bookkeping-types
26-Jun-2021 By - team

DISCLAIMER: We're commenting on USA legislation

Here are six important things to look for at the initial meeting, whether you're starting a business for the first time or maybe it's just time for a new bookkeeper.

There are professionals in every field and there are cowboys. The same applies to bookkeeping.

For business owners, the issue is that if your bookkeeper is a cowboy, you can find yourself in legal trouble.

Here are some skills to develop to succeed in a career as a bookkeeper:
  • Attention to detail. Attention to detail helps bookkeepers be accurate when handling their company's financial data. ...
  • Invoicing. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Excellent communication. ...
  • Accounts payable. ...
  • Numeracy. ...
  • Time management.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a Bookkeeper? On a day-to-day basis, Bookkeepers complete data entry, collect transactions, track debits and maintain and monitor financial records. They also pay invoices, complete payroll, file tax returns and even maintain office supplies.

Collaboration calls for abilities such as listening, empathy, communication, problem solving and accountability. Developing these skills early in your career will support your development as an accountant.
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I believe this is because business owners simply believe what they are told because the world that bookkeepers live in is full of deadlines, abbreviations, and complicated legislation. They don’t always challenge what their bookkeeper tells them because doing so would force them to enter a world of spreadsheets and law that they don’t want to be in or aren’t competent to be in.

What can you, as the business owner, do to ensure that your bookkeeper is the specialist your company needs?

These hints can help you understand the qualities a competent bookkeeper should have. Make sure each of these requirements is met by your bookkeeper.

1. Not all bookkeepers are qualified BAS agents

An amendment to the law in 2010 made it necessary to be a registered BAS agent in order to be capable of handling BAS-related matters (including coding in data files).

Your bookkeeper must possess a Certificate IV in Finance in order to register. Additionally, they must have at least 1200 hours of experience working under the supervision of another BAS agent.

Bookkeepers must demonstrate continual training and education to maintain BAS agent accreditation. Along with adhering to a tight code of ethics, your bookkeeper should be a member of one of the professional associations like the ICB or ABN.

2. Communication skills are critical in bookkeeping

It can sometimes come down to communication skills whether a bookkeeper engages with your company successfully or unsuccessfully. Although this may be somewhat subjective, you ultimately need someone who not only speaks your language but also has a solid understanding of their field.

In order for you, the business owner, to feel confident in the guidance that bookkeepers do offer, they must also be open and honest when they don’t have all the answers.

This is crucial when it comes to hiring employees. A major national HR firm is in alignment with our practice. We make sure that if any of our clients need guidance on staffing or human resources, we turn to the professionals in that area for the most precise and recent information.

3. Knowledge of accounting software

Bookkeepers are increasingly aligning themselves with a single kind of software.

There are several potential explanations for this. It can just be a matter of personal taste. Alternatively, they might be compensated for recommending that software. Then they inform any potential customers that they are required to use that specific programme.

However, you shouldn’t be forced to use a particular software because that’s what your bookkeeper is now favouring.

Instead, if you’re being advised to change your software, be sure the benefits for your company are being discussed in terms of increased productivity, saved time, or reduced expenditures.

4. Future-focused thinkers

You’ve probably heard of “the cloud,” where the majority of contemporary software platforms are now found, yet not so long ago, the concept worried people.

Many bookkeepers have valid worries about the security and privacy of the data kept on cloud-based platforms. These worries are real, but they are being addressed by modern technologies like two-factor authentication.

A bookkeeper with an eye toward the future will be aware of the issues and consider what may be done to reduce the dangers involved for your company.

Years ago, I received a call from a client who had recently fired her accountant because she was concerned about moving her data file to the cloud. After we assisted her in taking the necessary action, the time spent on bookkeeping was more than halved. The client was overjoyed because using online accounting software eliminated the necessity for filling out paperwork or moving it around, and she only needed assistance to do the task correctly.

5. Good bookkeepers add value

financial-planning

Choosing your bookkeeper based only on cost is the worst thing you can do as a business owner.

Some bookkeepers have far lower prices than those of their rivals. You might be persuaded to follow them since the hourly cost savings justifies the danger. though is it?

You need a bookkeeper who is fairly compensated for the work. They’re not just there to log hours; they’re there to improve your company.

6. Fostering trust is key

Trust is the obvious solution in this case. Your book-keeper might be the only other person who has a thorough understanding of your company’s financials going back to the beginning.

You want someone who will “have your back.” You would like to know if they notice a transaction on your credit card that doesn’t appear quite correct. You would want to know if they see that one of your employees has purchased smokes or soft drinks on the gasoline receipt.

