Published August 15, 2006
Volume 14, Number 8

Osborn & Associates CPA Offer Services From Hands On to Online

(Left to right) Carolyn Young, Linda Wellman, Bob Osborn, CPA, and
Jessica Grant help their clients with QuickBooks and other accounting needs.

By Scott Eldredge
Special to NETWORK

Osborn & Associates, located at 5994 W. Las Positas Blvd., offers a broad range of accounting and business services designed to help people manage their small and medium businesses.

With 18 years experience, owner Bob Osborn has seen his accounting business change from serving mostly local customers with accounting software he wrote himself to serving clients remotely by using Intuit's QuickBooks hosted online by an application service provider (ASP). Osborn and his staff access customers' online QuickBooks accounts to perform bookkeeping services such as bill paying, invoicing, or payroll. Customers can check their financial information at any time and from any place they have access to the Internet.

"You couldn't do what we're doing 5 or 6 years ago," says Osborn. "Now it's easy to do. Our customer base has moved farther and farther out as we do this. We used to be Pleasanton based, now it really doesn't matter where our clients are. More and more businesses are finding that it makes sense to outsource some or all of their accounting needs. I think that's the way most small business are going, or should be thinking about."

Osborn & Associates provides a number of QuickBooks-related services besides online accounting. Osborn characterizes QuickBooks, by far the most popular small business software with 85 percent of the market, as easy to use but also easy to use inefficiently. His company offers a popular half-day "QuickBooks Tuneup" during which they review a company's QuickBooks setup and data, determine what the company is trying to accomplish, and recommend changes. Osborn & Associates also offers beginning and advanced classes on QuickBooks as well as custom individualized training.

Osborn & Associates have kept pace with the technological advances that have made online accounting, outsourcing, remote data entry, and remote QuickBooks system support possible, but the company's biggest product is still its first one, the Business Manager System, a monthly hard-copy report designed to help businesses manage and plan. The backbone of the system is a comparative spreadsheet report that makes monthly and year-to-date income and expense information easy to understand.

"We started this before computers," explains Osborn, "working with businesses that often didn't know exactly how they were doing. We'd take all their paper—receipts, bills invoices, etc.—and we'd produce a nice clear, easy to read financial report. People liked what we did. They could understand it, and we were reasonably priced. That's the first business that we did, and it's still our biggest product.

"People can see their business at a glance. It's a complete package they can take home. They don't have to have a computer—they have everything they need to figure out what they did last month and why. And we're always available to help them with questions."
Osborn & Associates also offers standard bookkeeping services, personal and business tax return preparation, computer consulting services, new business startup assistance, help with business plans and general business planning, loan package preparation, and business acquisition/disposition assistance.


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