Welcome to The Mindset of Podcasting!
Oct. 11, 2022

Taking Charge of your Finances with Abby Gallo


Do you feel like you're constantly hustling and grinding, but you're not seeing the results you want? You've been told that you need to "just keep pushing through" and that success is just around the corner, but you're starting to wonder if that's really true.

Well, it comes down to knowing your numbers. In this episode, Abby Gallo will tell us how to make sound financial decisions for your business.

Abby is Founder & CEO of Terrain Bookkeeping, a bookkeeping & advisory firm that specializes in helping marketing & creative agencies gain greater profitability. Abby is a QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor who started her career at a boutique PR agency in NYC. Having worked inside an agency herself, she's aware of the challenges and opportunities agency owners face and is passionate about helping them gain greater clarity around their books.

"A lot of people use bookkeeping as a compliance tool, but it can be used to learn about their business and motivate them to make better decisions."

 

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  • How bookkeeping can be used to learn about and motivate a business to make better decisions
  • What systems to use to track your finances
  • When to know the right time to hire a bookkeeper

 

 

Links and Resources

 

Connect with Jillian

 

Follow Jillian on Instagram

 

Follow Jillian on Tik Tok

 

Connect with Abby

 

Follow Abby on Instagram

 

Check out PodPage

 

Start your podcast with The Podcast Launch Solution

 

 

To learn more about Jillian or to check out her podcast management services go to jilliangrover.com

Transcript

Jillian

Welcome back to the mindset of podcasting. So today, let's talk about your finances. I know that can be a scary word for most people, and they don't even like to look at their finances or at their bank account or know where their money's going because it is scary. But Abby, my guest today is going to tell you why you should know. So my guest today is Abby Gallo. She is the founder and CEO of Terrain Bookkeeping, a bookkeeping and advisory firm that specializes in helping marketing and creative agencies gain greater profitability. Abby is a QuickBooks advanced pro advisor who started her career at a boutique PR agency in New York City. Having worked inside an agency herself, she's aware of the challenges and opportunities agency owners face and is passionate about helping them gain greater clarity around their books. So please listen into this episode, especially if you know that your finances maybe need a little work.

 

Jillian

Hi, Abby. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. How are you?

 

Abby

Good. Thank you for having me.

 

Jillian

Of course, to begin with, if you want to tell the listeners who you are and what do you bring to the world?

 

Abby

Sure. So my name is Abby Gallo, and I own terrain bookkeeping. We're a boutique bookkeeping firm that works primarily with consultants and with creative and marketing agencies, and we help them gain clarity on their business finances so that they can make important decisions for their businesses.

 

Jillian

Finances can be very scary to talk about.

 

Abby

Yes.

 

Jillian

So if we're not really on top of our finances in our business, where do we start? With getting organized with them.

 

Abby

Yeah. So the first thing I would recommend is really to have some sort of software that you use for bookkeeping. So my clients work with QuickBooks Online. That's one of them. There's. Zero was another one. Some people use Wave sage. There's a whole fresh books. There's a whole bunch of them out there. But really getting everything into an online software will help you because you can automate it in a lot of ways. You can connect it to your bank, and really, things will start to populate in there. You still have to go in and do a lot of things, set it up the right way. I wouldn't recommend, if you don't know what you're doing, to either take a class or have somebody help you set it up so at least you're starting out on the right foot, right? Because otherwise it can get a little messy. A lot of these softwares, they say that they're very user friendly and they are to an extent, but there's also a large learning curve to a lot of them. So that's kind of where I would start. And also just making sure that you're keeping track of your expenses and keeping your receipts, if not physically, then electronically. And just making sure that you're separating your business from your personal.

 

Jillian

Those are like the big things. You have separate bank accounts so that you can keep all organized.

 

Abby

I know a lot of people don't realize that especially if they're a solopreneur, they have a sole proprietorship where they're the only person in their LLC. They don't necessarily think because for tax purposes, you can kind of see how it would all be from treated as you as an individual oftentimes. But it can get messy. And actually, if you are an LLC, having a separate bank account and keeping your finances totally separate helps protect you from a liability. It's called piercing the corporate veil. If you kind of mingle the two together and can leave you open to lawsuits and people going after your personal funds. Definitely something you want to say.

