Career Spotlight: Silvia Chestnut Evans, Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services

By Cindy Kent

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

contact the reporter

 

Who: Silvia Chestnut Evans, President of Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services LLC, was recently appointed treasurer of Milagro Center’s Board of Directors. The role taps into Evans’ accounting skills, she says, but also taps into her creative side, allowing her to use both sides of her brain to support kids in the arts. The Milagro Center provides arts and values education and academic support to over 75 children in grades K-12 through it’s after-school and summer programs

Why the community should care. There is a paradigm shift happening in society, where we are moving toward an economy built on inventiveness. Milagro helps kids learn new approaches to life, to create artistic and emotional beauty, which will directly impact on their success in life.

Resume

Experience: Certified public accountant; previously: clerk of courts, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County, managed family divisions and child support depository.

Education: University of Florida, bachelor’s degree in finance; Saint Leo University, Masters of Business Administration with concentration in accounting.

Community: Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2014; Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club; Wellington Garden Club; Woodard Group Leader

What’s new: Technology — from paper ledgers to cloud-based software. I’m a member of Intuit’s Accountant Council.  I realized along the way that I could either learn new technology or get left behind, and the tie-in is that Milagro students are learning about using technology, too.

Resources

Advice to young professionals seeking community engagement experience: Get involved in the arts, dive into technology and social media.

Wisdom: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” — Albert Einstein

On the side

Married: 25 years to Bill Evans

Family: Daughter, Alexa, teaches dance at Maltz Theatre in Jupiter. Son, Max, is an accounting major at FAU.

Ckent@tribune.com or 954-356-4662, Google+ and Twitter @mindingyourbiz

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel

Using Statements in QuickBooks: The Basics

Most small businesses use invoices for billing customers. But there are times when you may want to send statements instead of – or in addition to – invoices.

One of the more enjoyable parts of your job is probably sending invoices to your customers to bill for products and/or services is probably one of the more enjoyable parts of your job – second only to recording payments received. Thanks to the company file you’ve built in QuickBooks, creating invoices is generally a very simple process that requires no duplicate data entry.

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Figure 1: You probably use QuickBooks’ invoice forms frequently, so you know how much easier it is to fill them out than to create paper bills.

QuickBooks also includes easy-to-use templates for another kind of customer form: the statement. These forms are generally not used nearly as frequently as invoices. However, you may find them more appropriate if you:

  • Want to create a form that lists all of a customer’s open charges
  • Have a customer who accrues multiple charges before being billed
  • Receive advance – or regular — payments, or
  • Need a historical accounting of a customer’s activity, including charges, payments, and balance.

Limitations of Statements

QuickBooks places some restrictions on statements. For example if you have a number of related charges for which you want to create a subtotal for, you’ll have to use an invoice. Statements also cannot include sales tax, percentage discounts, or payment items. Products or services requiring descriptions that run more than a paragraph can’t go on a statement. Customization options, too, are limited: you can’t add custom fields to the statement form, nor can you include a message to your customers, like, “We appreciate your business.”

The “Reminder Statement”

There may be occasions when you want to create a form that lists invoices received, payments made, and any credits given for one or more customers. This may be necessary when, for example, a customer disputes a charge. You may also want to send out these statements to remind customers of delinquent payments.

You do not have to enter any new data for these statements. Instead QuickBooks will pull the existing activity that you ask for in the Create Statements window, shown below. To get there, either click on the Statements icon on the home page, or open the Customers menu and select Create Statements.

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Figure 2: The Create Statements window in QuickBooks offers multiple options for defining the statements you want to send to customers.

As you can see, QuickBooks offers a lot of flexibility in the creation of statements. You can specify:

  • The active date range. Under SELECT STATEMENT OPTIONS, you can either enter a date range or request a statement for every customer who has open transactions as of the Statement Date (be sure that this date is correct before proceeding). You can also ask to include only transactions that are past due by a specified number of days.
  • The customers to include. Do you want to use the conditions you just outlined to apply to All Customers? If so, click on the button in front of that options. If you choose Multiple Customers, a small button labeled Choose… will appear. Click on it, and a window displaying your customer list opens. One Customer also opens your list of customers. If you’ve assigned types to your customers and want to include only those in one category (like Residential or Commercial), click Customers of Type. And Preferred Send Method lets you limit your statement output to customers who receive either emailed or printed forms.
  • The template to use. Click the down arrow to see the statement templates available. If you have not customized QuickBooks’ standard form and want to do so, let us help.
  • Whether QuickBooks prepares one statement per customer or per job. This is a very important distinction, so choose carefully.
  • Miscellaneous attributes of your statement run. Click on the box in front of any that should apply.

