsford bookkeeper angle on customer service

Is customer service important for bookkeepers?

Two years ago Knutsford Admin was founded offering secretarial services, general office admin and bookkeeping to businesses who need an extra hand in and around Knutsford, Cheshire.  Especially useful to those business not yet ready or able to take on their own admin staff.  Having experience of work with international, national, large and small businesses one common theme is paramount – excellent customer service is one of the key ingredients for success.

Within the bookkeeping and secretarial services industry customer service is a number one priority. When working with a business, accuracy and attention to detail are important, along with being human and understanding clients as individuals.  This combination makes for excellent working relationships.

With the owner managed businesses I’ve worked with the excellent customer service comes directly from the owner – they make sure they know their trade inside out and as it is their business they know to treasure and value their customers.  However businesses grow and employ staff and at this point it becomes not only the domain of the owner to offer good customer service.  John Lewis are an example of a business with excellent staff training, excellent management and highly motivated staff who feel valued and an important part of the business, this  is reflected in the customer service they give.

Although an extreme comparison the following examples are a good demonstration of good and bad customer service and infact gave me the idea of writing this particular blog.

The first was a marvellous opportunity to stay at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons; Raymond Blanc’s hotel, restaurant, and cookery school.  Chatting to other attendees at the cookery class it turned out 3 of them were staff members who explained that Monsieur Le Blanc likes all his staff to experience eating in the restaurant, staying overnight and taking cookery classes so they themselves experience and understand the customer’s experience.  It was very evident that all of the staff were impeccably trained and the customer service was first class.

In contrast one night in an independent hotel in the Lake Distrit did not demonstrate the same level of staff training.  Passing by reception in the afternoon a senior receptionist was blatently telling off a junior receptionist for all to hear.  It included the words ‘that’s not what guests expect’.  The junior receptionist was very young and possibly quite naive, I had to wonder if the senior receptionist herself had had good training and if she had ever considered if the junior would know what guests would expect, perhaps he had never experienced being a guest.   I picked up on an unhapy atmosphere in the hotel and won’t be returning.  A bad example of customer service.

It has been very nice to receive complimentary customer service feedback from Knutsford Admin clients and certainly our ethos is all about understanding the client and interpreting how to help run their businesses smoothly and with a smile so they can concentrate on their businesses without getting bogged down with day to day admin.

Testimonial

Knutsford Admin received a rather nice compliment.

This week one of the accountants we work with, said he..

[quote ] liked the forensic approach we took to sorting out terrific accounting muddles in a clear and concise way.
[/quote]

Thank you David, TaxMatters Accountants

Secretarial Services

What are Secretarial Services?

Secretarial Services encompasses so much more now than in times past when a secretary spent her 9-5 day sat at the typewriter typing formal correspondence and documents whilst making carbon copies for filing – phew, glad those days are gone!

On busy days you may wish you had either a secretary, an admin assitant, a PA or even a virtual assistant – basically another pair of eyes and hands to help see what needs doing and help action the ‘to do’ list.

So what services does a Secretarial Service offer: clerical tasks, copy typing, spreadsheet work, data input, computer skills, dealing with emails, mailshots, research, organising meetings, telephone work, maintaining websites, filing and bookkeeping.

How can these services help you? As the services are available on a freelance basis they can be used on an ad hoc basis, or, regular times can be set up. Knutsford Admin can work on your work from its own office at Gilbert House, Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire or at your own premises.  Being able to call up for help at particularly busy times can be such a relief or setting up a regular visit can be very reassuring.

With advances in computer technology, a far cry from those typewriter days, and to ensure an excellent, continuous and backed up service Knutsford Admin works on Microsoft Office 365.  This means that all work is securely backed up in a cloud environment and is accessible from any PC.  Plus whilst the main point of contact is myself, Helen Rogers, I do have colleagues who work with me to ensure that Knutsford Admin can offer a service 365 days a year!

If you are in, or near Knutsford, Cheshire and are looking for Secretarial Services we look forward to hearing from you.

