So I’ve had a major falling out with my ‘bookkeeper’. Her name is Rosemary but there’s nothing Rose, sweet or fragrant about her. Herbs are calming and medicinal and she’s about as poisonous as they come. My previous bookkeeper took 3 months to do a month’s worth of work and then told me I’m one of her smallest therefore least important clients.
It took me ages to find a new bookkeeper so being a new member of BNI in 2012 I had a 1:2:1 meeting with Rosemary. She was pleasant and friendly and easy to get along with and seemed efficient. So without checking references or what other people had to say about her I blindly accepted her services and signed a contract to work with her. Suffice to say she lied about many things.
The biggest lie was her fees. I initially agreed to a retainer. Essentially she would be charging me over R2000 per month when I only really need a bookkeeper every 3 months at the moment. However they ‘agreed’ to give me a ‘special’ fee until Feb 2013 as an SME. What they lied about and did not disclose was that this reduction in fee only applied if I took a retainer. Giving me the impression of charging me less when you’re actually charging me for services and time I don’t need. Then she got pissy with me for not paying the account – the services haven’t been rendered yet bitch! When I cancelled the retainer they neglected to inform me that fees would go back to normal. When checking invoices they charged me the full price from the start anyway…
It came to a head when I refused to pay her last account because I wanted to discuss her billing and services she refused to render. She refused to answer my emails or agree to a meeting. They wouldn’t submit my Annual Financial Statements to SARS if I didn’t pay the account. I paid the account and she refused to submit to SARS! Her excuse? It was one week from the end of February and SARS would not accept the documents. Even after saying it takes 4-5 working days to be approved therefore they would have been accepted! Oh and the other reason. I cannot work with someone who is always rude, answer the phone in a bad mood and when you ask her how she is she says ‘fine’ and sighs and gives the impression you’re wasting her time. Oh and one of my staff members laid a complaint about her to me. I should have cancelled her services in November 2012 when I had enough of her attitude but it took me so long to find a replacement bookkeeper….Miserable bitch.
So. I attended a meeting at BNI Legacy on 04 July 2013 and when Sylvia, their bookkeeper stood up to do her 60 seconds I really was impressed. I can’t remember what she said about bookkeeping but her personality and vibrancy for life was just so amazing. And she’s not a youngster. She’s in her 60’s. I took me a while to approach her. Another member mentioned her, I met up with her at a networking function and I took it as a sign. I had a chat with her and promised to call her office. When I called her a staff member already knew who I was and which company I was calling from. Impressive!
We scheduled a 1:2:1. She took me Randridge mall to a place called Petit Fours. Oh my gosh. See what we had for ‘lunch’. I really wanted something healthier but she insisted. I just had to 🙂 I had the chocolate cheesecake which was decadently rich and Sylvia had the lemon meringue. I’ve taken her on as my new, 3rd and hopefully final bookkeeper. What a great start to a working relationship. The best part of the day? Sylvia is an amazing person, her fees are reasonable and her and her staff are so easy to get along with! As their name implies, I’m confident they will be Books 4 Keeps.
What did I learn today? Not all bookkeepers are miserable shits and that I’ll be going back for more cake.