If you assess finance charges, you can do so here. This is an advanced activity in QuickBooks, and we’d be happy to provide guidance in this area.

When you’re done, you can Preview your statements, Print, or E-Mail them by clicking those buttons.

Entering Individual Charges

If you need to enter individual charges, you’ll have to work with QuickBooks’ customer registers. You’ll find these by either opening the Customers menu and selecting Enter Statement Charges or highlighting a customer in the Customer Center, then clicking the down arrow next to New Transactions and selecting Statement Charges.

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Figure 3: A Statement Charge in the customer register.

We highly recommend that you let us help you get started if individual charges are necessary.  Like many of QuickBooks’ functions, this isn’t a difficult activity, once you understand it. But it’s much easier and economical for you to get upfront guidance than for us to come in and untangle your company file.

Intuit QuickBooks Connect

At Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services, we’re on our way to San Jose! We’re headed to the Intuit QuickBooks #QBConnect experience October 21-23, 2014.  Intuit is hosting small business experts, successful entrepreneurs and social media leaders at this first of its kind event.  http://quickbooks.intuit.com/connect/

We’ll be training to be among the first to earn the new Advanced Level Certification now offered for QuickBooks Online!  In addition we’re lined up for deep dive training on QuickBooks Desktop topics too, including inventory, non-profits, construction contractors, and more.

Best of all, we’ll be connecting with all the great folks at Intuit and their partner developers to stay on top of all the great products that will take your business to the next level.

Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services LLC is committed to continuous training, and to understanding the rapidly changing environment in accounting, which is moving towards automated data entry and the end of manual data entry.  We have relationships with many 3rd party applications that integrate with QuickBooks to expand it’s capabilities.

As a member of Intuit’s Accountant Council, Silvia Evans is uniquely positioned to help your business step up to the future.  Something big is coming!  Stay turned for updates! #QBConnect  @silvialevans

Intuit QuickBooks Connect

Gleaning of mangoes to help feed the hungry.

Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services LLC is proud to have participated in a gleaning project last weekend. Together we helped collect mangoes from an oldMango gleaning small photo grove that serves as a buffer to the Solid Waste Authority in Lantanta. This project serves the food-insecure in Palm Beach County alone. The term “food insecure” basically refers to those people woke up this morning and didn’t know what they were going to eat.  Check out the Palm Beach Post article:  http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/gleaning-of-mangoes-in-lantana-helps-cros-ministri/ngQN5/

Mango gleaning grove

Palm Beach bridge closures

Town News Releases (Reposted from the Town of Palm Beach News)

Posted on: April 24, 2014
Flagler Memorial Bridge to Close from May 12 to November 1, 2014

Beginning at 6:00am, Monday, May 12, 2014, the Flagler Memorial (North) Bridge will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic for approximately six months, to allow PCL Construction to build the main foundations for the replacement bridge before reopening the existing bridge to traffic by November 1, 2014. During this closure, drivers will be detoured to the Royal Park Bridge to cross the Intracoastal Waterway.

To ensure life safety for all residents, employees, and visitors during this extended period, the Town has developed multiple plans in coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), US Coast Guard, Palm Beach County, City of West Palm Beach, and bridge contractors to minimize the impact of the closure. These plans also are intended to optimize the traffic flow on and off the island during the morning and evening rush hour periods.

Medical Transportation
The primary focus of planning in preparation for the upcoming bridge closure has been life safety. The Town’s Fire-Rescue and Police Departments have been coordinating and training with partner agencies in the county to ensure the effective response to and treatment of all patients.

Alternate routes to area hospitals have been identified and Opticom systems (which allow Fire-Rescue to change upcoming traffic lights to green while in route) will be used to ensure the fastest travel times.

Three additional landing zones (LZs) have been identified in Palm Beach for Trauma Hawk helicopters, bringing our total to 6 LZs throughout the town. Trauma Hawk will be called more frequently to ensure patients dealing with potentially life threatening episodes receive the quickest possible care.

Bridge Schedules
To minimize interruption of traffic flow on and off the island, especially during the peak rush hour periods on weekday mornings and evenings, the US Coast Guard has approved the following special bridge opening schedules for the Royal Park and Southern bridges, effective May 12, 2014:

Royal Park Bridge
Will open once per hour (at the ¼ hour), with no openings during morning peak (7:16am – 9:14am) and evening peak (4:16pm – 6:14pm)

Southern Bridge
Will open twice per hour (at the top and bottom of the hour), with no openings during morning peak (7:31am – 9:29am) and evening peak (4:01pm – 5:59pm)

Traffic Management
To ensure optimal traffic flow on and off the island throughout the day, the following actions will be implemented:

• Town staff, as well as County staff, will actively monitor key intersections on and off the island and will manually control traffic lights to ensure proper flow of traffic. (At some locations, this will be by remote control. At others, traffic signals will be physically controlled at the intersection.)

