Season 3 Episode 17 Jenna Sippy A Bookkeeper for Resellers

Jenna Sippy of Ever Leslie Bookkeeping is passionate about helping resellers reach their full potential. She uses a bookkeeping system to help her clients make a clear game plan of where they want to go with their businesses.

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Danna: So thanks for joining us today, Jenna. It’s so nice to meet you. Doug and I have been looking forward to this podcast. So as we get started, please share with everyone what kind of business you offer, and tell us a little bit about how you got started.

Jenna: I’m Jenna Sippy and I’m a bookkeeper. I started a business called Ever Leslie Bookkeeping.

And basically, we offer bookkeeping services to different clients. I started because I wanted to work from home and I was getting my master’s degree when my husband and I got married. I got a random part-time job doing payroll and invoicing for one client. And then I took a break from that to work full-time when we got married.

But when I decided to work from home while our daughter, when she was born, I was like, I really just wanna offer bookkeeping services from home. And so I got to start as small as I wanted. I would work like two hours a week and be able to take care of our newborn. 

And then, you know how that goes? Like you start with two hours and then it starts growing and. So I took on a few more clients and they were all people that we knew. Not in the reselling world because Wyatt had just started reselling when our daughter was born. But we, I started doing brick and mortar stores, like locations, and then people started asking for help.

By that point, my husband started reselling and was loving it, and we are lucky enough to know Josh Varnell who is Hairy Tornado. And he lives 20 minutes from us and over time we got to know him and one night he said, Jenna, Wyatt, come over for dinner. We’re making homemade pizza. We need to talk to you. And I was like, oh gosh, what is this? We thought it was like a reselling thing. And we get there and he goes, Jenna be my bookkeeper and start my bookkeeping now. And so that night he took me to his office. We sat there and he was like, here are my logins. Take it over. I’m done. I don’t wanna do this anymore. And so we left that night, were like, what in the world? I didn’t even know about it, I never thought about doing bookkeeping for just resellers. But as soon as we left his house, I remember exactly where we were and I was. Wow, like reselling. This would be so much fun. And so my husband was like, Jenna, you need to start talking to just resellers. So I will say half of our clients now are resellers, but we do offer other services as well. But yeah, that’s how we got started. 

Doug: That’s awesome. 

Jenna: Yes. We were amazed. I guess I just had never thought about it, but I was doing my husband’s books anyway cuz he’s a reseller. But, yeah, it was a fun start. 

Doug: So Wyatt, your husband resells, do you sell online?

Jenna: So I don’t have my own platform. I do love to go thrift with him. We’ll go on date days and go thrift together. But I don’t list for him. I have done a few listing parties where we’ll list 20 or 30 items, but most of the time it’s just him listing and taking care of his system. I do any tweaking that he needs with the actual bookkeeping side, but really I try to make that a fun thing. I get to help him thrift and do the fun part. 

Doug: Where does he sell? 

Jenna: He sells mostly on eBay. He does some local pickups and some on Poshmark, but I’d say 95% is on eBay.

Danna: Sounds like the perfect marriage to me. I would love to have that set up where someone did my bookkeeping and… 

Jenna: Yes, it’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of fun with it.

Danna: I was stalking you today and I was looking at your Instagram posts. It looks like you’re very good at sharing bookkeeping tips. So what has been the most popular tip that you’ve shared so far on social? 

Jenna: Yeah, so it’s gonna be an interesting one, not an actual bookkeeping tip per se, but when GoDaddy Bookkeeping ended last year, it was a big deal for resellers because in the past, resellers could just connect their eBay with GoDaddy and it would function for them. It might not be a perfect situation for bookkeeping, but at least it was easy and pretty automatic. So after that, they were left with an actual bookkeeping system that they had to manage. And so at that point, it was a perfect moment for us to come in and help people.

It was really engaging, like the posts that we made about that, but also it was more of so many people reaching out for help and we did a lot of bookkeeping, like transition projects where we would help people get into their, QuickBooks or, another system. We would help them get into their bookkeeping system and go from there. I think that’s definitely the biggest thing that people were looking for that would really help them is like, how do I get into an actual bookkeeping system that’s not GoDaddy when it ended? 

Doug: That was a big deal for a lot of people. 

Jenna: A lot of people were concerned. 

Danna: Yeah. It really messed up my business. We were spoiled for all these years. So it opened up a great opportunity for you. 

Jenna: Yes, it did. And it was awesome because a lot of people were really, of course, frantic, like they were used to one thing. They didn’t know how to change. But now I’ll say like the clients who’ve come over and even just project clients that they’ve continued their own bookkeeping. They were intimidated by QuickBooks at first because that’s the main one I use for larger businesses. But they were intimidated by that. But then once we worked with them, they felt confident to do it themselves, or they were like, oh, there’s a whole lot more to QuickBooks than there ever was with GoDaddy. So it ended up being a good thing. 