 

Jillian

Yes, definitely. I have to admit I still use Google spreadsheets to do all of my finances.

 

Abby

That's okay too.

 

Jillian

So I know you mentioned a bunch of programs, but what would you recommend for like, a beginner who is not very equipped with all the technology but wants to keep better track?

 

Abby

Yeah, well, Google Sheets is a good thing to use. Just start with breaking out your income, what you have for your sales each month, and then below that your expenses and what you each month have. And then the one off things that you have, keeping track of those if you can. There are no other templates online where you can have places to input all of that in the right spots for your taxes. So if you're going to do it manually, there are some templates that you can set up. But yeah, definitely keeping your income separate and then any expenses that you have, making sure that you track those. And then from there you have the income, track your expenses, you get your profit or net income as we call it. So that's very basic.

 

Jillian

Okay, good. I'm keeping it simple right now until I get more advanced. So how does keeping track of our finances actually help our business in the future?

 

Abby

Yeah, so I think a lot of people look at bookkeeping as sort of a compliance, just doing it for tax purposes, and a lot of people use it that way or they're just getting everything together last minute to send over to their accountants so that their taxes can be filed. Right. But they're missing a big opportunity to really use their information to learn about their business and to motivate them and to make better decisions. So you can't manage what you don't measure right. If you're not keyed into what you're making and what you're spending, then you don't know how you're doing. You don't know how much you can pay yourself. You may not be paying yourself, at least not consistently. So there's all sorts of opportunities you can have from just looking at the numbers. I mean, I had a client who started working with me. She didn't know if she was even making a profit. It was a labor of love for her, and she called it her not for profit business, but she was making a profit. We looked at it, she was not a lot, but as she started seeing her numbers and one of the things I do with my clients is I meet with them on a monthly basis or quarterly basis to go over their finances. So I don't just send them the reports and say, here, good luck. We sit down, we go over it and review it, and I make sure they understand it. And also we talk about how things could be improved, what could they change going forward. And one of the things that we did, she wanted to start doing some budgeting together. We created a budget for the year, and after we started doing that, in a three year span, her profit increased 138%. So by measuring that and tracking against it regularly, she was able to check in and say, okay, well, this part of my business is doing well. This part is not so great, so maybe I should stop doing this, really, to see what was working and what wasn't working and make changes so that she could have a better year the next year or the next quarter even. Sometimes we wait too long and we do it at the end of the year, and they're like, oh, that's good to know. But if you do it as you go, you have the opportunity to make changes almost in real time. So I think that's one opportunity. There are a lot of opportunities, really, that are left on the table if you're not looking at all that.

 

Jillian

Yeah, definitely. I was looking at my expenses at the end of the year, of course, because I waited and I was paying for a program that I hadn't used in like, six months. I'm like, Why am I paying for this?

 

Abby

Yes, that is one thing I always check with my clients on, is the biggest categories, the software subscription, they will get you because you sign up, and they often don't send you a receipt and they just keep charging you. And if you're not looking at it, you can add up over the course of a year or several years. So that's kind of one thing I like to do is like a quarterly software subscription audit. Like, what are you still using and what can we get rid of here that you don't really need anymore?

 

Jillian

Yes, that's a good thing to put into your quarterly planning is look at your finances. What can you get rid of? Absolutely.

 

Abby

And the other thing I would say that a lot of people don't do. And if you are doing it yourself and you have a software or even if you're using a Google Sheet. Is to reconcile what you have in your software or your sheet with what's in your bank account to make sure that you're not missing anything. To make sure that it matches so that you know that it's accurate. A lot of times people are like, oh, I have QuickBooks and it's in there, it's connected to my bank feed, I categorize it. But they don't know if it's actually accurate because they're not reconciling. A lot of people don't know what reconciliation is. That's fair. I wouldn't point it either. It's just something that not a lot of people talk about. So it's just really making sure that what you have in your software matches what happened in your bank account.

 

Jillian

We don't always get receipts or write down the receipts when we get them right.

 

Abby

Yeah, if you're doing it manually, you can miss a lot of stuff. So that's important.

