About a month ago I embarked on a special project to make bookkeeping easier for architects. A lot has happened, and a lot, lot more needs to happen. This article explains how the project got started.
And this one describes some of the early work. But here is where things stand today.
First off, I made a list of firms in the Greater Cincinnati area with the help of a colleague who attended the University of Cincinnati. The list was pretty heavily weighted with Class of '86 grads, and I started to think I was going to be talking to everyone who graduated that year and had their own firm - until I learned that there were 80 in that graduating class. Nevertheless, I have had five face-to-face interviews and two by phone.
Since the survey was completed last week, I have gotten four responses. The report that comes with Polldaddy encouraged me to hand-enter the other seven inverview results so that all the data looks the same and is in the same place.
All this information needed a name. "Corbu" is the working name that we came up with. LeCorbusier was number-oriented, the name should be recognizable, so without overthinking it...'Corbu'.
So here is what I have learned so far:
- Half of my data comes from firms of 1 or 2 people.
- Half use paper time sheets to gather time daily.
- Word templates are popular for creating invoices.
- Paper plays a large role in managing and paying bills.
- The second most popular solution for nearly half the respondents was a QuickBooks-like piece of software.
Below is a big-picture checklist that I made using CarbonFin's Online Outliner and their iOS apps. I have described it here.
I am pretty confident that more information will confirm that small firms could use help with bookkeeping - to have an easier system, to have better records, and to save time. Stay tuned and we will see...