• Palm Beach police officers will be stationed at key intersections on the island during the peak morning and evening rush hour periods, and West Palm Beach police officers will do the same in West Palm Beach.

• The designated route to the Royal Park Bridge will be via South County Road to Royal Palm Way. Preference will be given to east/west traffic on Royal Palm Way versus perpendicular roads such as Cocoanut and Hibiscus during the peak traffic periods, so drivers are strongly encouraged to use South County Road to access Royal Palm Way.

In addition to the actions identified above, the DOT is giving final consideration to changes at the intersection of Royal Park Bridge and Flagler Drive, which would prohibit all left turns at the intersection and close the pedestrian crosswalk. These changes will allow traffic lights to remain green for longer periods of time in the east/west directions. Other green lights in the east/west corridor in West Palm Beach will also be increased to promote longer periods of free flowing traffic between Palm Beach and I-95.

Other Actions to Reduce Traffic Congestion
The following actions will help reduce traffic congestion during the peak morning and evening rush hour periods:

• The Town will flex employee schedules to spread out rush hour impacts and also will encourage carpooling among Town employees.

• The Town’s Public Works crews (sanitation, trash, etc.) will begin routes at daybreak.

The Town is also encouraging businesses on the island to flex their employee work schedules (to spread out rush hour impacts) and to promote carpooling. In addition, the Town is strongly suggesting that residents try to avoid being on the roads during peak rush hour periods in the mornings and evenings, if possible.

Finally, Town staff will propose changing the permitted summer construction hours to minimize construction vehicles during peak traffic hours. The details of that recommendation are still being developed and will be presented at the May 13 Town Council meeting.

Hurricane Evacuation
In the unlikely event of an evacuation for an approaching storm, the Flagler Bridge will not be available for movement off the island. Any Town decision to order an evacuation will be made in coordination with the Palm Beach County Emergency Management Division. Such a decision may be made earlier than in past years to ensure sufficient clearance times for vehicles leaving Palm Beach. Traffic patterns are subject to change as deemed necessary by the Police Department and may include the utilization of both sides of certain roads (temporary “one way” off the island) to assist in the movement of evacuating traffic.

Town Website
The Town’s website (townofpalmbeach.com) has been updated to include specific information about the upcoming closure and our traffic management efforts, as well as general information about the Flagler Bridge project. Please check the website for updates and sign up for “Emergency Traffic Alerts” by clicking on the “Stay Informed” button on the home page and following the prompts to register your email and cell phone number to receive the latest information. Please note that emergency alerts will only be issued when there is an unexpected incident that impacts traffic and not for the normal daily fluctuations of congestion levels during the rush hour periods.

Rumor Control Hotline
The Town plans to activate its Rumor Control Hotline on May 5. The hotline will be staffed by VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service). The Hotline phone number is 561-227-7070 and will be active Monday – Friday only from 7:30am – 9:30am and 4:00pm – 6:30pm.

For a full copy of the official news release, click on the link below.

Download News Release

Method CRM opens a world of possibilities

Back in October, I headed to Atlanta, GA for a Method:CRM Retreat to learn all about this intriguing product called Method:CRM.

I’d heard about Method at the Scaling New Heights conference that summer. Method:CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system to help you stay organized while you grow your business.

I had been testing out project management software for the past year, and had yet to find the silver bullet. I needed a tool to help track projects and keep tabs on clients activities. Enter Method:CRM.

At the Method Retreat, hosted by Joe Woodard and the Method:CRM corporate team, the first thing that struck me about this conference, was that the attendees were on a whole different level of smart. Now, of course, accountants are generally pretty smart people, but our presenter, Valbon Shabani of Method:CRM, was simply genius. I looked around the room and started to wonder if I was in over my head. Still, I couldn’t help thinking “What do these people know that I don’t know?” I decided to stick it out and see what I could learn. The short answer was…. A LOT!

A couple of days later, I left the training retreat, my head swimming with new ideas and possibilities for both me and my clients.