 

Jillian

I'm interrupting this episode to tell you about a site that has changed my podcast. Do you have a website for your podcast? Is just the thought of creating a website making you want to run and hide because it sounds so complicated? Then you need to check out Podpage. Podpage takes your RSS feed from your podcast and makes the site automatically for you. To check out some of the features, go to the minecraftofpodcasting. Comsponsors. Not only do you get a main page for your podcast, but you also get a page for each episode. I am able to have my show notes, guest profile, podcast player and so much more, right? On each episode page I upgraded to the paid version because I can also incorporate guest forms, scheduling links, videos, email, sign up and so much more. You can actually head over to my page to check it out. It's the mindset of podcasting.com that is all made with Podpage. So podcast makes having a website for your podcast so much easier. So go to the mindsetpodcasting. Comsponsors to check them out today. So when do we know that it's time to actually hire a bookkeeper?

 

Abby

Well, I think like I said, there's several different stages that you can seek of bookkeepers help and one is kind of us are starting out to get set up and potentially with training or help to make sure everything's in the right order and going to the right places. But I would say it can be kind of a monetary threshold or it can just be when you feel like your time is better spent doing something else right. As the business owner, your zone of genius is probably not in doing the books yourself, right? I mean, most business owners could do the books themselves. A lot of them do, and they're totally fine. But A, is it the best use of your time? Could you be using that time to bring in new clients and make more money or work with your team or something else that's a little bit more fruitful? Or it's that they're just tired of doing it themselves or they're not doing it themselves. And even if they are doing it themselves, are they sure that it's done the right way? Do you want to be spending the time doing it and learning how to do it? With a bookkeeper? It's plug and play, basically. They're ready to go. We've already got the base knowledge on how to do it all. It's just a matter of turning over the rains and letting us take that over with your input and insight and all of that. Obviously not totally a handsoff experience because we still do need information from you on what certain expenses are for and all that. But I would say for anyone who's just realizing that my time is better used somewhere else, definitely once you get to a higher revenue level too, it makes it easier to bring on a bookkeeper. $80 to $100,000 in annual revenue. That's definitely a time where you want to say, okay, I think it's time now I need to hand this off to somebody else. So that would be kind of my recommendation or what I would look for if I were a business owner. I heard from a lot of people that it's sort of one of the first things that they see as being able to outsource along with social media. Bookkeeping seems to be one of those things that a lot of people think, okay, this could be something I could parcel off to somebody else and I could spend my time doing something else for the business.

 

Jillian

Yes, same price.

 

Abby

Even just spending more time with family rather than spending the weekend before taxes are due. Punching all of it together.

 

Jillian

Yes. I think some people's hesitation to hiring a bookkeeper might be they're embarrassed by the look of their finances.

 

Abby

I've heard that before, which is so funny to me because people come to us in all sorts of disarray and very few are well organized, I will say. And there's no judgment here something else with us, it's kind of like if you go to the doctor, we're used to seeing it. It's not like your story is your individual books are horrifying or going to be an outlier. It's actually really common that a lot of people don't know how their books, what shape their books are in, or how to manage the software. And they've signed up for it and they're like, oh no, now what do I do? So it's very common. I would say so do not be afraid. We are here to help. All the bookkeepers I talk to, we want to help business owners gain clarity around their finances. We want them to be successful because we think that small businesses are so important to our country, to the local economy, all of it, and just communities and individuals. Small businesses are the best, so we have to help support them. And that's why we want to help business owners make sure that they know how their finances are stacking up.

 

Jillian

Yeah, so we give them peace of mind so they can actually enjoy working on their business.

 

Abby

We want to relieve the burden.

 

Jillian

Yes, definitely. Well, thank you so much for being on today. This is all very helpful. And I know Bookkeeping is probably going to be something I outsource.

 

Abby

I would recommend it.

 

Jillian

Can you tell all the Listers how they can connect with you?

 

Abby

Sure. So you can go to my website, which is Terrainbookkeeping.com or Instagram is another place at Terrainbookkeeping and those are probably the best. I'm also on LinkedIn. Abby gallo me out there too.

 

Jillian

I will make sure all those are in the show notes.

 

Abby

Awesome. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Jillian

Yes, of course.

 

Jillian

Okay, so who needs to get their finances in order? I do use a Google Sheet right now. I don't have a super ton of finances in my business right now. I don't actually use a lot of systems or programs, and the ones I do are pretty easy to manage. So I do use my Google Spreadsheet.