You want to be sure that they understand how your company operates. They can determine whether something is off by looking at your profit and loss statement. Because they care, they will engage you in conversation, ask you questions, and prod you for information.

They are not a machine that processes data without taking into account your needs. They participate in your business to the extent that you let them to.

Find a wonderful bookkeeper for yourself. You won’t ever have to worry about your books again if you let them into your universe and have faith in them.

Make your business more bookkeeper-friendly to save time, money and stress

You have to do a lot of different things when running a small business, especially in the beginning. However, attempting to please everyone can only lead to failure. Having a bookkeeper on staff will ease the stress.

I have been managing startups since I was 19 years old.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be everything to everyone, running everything from motorcycle dealerships to IT companies to my accounting firm (I’m in my late 40s now, but I’ll keep my exact age a little secret).

Working on my enterprises and offering advice to others has made me realise that, at some point, business owners must step back and delegate in order to avoid entering the burn-out phase.

Your company’s financial administration is one of the simplest tasks to outsource, and bookkeepers play a huge role in assisting small business owners in doing this.

The five most crucial things you can do for yourself and your business before, during, and after hiring a bookkeeper are listed below to make the process even more approachable.

1. Know what you’re good at

Be your own boss if you followed your entrepreneurial itch and started a business so you could control your own future.

If you’re making pies, concentrate on making the greatest, fair-dinkum pies possible so that you sell out every single day, to quote Michael E. Gerber’s E-Myth. Narrow your attention.

In a similar vein, decide what you enjoy doing and then seek out others who share that passion.

2. Know your numbers

Teaching a man to fish is still a valid proverb.

Running any business successfully requires knowing what your numbers imply and how they were calculated. However, it does not obligate you to complete that work.

A competent bookkeeper can help with this. You can get assistance from bookkeepers with understanding, designing, implementing, and managing systems.

Bookkeepers are considerably more than just the little old lady in the corner entering data anymore.

In the end, you didn’t start a business to handle bookkeeping, so leave it to the professionals.

3. Get rid of the paper

You will have to manage more work, take more time, and spend more money if there is paper lying around the office. So getting rid of it is the simple solution.

The future lies in digital data storage, which includes copies of invoices and receipts. Not only would this satisfy the tax authorities and your accountant, it will also give you peace of mind knowing that the data is maintained securely and is always accessible.

Because the information was readily available, I can recall going through an audit myself and doing it all in five hours.

To assist with this and develop the procedures necessary to manage it flawlessly, there are products on the market like MYOB’s Capture App (a good bookkeeper will help you set it up if you get stuck).

4. Don’t try to do your tax

This is a major deal. It also relates to concentrating on your strengths; if you are not an accountant, don’t try to be one. Leave tax preparation to the professionals.

A bookkeeper can help you organise all the necessary data and communicate with your accountant in time for year-end taxes. As you expand, they can additionally handle responsibilities like payroll and quarterly BAS (Business Activity Statements).

You can get advice on any GST-related issues from bookkeepers who are Registered BAS Agents, which means they have a Tax Practitioners Board licence and Australian Taxation Office approval. When assigning goods that can be claimed, this is quite helpful.

Cash flow is crucial for startups, and if this isn’t done correctly, small business owners frequently leave claimable GST credits on the table. For just this reason, some companies I’ve worked with left thousands of dollars unclaimed.

5. Embrace technology

It’s 2020. The digital era is here. These days, there are apps for everything. So it’s about time everyone started!

Saving time and money is one of the main benefits that contemporary technology has provided for small businesses. All of this ultimately relates to cash flow, right?

Who wouldn’t want to have more money in their bank account? The proper technological solutions will increase productivity and lower costs.

A bookkeeper will be beneficial for your technology as well. They can do a comprehensive examination of the business’s processes and give recommendations for changes you can make to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and simplicity of the company’s operations for both you, the owner, and your team.

The #1 Thing to Look for When Hiring a Bookkeeper

understanding-bookkeeping

You might need to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant for a variety of reasons. Perhaps your most recent employee left or your staff is overworked. Because the person who writes your checks also reconciles your bank account, perhaps you have been taken advantage of or are worried that you will be. Maybe you used to do your books but don’t have the time anymore.

Whatever the cause, the truth is that you are not receiving the business intelligence and financial data you require to make informed decisions in a timely manner.

You can receive accurate information if the proper people and procedures are put in place. Even if you’ve concluded that hiring a risky employee is preferable to outsourcing your bookkeeping, you still need to choose a top-notch solution to assist you.

So what should you start looking for first?

It goes beyond mere talent.

