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Wisdom from a Seasoned Bookkeeper

Episode 096

Earlier in life Jo Ann made the mistake so many women make of relying on her husband to handle the family finances. That’s what her mother had done and she thought everything would be just fine. Unfortunately it wasn’t. It led her down a path of poor investments and eventually to bankruptcy. Now a seasoned bookkeeper Jo Ann teaches her clients just how important it is to have a knowledge of your finances even if you’re not the primary income earner.

“You need to have some emergency money.”

Jo Ann shares a wealth of knowledge in this episode including her top tips for women and top tips for business owners.

Tips for Women:

1. Have someone work with you to set up a budget for planning and bill paying.
2. Have savings ‘buckets’ for taxes, emergencies, fun, etc.
3. Work with a financial planner to get solid advice on retirement preparation.

 Tips for business owners:

1. Keep biz and personal finances separate.
2. It’s best to start with a bookkeeper from the beginning. Let a bookkeeper set up the accounting system and then maintain the books. Just because you know how to enter items in QB does not make you a bookkeeper.
3. Collect W9 forms from service providers/indie contractors as you start to work with them and ideally before you pay them.
4. Tell your bookkeeper everything related to money and assets owned.
5.Have the bookkeeper do the sales tax return. Set aside the sales tax collected for future payment.
6. Venmo – share the transactions with the bookkeeper.
7. Amazon – bookkeeper needs to know the categories of the purchases.
8. Be prepared to be specific…can’t just call something a ‘biz expense.’
9. Keep track of biz mileage. Note odometer reading on 12/31 or 1/1.
10. Set up bank/credit card logins for the bookkeeper so they don’t have to bug you for a security code, especially if you’ve changed your password.
11. Be sure to save money for taxes.
12. Set money aside for reserves.
13. Understand that a profit on paper does not = bank balance.

Jo Ann Richards is a native Californian now living in Portland OR. She has been a bookkeeper since 1976, has worked as an employee and has been self-employed for the 2nd time since 2007. Crunching numbers is a skill inherited from her father and grandfather. Her thriving bookkeeping practice has clients on both the East and West Coasts of the US plus a client in England. She is the mother of a grown daughter and proud grandmother of three. She’s been married for over 19 years.

Jo Ann’s book is available at To get in contact with Jo Ann you can email her at She is also on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram.


Jo Ann found a vintage mink hat which had belonged to her mother-in-law. She suggested we do a tea party theme. I recently picked up this red hat and thought it would be perfect for the occasion.

Follow the show on Instagram @moneyheartshow to see more pics of my costumes from each episode. I also include my guest’s costume when they choose to wear one.



Money Mantra: "I am worthy and capable of financial abundance."


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