And I probably use that for a little while longer until my team continues to grow, and then I really need to outsource it to a bookkeeper. But keeping track of our finances are so important. Our business cannot grow if we do. Not know that we are actually making money or know what we're spending our money on. So even though it can be scary, please go sit down with your bank account and do your finances. Get that Google Sheet out and sit down and write down your income and all the expenses you have. And then really look and see. Do you need all those expenses or all those systems that you're actually using? Do you need them? If not, go hit the unsubscribe button so you can stop paying for them and wasting money. So please go look at your finances. Today your podcast tip of the week. I want to debunk three excuses that you have as to why you can't start a podcast. These are the three most common things I hear about why somebody can't start a podcast. They think it will take too much time. So starting a podcast is time consuming. You do need to have some time in your schedule to actually record, and then if you're producing it yourself behind the scenes, you do need to have time to edit upload, make the social media graphics and all that. But there is an easy way to do it that saves you a little bit of time and that is batch recording. So you can work on your podcast one day a month. Take the whole day, record four episodes, get them all ready and schedule them to go out. And then you're done. One day a month all it takes. And then you're done for the month and then you can do it again next month. So batch recording, batch editing, batch creating, social media, graphics, all the things will save you so much time. Another thing that I hear about why you can't start a podcast is not knowing where to start. So the best place to start is with your podcast name and topic. Because once you come up with those things, it's easier to come up with content and easier to know what you're going to be talking about. Then you record your episode. I think all of us know how to use zoom now with the pandemic. So record your episode in zoom. Most of the time it automatically downloads to your computer, especially if you have it set up that way. And that's really where you start. If you need some more help maybe figuring out the tech behind it, what equipment to use and things like that, you can download my free launch guide over@jilliangrover.com. That will help get you started. And then another thing I hear very commonly, and probably the most common is what equipment do I need? A lot of people think that you need like a fancy studio. I'm going to tell you, you don't. I seriously have a $40 mic. This mic has worked great for me. I love it. It's given me no issues. So really the equipment that you need is a microphone headphones and obviously a place to record computer, laptop, recording, zoom. But the headphones are mostly for guest interviews because you don't want the feedback from them talking. You don't want your mic to pick up that feedback. So having headphones will eliminate your mic picking up their feedback. That's really hard to edit out and that's really all you need to start with. Like you can seriously start for under $50 microphone headphones. And I'm sure you already have a laptop or computer if you are an online business owner and that's it. Those are the three most common things I hear about why you can't start a podcast. And they shouldn't be hindering you from starting a podcast because you can find out good equipment. Like I said, get my launch guide. It has an equipment guide in there. It also has the launch timeline so that you know how long your launch is going to take and what you should be doing every week. And this will be a great place to get started. So an update for you. We have finally moved. Now, I know I said a while ago that I was hoping we would be moved in already. That did not happen. We officially moved on October 9. So if you're listening to this podcast, in real time. We moved two days ago. I think I told you, like, way over a month ago that I hope that we were moved already. Some things came up. We had a few setbacks, but we have finally done it. We have moved. I'm still getting settled, still surrounded by boxes, still trying to get all the things situated, especially since we downgraded a lot. My kids did not get rid of as much as they should have, and now they're realizing they don't have space for something. So planning on probably making a Salvation Army run this weekend to get rid of more stuff that they realize they can't fit in the new place. But I'm just happy to be here and be out of that limbo phase. You know, that limbo phase in between moving like you're packing, you're living out of boxes, you just want it to be over with and I'm so glad to be out of that phase finally. So I want to thank you so much for joining me every week and listening to this podcast. It means the world to me. If you could leave a review, that would be awesome. You can also DM me on Instagram at Jillian Grover podcast solutions. Let me know your biggest takeaways from this episode and also let me know what you'd like to hear on future episodes, and I will talk to you next week.

 

Abby Gallo Profile Photo

Abby Gallo

Founder & CEO

Abby Gallo is Founder & CEO of Terrain Bookkeeping, a bookkeeping & advisory firm that specializes in helping marketing & creative agencies gain greater profitability. Abby is a QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor who started her career at a boutique PR agency in NYC. Having worked inside an agency herself, she's aware of the challenges and opportunities agency owners face and is passionate about helping them gain greater clarity around their books.