Answers to Apparatus’ FAQs
Q.) I'm getting by with my bookkeeping and back office now. Why should I consider switching to Apparatus?
Three reasons: focus, time, and results. First, every hour you spend on bookkeeping and back office paperwork is an hour that could be spent with existing customers or new customers. Second, the time you put into doing your bookkeeping or paperwork isn’t where you’re most productive in your business. Finally, outsourcing is the secret of many successful business owners. A specialized service like Apparatus will give you the organized books and back office you’ve always wanted for your company.
Q.) What makes Apparatus qualified to handle my books?
Apparatus prides itself on being a reliable member of the contracting community. Our well-trained staff handles your books with discretion, skill, and the utmost attention to detail. We’ll keep an open line of communication with you, and we work to ensure that we make your transition to Apparatus smooth and professional.
Q.) I'm ready to become an Apparatus client. What's next?
You can browse our selection of services and get an idea of which one could function best for your company. Then, whenever you’re ready, give us a call at (503)833-2888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available to answer any questions you might have as well as initiate your set-up as an Apparatus client!
Q.) Do you work only with contractors? What about other kinds of businesses?
Apparatus specializes in the unique back office needs of small contracting companies and individual self-employed tradespeople. We have chosen not to offer our services to a broader range of small companies. By being narrowly focused, we can do a great job of addressing the bookkeeping and back office needs unique to contractors.
Q.) The location of your office is Oregon. Can I be a client if I am not in Oregon?
Oregon is where our office is located, but we are available and happy to work with any contractor or tradesperson located in any state in the US.
Q.) If I decide to move forward with Apparatus, how long does it take before my services start?
You can start a subscription to one of our service programs at any time. We generally choose the first of the following month as the “switchover” date where we go live with bookkeeping on your behalf. During the time between your subscription start date and the first day of the following month, we open a set of books for your business and tailor it to your needs. We also begin collecting the information we’ll need from you for us to go live smoothly on the first day of the new month.
Q.) I'm worried about losing control. How do I transition my company's bookkeeping to Apparatus?
We make that easy! If you’re like most contractors, you’ve come up with a system that helps you manage your books and back office. It most likely works, but it’s not perfect and it requires a lot of your time. Still, it’s hard to let go of control. Apparatus has an onboarding process that we can typically complete in approximately ten working days. Our Operations team will work with you to collect the information we need with plenty of time and opportunity to ask questions, make specific report requests, and further customize your service. By the time your services begin, you’ll feel comfortable and confident that Apparatus is the right solution for you.
Q.) Can I become an Apparatus client if I don't yet have an LLC?
Yes! No matter what form your contracting business is now, you can become a client of Apparatus. Whether you are a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or some other form, you are under no obligation to change your entity structure to become an Apparatus client. If you would like to transition your business to an LLC, we have an a la carte service option available for purchase to help you form an LLC.
Q.) I've build my business on my own and have a specific way I like to run things. I need back office help, but don't want consulting. Can Apparatus respect that?
Absolutely! We understand that businesses are as different as people. They come in many forms and sizes and stand on their own principles. While we have a wealth of advice, tips, and techniques for managing, operating, and marketing your contracting business, you are not obligated to take our advice and we don’t sell consulting services. We stick to what we do best… powering your back office!
Q.) My company is small – I don’t have employees and I am not sure if I ever will. Can I become a client?
Yes! You do not need to have employees to be a client of Apparatus. In fact, many of our clients are small contractors who have no employees nor plans to add employees.
Q.) What kind of contractor sees the best result with Apparatus?
We find that our best contractor clients possess certain key attributes: First, they own their own business, no matter what size. Second, they’re committed to their trade and working to build a profitable company. Third, they have goals for their company’s growth and income. Fourth, they are comfortable with basic technology like smart phones and email. We’re happy to offer a free consultation to any company considering our services.
Q.) Will I still need my CPA if I hire Apparatus to do my bookkeeping and payroll?
Every Apparatus package offers bookkeeping and payroll services, but you will still need a CPA to assist you with filing your tax return if this has been your past preference. Apparatus does work for you throughout the year that will eliminate and simplify much of the work your CPA typically does at year’s end, but we don’t replace the work of your CPA when it comes to tax return preparation.
Q.) Apparatus has three programs: Start!, Grow!, and Scale! How are they different?
Most of our clients begin with the Start! Program, which emphasizes business basics, business tools, and full-service bookkeeping. Our Grow! Program includes all the elements of the Start! Program and adds essential entry-level digital marketing. Our Scale! Program includes all the elements of the Grow! Program and adds sophisticated digital marketing for our clients who are ready to grow aggressively.
Q.) How much do your services cost?
Our Start! Program begins at $199.00 per month. Our Grow! Program begins at $299.00 per month, and our Scale! Program begins at $599.00 per month.
Q.) How often will I pay for your services?
You’ll be invoiced for one month’s service fee after you sign our service agreement. This first month’s service fee covers your first full month of services as an Apparatus client – the month of service that begins on the first day of the first month after you become a client. This day is the “switchover” date when our services go live for your company. You’ll be billed one month’s service fee on the first day of each new month after that.
Q.) Do I have to commit to a long contract?
All Apparatus service programs are month-to-month, and you can cancel at any time. We believe in providing you a service that you’ll be happy to have, not a service that you are locked into. We believe in re-earning your trust and appreciation every month, and we work hard to make sure that we do so for all our contractor clients.