Doug: So Wyatt’s got a YouTube channel and you do videos together now and again. So can you tell us about that process, and how that works? And what it’s like producing videos with your husband.

Jenna: Yes. If you have seen anything from Wyatt, hopefully, you see his crazy personality. He’s a lot of fun. So we have a lot of fun when we create anything together. That’s why I love thrifting with him and doing those kinds of videos with him. He’s done a lot of long-form videos where we would talk about bookkeeping tips and we’d talk about certain things.

But he has fallen in love with the short form, like just having a ball, like creating and editing and working with other creators. And so I haven’t been on as many and I’m okay with that. I know that there’s value in sharing what we do, but I love what he’s doing. A lot of times I’m behind the scenes helping him create videos. I’m behind the scenes helping him film. So we work together as a team on a lot of it. 

Danna: I really enjoyed looking at them and it looked like you ran a contest at one point. 

Jenna: We did do one, probably the most recent one was when we were at FlipCon. When we met you, Doug. My bookkeeper on staff, my first full-time employee, came a week or two before FlipCon. So it was like her first trip with us and we did a big competition that day and Morgan does not really thrift as much. Now she does a little bit, but she didn’t thrift and we had so much fun just competing and being competitive. 

Danna: So when it comes to bookkeeping, could you name the top three mistakes resellers make when keeping records? 

Jenna: Yes, this is a big one and it, I’ll say it’s common with resellers, but any business owner, it really converts over across the board. There are a few mistakes that happen and it’s easy to fix, but we just have to know what to change, what to do. So one of them is separating your personal accounts from your business accounts. Get a business checking account. Get a business credit card if you use credit cards. So separate your business accounts.

Don’t run any income through your personal account. Don’t buy your supplies or your shipping labels with a personal. It’s it, I think people get concerned with it cuz it takes because it takes a little bit of time to transition, to really separating it from a side hustle to Yeah. It’s actually a business, it’s actually a real business.

So it takes a lot of time. But once you get that, Set up. It is so much easier to really keep up with your business, do your bookkeeping, or have someone do your bookkeeping if it’s separate. So yeah, separating those is the first thing. The second mistake that people make is they will use, say it’s PayPal, whatnot, or Venmo or Cash app for business transactions. That in itself is okay. Okay, so it’s okay. But where people get into a mess is when they use their balance to pay for things. So say they get $300.

Into their cash app from selling something, and then they go and they pay $75 to someone to clean their shoes that they’re gonna have to sell. And then they go and they pay $150 to let’s say buy more inventory and then they have money left over. But you don’t see any of those transactions.

You only see the money coming in. You don’t see the money going. So really they lose deductions because there are transactions that aren’t showing up. What we do is help you make sure that every single expense you can have on your books is there. We wanna make sure it’s all visible, but when you use a balance, it’s not visible.

So even with Whatnot, like that’s a huge one where you can get credits in your account. Say you do a Whatnot sale and you make a thousand dollars and then you go and you decide to go on other people’s Whatnots and buy items using the balance. It doesn’t convert, it doesn’t allow us to see what you actually spent. The last one is not keeping a record of cash spent. So with resellers, it’s very common to use cash when you’re doing yard sales or estate sales. Flea markets or local pickups. And a lot of times people will make it a rule when I withdraw money, it’s always gonna be for the cost of goods and they keep up with it that way. But other people will forget and use it for, again, paying a contractor or buying supplies, which it’s still a write-off, but there’s a way to separate that. And if they don’t keep up with where the cash is coming out, what they’re doing with it can get really confusing and mess up your books. 

Doug: Alright, I don’t wanna cross over into touchy territory and I know it’s a busy time of year for you and taxes, touchy. 

Jenna: I’m already done. Personally, we’re done. And I look at this, we’re happy, but… 

Doug: When a reseller comes to you with a tax question, what do you say? 

Jenna: Yes, so I’m a bookkeeper, and so that’s the first thing I say. And then I get really funny and I’m like, I will say this a million times to you, but I’m a bookkeeper and my goal is to be the link between you as a business. And a CPA. Some of my clients do their own taxes, they’ll use TurboTax. But my goal is to say, Hey, I’m the link in the middle of you and your business and your CPA, and really filing taxes.

I wanna be the link in the middle to help you connect that. I will be the go-between to help you communicate with your CPA if you need it. I will help you communicate. But I don’t give tax advice. That’s a huge deal. Part of that’s just personally, I’m not an accountant. I’m not a CPA by choice.