Bookkeeper, why hire one?

[quote ] Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday
[/quote]

There’s a horrible feeling that comes along in the pit of your stomach when you realise it’s that time of the year again, the deadline is looming or has loomed and your accounts are far from up to date.

As a bookkeeper someone once said to me “but I don’t like paying bookkeepers to help me pay the HMRC!”. Not easy to sell a bookkeeping service if you look at it like this.

So I’m going to sell the positive side of hiring a bookkeeper to help with your bookkeeping.

The best type of bookkeeper is one who will work independently but is also a good communicator.  Someone who has good attention to detail and works comfortably within deadlines, not at the last minute! Ask for references from their existing clients. Make sure they have backup – a person to cover should they be unexpectedly unavailable and good I.T skills ensuring computer backup, there’s nothing like losing electronic records.

So, why hire a bookkeeper? because in the long run it will be excellent value for money – you will come to value the bookkeeper as part of your team, keeping all the paper in order, while you can work in your business.  Strangely though just knowing the bookkeeper is coming in to the office will, in itself, help keep things in order, a bit like people who have a cleaner and tidy up before the cleaner comes.

A final quote from an unknown author “I do my work at the same time each day – the last minute” – if that works for you, that’s great, if not hire in some help!

If you’ve read this and are in Knutsford, Cheshire and think you’d like to find out more about hiring a bookkeeper and the cost involved Knutsford Admin would be happy to hear from you.

 

Why do i have a blog?

Yes I’m asking myself that question!

Well curiosity.  On a need to know basis I felt I needed to know about the world of blogging – I am naturally a very inquisitive (nosey) person.

So I wondered what blogging was about and how it’s incorporated into websites and what advantages / disadvantages there were for small businesses.

For those seeking good search engine optimization on their websites it is rumoured that blogging helps with keyword searches, but, as my business is centred around bookkeeping, admin, secretarial services and paperwork organisation I think to just blog about these topics would be a trifle boring.  I did though just manage to sneak some keywords for SEO into my blog!!  I did spot in the press very recently that web spiders, like Google, are looking for interesting blogs not just those written for SEO purposes – does the spider actually read the article though, I wonder how it knows if the article is written for general reading  or just for SEO purposes?  See I am as ever curious.

So I shall continue to post completely random blogs, about once a month (I ‘m not inspired enough to write more frequently) and I shall keep on researching the whole matter of blogs.

Stromboli

Thoroughly recommend Stromboli, Sicily as a destination.

If you read my previous post on travelling light!  You may be curious where we were – we visited Stromboli which is a live volcano.  There are daily trips up to the crater to see the lava spouting out, it was awesome whilst a little daunting especially the noise of some some of the explosions.

If you are at all interested in volcanoes and are happy to climb to the top (and back down in all the ash, a bit like coming down a sand dune for two hours) then book yourself a trip, you’ll be wowed that’s for sure.

Twitter?

What have my experiences of Twitter been?

Having been a social user of Facebook from quite early on I hadn’t felt the need to use Twitter.  This changed when I set up Knutsford Admin. Trying to find out what businesses were out there and carrying out some bench marking of other secretarial services and bookkeepers I found Twitter to be a rather useful tool, and now I’m well and truly hooked.

During the day seeing tweets from other businesses in Knutsford it is a like a virtual walk along its high streets and seeing what’s going on.  Being of a slightly nosy disposition this window on life is great.

There really is a great sense of camaraderie between the businesses in the local area and tweets between them has really helped to prevent business owners feel isolated.

So from my experience Twitter for business to business is valuable.  The question is do enough members of the general public follow our local businesses on Twitter and take advantage of the many special offers and temptations tweeted?

Some teenagers I know are extremely active on Twitter but it does seem to just be for them to declare where they are and ‘talk’ to their mates, but then again from a businesses point of view though teenagers aren’t the ones who’ll be spending.

Hopefully Twitter will continue to grow and more members of the public will use it to see what’s going on in their local town and support them.

I am definitely firmly a Twitter fan!