Jan Jarrett is a part-time administrative consultant of Better for Pennsylvania, a 501(c)(4) organization working toward building a Pennsylvania that's fair for hard-working families.
Better PA advocates for Pennsylvania families to receive decent pay for hard work, affordable care and equal say in their democracy.
Better PA engages in political activity and issue advocacy. It is funded strictly by grants and does not have members nor receive donations.
Jan is responsible for paying vendors, tracking expenses, assigning expenses to their proper categories and reviewing financial reports.
“I needed the help,” Jan remembers. “I am not a bookkeeper. There was a gap between [our previous accounting firm] and me. And at the end of that engagement, they slammed everything into QuickBooks without going through it, and so I really needed help to clean that up.
“It was a mess, so I needed help to get that under control. I needed to set up the proper categories and classes, and I also needed help with how to adequately account for our payroll expenses.
“I explored a couple of other locally available bookkeeping [and] accounting services. Most of them weren’t taking clients or they wanted to just completely take over the whole thing, and that just doesn’t work with the way we’re structured and the way we need to account for our expenses.
“I need to decide where it goes if there’s two different categories of money that come in. Some are restricted to 501(c)(3) activities, some are 501(c)(4) allowable, so I have to be the one to dictate that.
“It looked like that kind of relationship was possible with BELAY, and it has been so far.”
Enter BELAY Bookkeeper Barbara Adams.
“Barbara helped me with all of that,” Jan says. “I was completely relieved.
“I had a lot of cleanup to do. Barbara was able to help me fix some basic errors that I wouldn’t have had a clue to. She’s an expert in QuickBooks. She actually teaches it at a community college locally.”
A perfect match for someone who needed help with QuickBooks if we do say so — while we admittedly toot our own horn.
“She pretty much has it under control,” Jan adds.
Barbara also helps Jan by generating end-of-month reports and updating ledgers weekly.
“She’s done everything I’ve asked her to do,” Jan says. “I feel free to zip her an email if I’ve got a question, and at the end of the year when we wrap this up, we’ll go through things and [see] if there’s anything that needs to be improved.
“I need to prepare her for a ramped-up 2024 because we do political activity and it is an election year. We won't be doing presidential politics, but our Congress people are all up for election. We're going to be engaged in our state House and Senate races, and that means there will be a lot more expenses and they'll be coming a lot more quickly.
“And so prior to that happening, I can probably get some advice from her about how to set that up properly because we need to report our expenses to the state when we engage in political activity. So she'll need to know all that.”
“We got the books straightened out,” Jan says. “The cleanup was a win.
“She’s a huge help. [Barbara] understands my limitations, and so she’s able to help me. And if I ask a question of her, she’s responsive.”