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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 15,
1999. All rights reserved.
Virtual Bookkeeper: Log On for Balances
Paytrust.com became a potential category-killer when
it came out with a service to put personal bill-paying online. Now,
one new start-up in the area wants to offer a similar type of service
for the business community.
Net-Controller.com at 116 Village Boulevard (609-951-2219; fax,
and consulting firm that businesses can contract to handle all
aspects of the business. Through the service, a company’s financial
statements are prepared according to Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP) and posted on the Internet, where the cash flow
in and out of the company can be monitored and downloaded when
It’s the ideal Internet start-up for the Internet start-up, says
Timothy F. Downing
CFO of David’s Cookies. "Usually businesses just starting out
do it themselves, which is a total disaster," he says. "Or
they hire a bookkeeper, but they’re limited in what they do."
In addition to implementing accounting programs like Peachtree and
Quick Books for the office, Net-Controller.com will also do a
taxes and help prepare statements for investors and banks. Downing,
who holds a BA in economics in accounting from Rutgers, Class of 1977,
hopes to use his experience in entrepreneurial environments for
businesses that "have needs that go beyond just paying bills."
The outsourcing model of Net-Controller.com, Downing argues, is also
good because bookkeepers and accountants are not always needed on
a full-time basis. "They can’t afford to keep them on the
he says. "It’s part and parcel to people trying to contain
For a small business, Net-controller.com could cost around $1,000
a month, but for larger businesses it may go as high as $10,000,
on the type of service. Downing estimates his service costs roughly
25 to 30 percent less than it would to hire a full-time bookkeeper
Despite the fact that the company operates from outside the business,
says Downing, "we view ourselves as an extension of your
Net-Controller.com’s staff, which includes two CPAs and three
pick up financial documents from their clients roughly once a week.
The company’s financial profile is posted on a website where it can
be viewed with a private company user name and password. However,
the site is not interactive; if you need to write a check or alter
any information, you have to phone, fax, or E-mail the request to
Net-Controller.com. Therefore, Downing advises clients to keep checks
around for emergencies.
As for full-interactivity — where a company can actually do
online — Downing doesn’t foresee his company doing that. It’s
still more about numbers, than technology: "We’re basically
to take the headaches out of the accounting."
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