Business Basics, Start Up / New to Business, Tax & Accounting

The Value of a Good Bookkeeper

I’ve had one of those weeks this week where it has been highlighted to me once again the value of a good bookkeeper to my clients.

It is at times a job that some people discount as not as ‘important’ as the advisor or accountant. But as the advisor at the other end I can tell you that a good bookkeeper is worth their weight in gold!

We see at times clients who think they are saving money by getting a bookkeeper who is a bit cheaper than one we may recommend. Or they go with someone who is available tomorrow, rather than waiting a couple of weeks for one who has a proven history.

So why is a good bookkeeper worth so much to your business?

  1. If they are accurate and consistent they will save you a lot of money with your accountant. If when we check your accounts everything reconciles and is allocated correctly, then we don’t need to spend time trying to work out discrepancies in the file.
  2. Your work can be completed quicker with the accountant as we aren’t needing to send work back to be corrected or asking questions to explain issues.
  3. When our time doesn’t need to be spent getting the compliance work correct we can spend time looking at different aspects of your business and actually spending our time assisting with items that add value to you and your business. And to be honest this is where we want to be spending our time when you are paying for our services.

What should you look for when you are picking a bookkeeper?

  1. Experience– it’s important that whoever you use has bookkeeping experience, whether it be on their own or working for someone they need to have had experience working on business files.
  2. Qualifications– this is probably less of an indicator than experience but still a good aspect to check. Make sure they are a registered BAS agent.
  3. Software Experience– ensure the bookkeeper has experience in the software you are using or at the least is engaging in training to learn the software. While the technical knowledge is very important each program has its own ways of doing things and it’s important these processes are done correctly
  4. Referrals– As the bookkeeper how long they have had some of their main clients. If they have kept clients for a long period of time it’s likely they are good at what they do.
  5. Communication– ensure the bookkeeper has good communication skills both with you and your accountant. It’s important the bookkeeper and accountant have a good relationship to understand how the accounts need to work and what information both need.
  6. Cheaper isn’t always better– In fact, many times it’s not better. I always remember the saying ‘You pay peanuts, you get monkeys’. While it’s not always true many times it turns out to be.
  7. Ask your Accountant/Advisor– they will almost always have a number of bookkeepers they work with. Usually they have a good relationship and know how each other work. Your Accountant should also have a couple of bookkeepers to choose from. The reason for this is due to differing skills, different ways of working and also different personalities. At Lemonade Beach we will always try to match you with someone we feel you will ‘click’ with and therefore having a few choices is best.

Moral of the story – value your bookkeeper and if you aren’t happy look elsewhere or ask your accountant if they have someone they can refer.

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