Almost overnight, working from home became mandatory for many people last year. Although we’ve had months to get our sea legs, many accountants are still looking for ways to improve their remote practice. That’s why we checked in with bookkeeper and financial consultant Miriam Mueller. She has led a fully remote bookkeeping practice, Happy Bookkeeping, for years, and with help from Gusto, has expanded her service offerings and geographic scope. Most important, Gusto helps her prevent time-wasting compliance errors. Trust her, she’s a former paralegal.
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Confidence to grow
“I have clients all over the country,” said Miriam, including startups and nonprofits across Massachusetts, Texas, and Missouri. Technology has been a key to her success – including cloud-based tools like Gusto, because it’s accessible from anywhere and manages compliance across states.
In fact, Gusto helped give Miriam the confidence she needed to offer payroll services across multiple jurisdictions. As a former corporate paralegal, she was attuned to the legal intricacies of payroll: “I started out not doing payroll because I understand the complexity of it,” she said. “I understand how much liability there is in it, and how much the tax laws change. You really need expert advice to do it.”
Enter Gusto. Because Gusto automatically calculates the taxes and makes the filings for each state, Miriam can extend her service offerings into payroll as part of her multi-state professional practice.
Dotting I’s, Crossing T’s
Additionally, Miriam finds Gusto to be more reliable than other payroll providers, which made costly, time-consuming errors. A payroll service she used calculated payroll improperly and filed it with the IRS, so she had to spend 15 hours to fix the problem for a client. “It was mountains of re-filings,” Miriam said. Another issue “lasted five years of trying to unravel the payroll mess.”
For Miriam, avoiding these errors is a question of professional integrity. “Nobody needs to pay me to fix problems that should never have happened,” she said.
Gusto is a key partner in maintaining compliance for clients. “With Gusto, you will encounter fewer problems, and you will save a lot of time, and your clients will have better service,” Miriam said. “It’s no contest, really.”
So, what’s next for Miriam?
She’s looking forward to growing her firm. “I’m probably going to hire somebody new in the next six months, because my business has grown,” she said.
While new business has typically come through referrals, Gusto’s partner directory helped her reach beyond her existing network. According to her, “the only client I have not gotten by referral was through Gusto.” Specifically, Gusto’s partner directory connected her to someone looking for a local bookkeeper.
Currently, three quarters of Miriam’s clientele is made up of nonprofit organizations, though she does advise startups, as well. The common factor? They’re all mission-driven, including the Missouri Association of School Counselors, the Missouri Association of School Librarians, and Yellow Scope, a business that creates science learning kits for preteen and teenage girls.
“My clients are based on my idea of putting good into the world,” Miriam said. “And so far, everyone I’ve worked with has grown.”
As she and her clients expand, Gusto will be an important part of her plan: “Gusto is so integral to what I do,” she said. “It’s just like an extension of my own business.”