At last, we’re teaching Bookkeeping Basics

Due to popular demand of getting many requests for tutoring of various kinds, we’re pleased to be offering a class to get your system humming along for the fall:


Thursdays: September 17, October 1, 8, 15 (skipping the Pope Week!), 5-6 pm at Cultureworks

Learn the basics of Bookkeeping from setup through day-to-day operations with the experts at Elysian Fields. Tailored for small organizations, businesses, and sole-proprietors, we will lead you out of your misery, confusion, and fear into a clear system and approach that will give you a greater sense of ownership over the financial side of your enterprise.

Utilizing Quickbooks Online you will learn:
* Set-up and organization of your bookkeeping files including company settings, the chart of accounts, and the benefits of thoughtful and holistic set-up;
* Updating and reconciling bank accounts and credit cards, and entering and uploading transactions;
* Invoicing customers and collecting money, and entering bills and paying vendors;
* Use and understanding of financial statements including the Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Accounts Receivable, and Accounts Payable reports.

Participants will leave the four-week class with the practical knowledge to keep their bookkeeping software file organized and useful. You will know how to reconcile and update your accounts, and how to customize the software specifically for your organization and industry.

What type of businesses can participate?
This class is for for-profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations; small businesses with many employees, sole proprietors with no employees, and useful for those setting up a company’s bookkeeping files for the first time.

Cost: $200 CultureWorks Members; $225 non-members
Participants will need to have their own Quickbooks account, as we will be walking through your set up and use. There will be some homework between sessions.


Have questions? Email us.

We Are Hiring!

Bookkeeper desired for between 10- and 25-hours per-week. Elysian Fields uses QuickBooks online and cloud file sharing to serve a growing roster of interesting and creative small businesses in Philadelphia. Bookkeeper will generally be able to set own hours and location, meet with director of bookkeeping once/week; and meet with clients per-engagement and necessity. Ideal position for a diligent and self-directed worker desiring a high degree of flexibility in a part-time position.

Responsibilities include reconciling bank and credit accounts; organizing accounts payable by entering bills and recording payments; reconciling accounts payable; helping to preparing reports for month end and year end; managing accounts receivable and supporting collections.

EF bookkeeper expected to work directly with clients and assist in managing relationship and answering questions. Exceptional customer service and an ability to respond gracefully to all manner of emails required.

Prior use of QuickBooks and knowledge of bookkeeping is helpful, but not required. Ideal candidates are organized and clear communicators, both with internal EF team and with clients, and obsessive in attention to detail.
Candidate needs to have own computer; Elysian Fields to provide all necessary tools and software. ​

Compensation: $14-$15/hr to start.

To Apply
Please send an email to kate (at) elysianfieldsphila (dot) com with a current resume attached and describing your interest in the position and how it would fit into the current fabric of your life in the body of the email.

We will be interviewing the last two weeks of July to hire by the beginning of August.

Support our fundraise for Business Plan Boot Camp!

A small business with owners passionate about making the greatest bagel ever builds its foundation, launches, and is growing to scale. A start-up theater company plans for its first season of work and successfully begins fundraising. An historic site re-thinks its relationship with a major tenant to better support its preservation mission. These are just a few of the many success stories that have come out of the Business Plan Boot Camp. In just over a year, we have helped more than 30 businesses and organizations down the path to success.

We are committed to social and economic equity for artists, preservationists, and creative entrepreneurs of all stripes. This means access to the affordable support they need to build sustainable practices and businesses. Our Boot Camp provides this support and is uniquely geared to creative enterprise, both nonprofit and not-just-for-profit.

Led by CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia and Elysian Fields Philadelphia (that’s us!), the Business Plan Boot Camp takes new and existing organizations and creative businesses through a rigorous eight-week business planning process.

We developed this program out of a conviction that planning needs to be rigorous but lean and lightweight – not overly burdensome on time or financial resources. Whether you’re dealing with a new idea or a mature organization, effective entrepreneurs toggle back and forth between planning and implementation seamlessly and quickly. The faster you can start to implement ideas, test them, gather real feedback, and adjust your plan, the better.

While campers do pay a modest fee to participate in the Boot Camp, those fees do not fully cover the instructor time, facilities, and added amenities. In the interest of keeping the Boot Camp class size intimate and the additional one-on-one support robust, we are looking for subsidy for the fall 2015 Boot Camp sessions.

Business Plan Boot Camp IndieGogo

QuickBooks Online is the Right Choice for Small Businesses

I am teaching our QuickQBONLINEBooks 101: Intro to Finances and Accounting today at 5:00 PM at CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia. Elysian Fields provides outsourced bookkeeping to small businesses.

Many folks ask us whether they should sign up for QuickBooks Online, or purchase the desktop software.

We use and recommend QuickBooks Online for bookkeeping software. We use it ourselves, and have transitioned most of our clients to it.

Until two years ago, most clients used the desktop software. Depending on when and where you bought it, QuickBooks cost between $150 and $200. It was a one-time purchase per-computer. The program worked well for three to five years, and all was good in QuickBooks land.

While QuickBooks Online is not new, Intuit, QuickBooks’ maker, has upped its game in the past twelve-months. The company introduced a hybrid-app last summer, began a major public relations push in December, and has been continuing to improve the application’s functions and ease of use.

The QuickBooks software that lives on one’s computer is robust. It tracks basics like bank and credit card accounts, and offers advanced functions. You can create invoices, and record bills, and it runs all kinds of standard and advanced reports. It runs smoothly and does most everything.

The problem is that most small businesses use a fraction of its functions, and with its constant back ups, creates multiple file versions which becomes confusing when more than one person accesses the file through the cloud.

Many small businesses have multiple individuals using the QuickBooks file. One person may create invoices as they close sales; an owner or manager looks at reports; and the bookkeeper is reconciling accounts.

We like QuickBooks Online because there is one file and everyone works off of the same one. You access it through the web so it is no longer limited to one computer. More so, it streamlines its options providing just enough for the small business. QB Online is available at different price tiers based on your use. It is subscription based and one pays a fixed rate every month. The interface, pictured above, is cleaner than the software version.

Elysian Fields uses “Simple Start” for its own bookkeeping. Many of our clients use “Essentials” because it includes Invoice and Accounts Payable tracking, and a wider offering of reports.

QuickBooks offers a sample company test drive here. The desktop software remains useful for many larger businesses, and for those with a long history on the software. But for most all of us, QB Online is a smart choice, and Intuit continues to expand and improve it.