Over the next few months, I studied up for the Method Certification exam, and began using Method for my own practice. First, I synced with my QuickBooks company file, and instantly all my QuickBooks data was integrated with Method:CRM. Next, I began adding in client activities and tracking time, which conveniently syncs right back into QuickBooks. Next, I started entering and assigning cases. At first, it took some getting used to tracking all of my activities. Now, I wouldn’t do it any other way. I can see and manage all of my client and prospect data in one place. Method also syncs with Outlook and Smart-Vault. Now, instead of “Frankensteining” together a bunch of different software tools to manage my day, I just log into Method! In two words I would describe Method as amazing and powerful!

In the last few months, I have grown very attached to my Method:CRM software! Method helps me organize my company, track customer leads and marketing campaigns and keep records of conversions with customers. It allows me and my staff to have the full picture at our fingertips from any internet connection.

Most importantly, Method has given me the tools to manage my practice on a higher level, setting up workflows that suit my unique business. I’m able to easily track hours by client, and sync data directly into QuickBooks automatically! Method:CRM has simply transformed my practice.

While I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the true potential of Method:CRM, it has already made a positive, measurable difference in my practice.

Over the next year, I plan to practice and learn much more about this amazing and powerful too. My goal is to position Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services LLC to provide Method:CRM consulting to our clients.

Stay tuned for updates! If you cannot wait to try Method:CRM for yourself, call me and I’ll connect you with the right folks at Method:CRM to get you started on a whole new level of smart and successful!

Do you know QBO?

The new QuickBooks Online training tour was in Ft. Lauderdale recently, teaching accountants about the benefits of working in the cloud.

Michelle Long and Hector Garcia hosted the Freedom in the Cloud training, explaining both the benefits of working on the cloud, as well as some of the cool new features of QuickBooks Online accounting software.

The great thing about QuickBooks Online, compared to the more familiar desktop version, is that using QBO, clients can truly collaborate with their accountants. With QBO, your data is always accessible, up to date, and secure.

Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services, LLC is proud to support both QuickBooks desktop versions and the QuickBooks Online software.

Call us today to find out if the new QBO is right for you!

561-629-5389
sevans@pbafs.com
www.pbafs.com

Michelle Long and Hector Garcia teach Freedom in the Cloud
Michelle Long and Hector Garcia teach Freedom in the Cloud

Leadership Palm Beach County visits Quantum House

Silvia Evans, and members of the Leadership Palm Beach Class of 2014, hosted a holiday party Thursday at Quantum House, a caring and supportive home that lessens the burden for families whose children receive treatment in Palm Beach County for a serious medical condition.  http://www.quantumhouse.org/about-us

The party featured dinner, holiday caroler’s, arts and crafts, and a visit from Santa.  “The kids and family at Quantum House were just amazing!  This is a place filled with love and compassion.  I’m humbled to have received the gift of sharing some holiday cheer with these extraordinary families.” said Silvia Evans, President of Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services, LLC.

Next month Quantum House will join forces with the American Culinary Federation Palm Beach County Chapter to host the 10th Annual Taste of Compassion to benefit Quantum House Families.  The event is on Monday, January 20, 2014 at the Norton Museum of Art and includes food and wine tasting, silent auction, live auction and exclusive wine toss. For more information or to register for the event, please visit the Quantum House website at http://www.quantumhouse.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.details&content_id=112

 

Taste of Compassion Event Page

Palm Beach Accounting & Financial Services LLC welcomes new team member, Roy Schunter

Roy Schunter has joined the accounting team at Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services LLC as an Accounting Manager. Roy recently moved to Palm Beach County from Flint, Michigan, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Central Michigan University. A Registered Tax Return Preparer, Roy brings thirty years experience to head up our Tax Team. We’re thrilled to have Roy’s expertise for the coming tax season, says Silvia Evans, President of Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services, LLC.

Method CRM = No more Frankensteining!

Just returned from a Method Integration retreat for Method Solution Providers, where I learned all about this awesome product.  Method CRM users sync to their Quickbooks database using the Method Integration Engine. This allows an amazing array of benefits from managing customer relationships to building additional functionality into and around Quickbooks. Current applications include Method Field Service, Professional Service, Expense Reports, and more. But that’s just the beginning. I can customize the platform to create a free form database with unlimited tables and fields. This one tool can replace multiple 3rd party apps. Set up was easy with a free trial. I’m excited about Method and its endless possibilities, especially the end of Frankensteining multiple 3rd party apps. Thanks to Valbon Shabani, Director – Method Solutions Providers for opening my eyes to the endless possibilities I can achieve with Method.

For more information on what Method can do for your business, contact me at sevans@pbafs.com