Accounting, Payroll & Pension Issues/Customer Charge Accounts

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Question
Hello, I run the office at a small auto repair shop in Oregon. We sometimes allow customers to charge part of their bill, & have them fill out a form that clearly states what payment arrangements they plan to make. I like that we can help people out this way, however it does put a financial strain on us. My question is this, can we have a fee for allowing customers to charge? If so how much, or where do I look to find this information.
Also any resources you can give me to help me run my office most efficiently would be greatly appreciated. Someday I hope to take college business/accounting classes, but can't do that now.
Thank you

Answer
I am not sure as to the answer to your question.  The question is whether your state's laws permits such a fee to be charged.  I expect that the answer is that you are not allowed to charge people a fee for using a credit card. If you are opening up a charge account for a portion of the bill, then you might be able to access a fee, but there are likely state rules as to allowed fees and inerest rates allowed.

As for assistance with running your office, I might suggest seeing if a professional association of auto repair shop owners. Also, consider talking to other shop owners in your area. As for helpmwith the bookkeepimg, there might be software  speciaized for your industry. If not, Quickbooks might work to help you do the bookkeeping work.

Rather than waiting to take courses from a local college, take a look at quickbooks courses, online or in  person. They might give yu what you need in less time or for less money. As for college courses, check your local community college.

let me know if you have additional questions.

Accounting, Payroll & Pension Issues

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Arthur Naman

Expertise

General accounting and bookkeeping questions. Specific questions pertaining to: monthly bookkeeping, preparing financial reports; reconciling accounts.

I cannot answer questions pertaining to pension or retirement planning.

This is not a forum to have homework answered. Please do your own homework.

Experience

30 years' experience doing tax and accounting work

Education/Credentials
MPA from Univ. of Texas at Austin, MBA Golden Gate Univ, San Francisco CA

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