Of course you require someone with fundamental abilities. Your new bookkeeper or accountant needs to be proficient in:

  • Add suppliers and clients to your books.
  • Know how to use QuickBooks®.
  • Be familiar with online payroll tax payment
  • Reconcile your credit card and bank statements.
  • Check your books for mistakes.
  • Keep track of the accounts owed and receivable

There are many people out there who possess those fundamental abilities.

So how can you choose out the one of those persons who is your ideal match? What should you be looking for first?

It’s behaviour

The ability to instruct. You cannot teach behaviour, though.

Even the world’s best accountant is meaningless if he can’t explain his findings to you and the other team members. Even the most seasoned accountant in the world won’t be of much assistance if she can’t identify financial trends and make suggestions to improve your numbers.

Behaviours to look for

Although you should concentrate on any behaviours that are crucial to you and your business, here are three recommendations: effective communication, innovation, and problem-solving.

Here’s why.

  1. Good Communication –Getting information from the person who approved a transaction to the back office employee who must accurately record it is the largest issue in accounting.In addition to being a competent number cruncher, a professional bookkeeper or accountant can also work as a part-time detective. This bill is where? Why didn’t the department manager approve this expense, and should it be charged to a billable job? If you have a number cruncher who is reluctant to ask the rest of your team for clarification, that person may fail to notice an entry that needs to be questioned and marked.
  1. Innovation – Though you might not expect innovation in bookkeeping and accounting, the Cloud is fundamentally altering the sector. You may now instantly download almost any transaction into QuickBooks® and automate complicated and time-consuming job costing processes from electronic timesheets because all the data is now easily accessible on the Internet rather than on internal systems.

You’ll want someone who welcomes change and has a perpetual learning mentality to implement best practices with your books as those technology changes accelerate. You need a creative bookkeeper so that your precious payroll funds are used for the account research you want to obtain precise and fast financial intelligence.

  1. Problem Solving – Bookkeepers, accountants, and crunchers are problem solvers even more than they are crunchers. Why couldn’t these numbers add up? Which account does this expense belong in? Why fails the “sniff test” for our gross profit by job report? An excellent bookkeeper will weigh the possibilities, gather data, and come up with solutions to the issue at hand rather than ignoring it or glossing over it.

How to determine behaviours in an interview

Asking situational questions during an interview is the greatest method to uncover these behaviours.

  • Tell me about a time when you …
  • Give me an example of …
  • What would you do if…
  • What did you do when …

Don’t just accept your prospect’s initial response and continue. Examine those questions in further detail. For instance, you might ask a question like, “Tell me about a time you had to present complicated material to someone else” to find out a person’s communication skills. Then, ask further questions, such as “How did you know the other person understood? Give me more details about that. Why did you know that? What the problem was?

In the end, you’ll discover that focusing on behaviours rather than talents will enable you to identify candidates that are more likely to meet your organisation and your professional expectations as well as the job.

Our financial services rank among the most significant outsourced bookkeeping and controller services in the United States if you require assistance with these tasks.

Summary

Bookkeepers are increasingly aligning themselves with a single kind of accounting software. Not all bookkeepers are qualified to work as an accountancy service (BAS) agent. Business owners often don’t challenge what their bookkeeper tells them because they don’t have all the answers. Many bookkeepers have valid worries about the security and privacy of the data kept on cloud-based platforms. However, you shouldn’t be forced to use a particular software because that’s what your bookkeeper is favouring.

They’re not just there to log hours; they’re there to improve your company. Make your business more bookkeeper-friendly to save time, money and stress. Having a bookkeeper on staff will ease the stress of running a small business. Five things you can do to make the process more approachable for yourself before, during, and after hiring one. Bookkeepers are considerably more than just the little old lady in the corner entering data anymore.

A bookkeeper can help you organise all the necessary data and communicate with your accountant. If you are not an accountant, don’t try to be one. Leave tax preparation to the professionals. The #1 thing to look for when hiring a bookkeeper is behaviour. Even the best accountant won’t be of much assistance if he can’t identify financial trends.

Effective communication, innovation, and problem-solving are all musts for a good bookkeeper/accountant. In addition to being a competent number cruncher, a professional bookkeeper or accountant can also work as a part-time detective. You need a creative bookkeeper so that your precious payroll funds are used for the account research you want to obtain precise and fast financial intelligence. An excellent bookkeeper will weigh possibilities, gather data, and come up with solutions to the issue at hand rather than ignoring it or glossing over it. Focus on behaviours rather than talents will enable you to identify candidates that are more likely to meet your organisation’s expectations.

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