 I love CPAs and I love what they do. I love what I do as a bookkeeper. So I try to encourage them, to find a CPA. I will help you find one in your niche. Like I’ll help you find one. And I love working with other CPAs, but I’ll say, go to your CPA on this one. Let’s get the best answer for your business.

Danna: I think that’s really good cuz I know I have a CPA and. She’s an all-in-one bookkeeper, but there are things that I wonder if she doesn’t miss because I don’t have the two separate. So I can actually see the advantage of having the two separate. But I also noticed that when I was going through your information, your contact form was very impressive and you made yourself so available out there. I was just wondering, did you get a lot of requests from your contact? 

Jenna: So we do and it’s really cool, I think because of how specific it is, we get to see, okay, when people go in and look at the contact form, they’re like, oh, okay, so this is, for, it asks very specific questions. And what we have the most of is we have either people reaching out for information, which is great. We wanna help people, right? We wanna help people. Whether it’s just messaging or doing consultations. But we also have a lot of people who just know that they need help. And so they’ll schedule their consultation and then fill out the form. That’s the second thing they do if they do a consultation.

What the form does for us is it gives us answers about their business so that we can help them in the way that they need it. So some people might not need a consultation, and we don’t wanna make you have to go through a video consultation if you don’t want it. But we do wanna give them the most information possible for each person and help you where you are. 

Doug: The mapping journey that you have with your clients, tell us about that. And are you trying to get one per state, or what’s your goal? 

Jenna: So it’s really funny. That was not our goal at all. Like at all. It’s not our goal. I started, of course, in South Carolina because we live here and we started with people we knew, which, a lot of the people we knew who had businesses that needed help were in South Carolina. But I had a couple of people asking me for bookkeeping from other states who lived here and they had businesses in multiple states.

So I started that way. We expanded a little bit, and then as soon as we got into the reselling market, like specifically. Resellers are everywhere and they all need their bookkeeping done. And there’s not really a one answer for a bookkeeper, in, in this niche really until, we came on as far as I know, I don’t know of another just bookkeeper who came into this area.

So we of course started getting people reach out from all over and it started on the East Coast of course, and then all of a sudden we hit California and we have about five clients in California and I’m like I have no clue if there’s an algorithm with my Instagram or what, but there’s so many in California, which I love it. I feel like I live vicariously through these people living in Orange County. 

But it was purely accidental. We had people reach out. And then at the end of this past year my full-time bookkeeper with me we were evaluating where we were with this year. What can we do next year that’s better? How can we grow? How can we help clients? And we’re sitting there and we’re like, how many states are we in? And we did a rough count of 10 and that was in December. We had 10 different states. And so I ordered this map thinking, okay, we’ll grow and it’ll take a while, but maybe we’ll get like 15 states or something in the next year.

And when I did the map last week when I started setting it up and doing the map and like seeing how many states we were in, we are already in 17 states. And just from December. We are really growing and we’re helping other people in other areas, which is fun. Not the goal at all.

It’s really just to help people. That’s my goal. But it is a lot of fun. So I’m already scheming with my husband. Okay, if we get a client in every state, are we gonna do a road trip and go to every single state? Because that’s what I wanna do there. More than anything, it’s just being able to see where people are.

Danna: I love it. So I have to say how impressed I am with you and your business. You actually make bookkeeping seem fun. 

Jenna: Hey, that’s awesome. I always joke that I’m probably just a little bit nerdy. I wanna be behind the computer, helping people get organized. It’s more about organization than even math. I think that’s a misconception. I love organizing and so I think I’ve become really nerdy when we talk about shortcuts and QuickBooks around spreadsheets, but it is a lot of fun to me. So my goal is for it to be fun for you guys to see your numbers, to see where you are with your business.

Doug: You’ve found a great niche and thank you for helping and focusing on resellers. Congratulations on all the success and growth. Do you have any final words or anything you’d like to add? 

Jenna: I think the biggest thing is just not to get overwhelmed. Like what do I do to get started? And I just say, start small, open a business account. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at one moment. Open the account. Or just change all your income streams to the account. Do one thing and if you can work slowly and one at a time, like start changing things in your business, it will get in order so much faster than you can imagine. So that’s the biggest thing. Don’t get too overwhelmed, just do a little bit at a time and start getting your business in order. 

Doug: Great advice. 

Danna: Perfect. Very well said. Thank you so much for joining us today. 

Jenna: Yes. Thank you for having me. 

Doug: Yeah. Thanks so much. It was fun and great seeing you again. Tell Wyatt we said hello.

Jenna: Of course, I will. 

Doug: We wish you all the best for your continued success and growth. 

Jenna: Thank you.