FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What's Included?

WITH WHOM WILL I BE WORKING AND WHO WILL HAVE ACCESS TO MY BOOKS?

All of our virtual bookkeepers and controllers are full-time US employees and work virtually from their homes. All employees have had background checks, and Catching Clouds has an actively monitored security policy.

You will be assigned a virtual bookkeeper and controller who will work on your books and will get to know you and your business deeply. We do cross-train other bookkeepers and/or controllers on your business so that our employees can go on vacation from time to time without disruption to the accounting for your business.

DO YOU OFFER TRAINING?

It depends. We absolutely offer training for our ongoing monthly customers to help facilitate the workflow between our teams. However, we do not offer stand alone training on specific tools. Here's a blog about why that is.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

We do our best to include pretty much everything you need to effectively run a modern accounting department: a virtual bookkeeper to handle the daily work, a virtual controller to oversee the process and handle complex questions, and cloud accounting tools and ongoing support for those tools. Check out our services page for more information.

MY BOOKS ARE A MESS. CAN YOU HELP?

Absolutely. Many of our customers began with books slightly (or massively) in disarray, and we have lots of experience setting up and cleaning up books. 

However, keep in mind that we only provide cleanup and setup services to companies signed up for our ongoing monthly services. If you have a one-time cleanup project, reach out to us, and we may be able to refer you to another service.

Pricing

I'VE SEEN OTHER SITES WITH A PRE-DEFINED or three-price PACKAGE OPTION.  DO YOU OFFER THAT?

Nope. We treat our customers as the unique businesses they are. Don’t get me wrong, we love getting an easy price quote by checking on the website as much as the next guy, but unfortunately, the price for each customer really does depend.  

Here's more about Packaged Plans vs. Customized Plans.

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?

It all depends on your needs. 

Each online retailer has such a unique business, and pricing can be affected by the number of sales channels, number of merchant accounts, number of financial accounts, the tools needed, and on and on.

We customize every solution to the unique needs of the ecommerce businesses with whom we work.

can i afford your service?

Our service makes the most sense for online businesses who have an established business (typically $50K+ of sales per month minimum) and are ready to take their business to the next level.  

We understand that there are literally millions of smaller online sellers who need help.  If you're in that camp, please follow our blog, webinars, Twitter, Facebook, online seller forums, and so on.  You should also check out our Tools page for some of the tools we recommend.  We do not directly serve the do-it-yourself market but help point people in the right direction when we have time.  If you have questions, drop us a note - your questions may inspire a blog post.

DO YOU OFFER FIXED MONTHLY RATES?

Yes. We are big fans of fixed pricing.  We think it's important for our customers to flatten their costs as much as possible from month to month for better planning and budgeting.   

Read more about it on our blog.

Tools

WHO PAYS FOR AND SUPPORTS THE ACCOUNTING TOOLS?

Catching Clouds does. When you become a customer, we will clearly identify the tools included with our services. Except in rare circumstances, we will pay for all related tools. We support all these tools and the integration as part of your accounting system.

WHY DO YOU USE XERO?

We love Xero for the smart way it handles data and gets us closer to zero entry. Check out this blog about why it makes our heart go pitter pat.

I CAN'T FIND A TOOL THAT I NEED. CAN YOU HELP WITH THAT?

Absolutely. There are literally hundreds of apps that can be used to support your ecommerce business from inventory to repricers to listing tools and more, so we completely understand why it can be daunting. Not only do we have a lot of experience with a bunch of different applications, but we are also able to vet different apps and quickly learn how they would integrate (or not) into your accounting system. This is one of the areas where we shine.

WHY DON'T YOU USE QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP OR QUICKBOOKS ONLINE?

In our opinion, business owners shouldn't have to be experts in accounting or accounting technology in order to collaborate on the software and understand their financial information. Xero makes this easy; QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online do not. We have a lot of reasons why Xero is better for ecommerce businesses. Articles in our blog help summarize some of our thoughts about why we prefer Xero over QuickBooks Online.  Just click on the Xero category.

And here's a full review Patti wrote about Xero on trustradius.com.

WHAT ADD-ON TOOLS ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH?

Here is a list of the tools we use regularly with our customers, but we also have direct experience with two or three times as many as those listed. We also pick up software easily, so if there's a tool you can't live without and want to find out if we can integrate it into your system, just ask. We can check it out for you and incorporate it if it's possible. No problem.

Becoming a Customer

YOU'RE JUST WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?

Call us. Even though our pricing quotes are unique from customer to customer, our process is very standardized.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET UP AND RUNNING?

It depends on the complexity of your business, how long the books have been neglected, and how responsive you are in answering questions during the cleanup process. We've had companies up and running in as little as one week or as long as several months. We typically have the basic setup including bill paying, payroll, and regular daily accounting services ready to go within a week or two, but extensive cleanup can delay the first closing of the books by several weeks or even months.  Your ongoing cooperation and responsiveness to questions is critically important in determining that timeline.

WHAT AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR AS THE BUSINESS OWNER?

You are ultimately responsible for your business. We don't want to turn you into an accountant or a technician. We want to help you realize your role as a responsible business owner. As such, you need to communicate with us effectively through frequent discussions and by bringing up any and all questions and concerns.

You also need to provide us with all documentation necessary to support your accounting information (i.e., receipts, bills, invoices) - although we can help you streamline this workflow. You should focus on managing the other areas of your business, particularly operations, including placing purchase orders, managing inventory, working with the cloud inventory, and all the other responsibilities of an ecommerce business owner. You should plan to make time to understand your financial results through monthly consultations with your virtual controller.