In every industry, there are the experts and there are the cowboys.
Bookkeeping is no different.
The problem for business owners is that if your bookkeeper is a cowboy, you could end up in hot water.
Because bookkeepers live in a world full of deadlines, acronyms and confusing legislation, business owners just trust what they are told. They don’t question the things they are told by their bookkeeper as the alternative would be them diving into a world that they don’t want to be in, or that they are not qualified to be in.
So how can business owners make sure your bookkeeper is the expert that your business needs?
Here are a few pointers to show you what you need in a good bookkeeper. Make sure your bookkeeper makes the grade in each of these areas:
1. Is your bookkeeper also a qualified BAS agent?
From 2010 onwards, a legislative change meant that to be qualified to deal with BAS-related items (including coding in data files) you had to be a registered BAS agent.
To become registered, your bookkeeper has to have a minimum of a Certificate IV in Finance. They also have to have at least 1200 hours of experience working under the direction of another BAS agent.
To maintain BAS agent status, bookkeepers must prove continued training and ongoing education. Your bookkeeper should also be a member of one of the Professional Associations like the ICB or ABN, adhering to a strict code of ethics.
2. Does your bookkeeper talk to you?
Does your bookkeeper answer queries in a way that you understand?
If they don’t know the answer, do they admit to not knowing but follow through and find out the answers for you?
3. Does your bookkeeper insist that you use a certain type of software?
More and more, bookkeepers are aligning themselves with only one type of software.
There’s a variety of reasons why this might be the case. It might just be their personal preference. Or they might be getting perks to recommend that software. Then they tell their prospective clients that they must use that particular software.
We don’t believe that this is serving you, the client, effectively at all. What’s most important is that the business owner chooses the software that will serve their business best.
A good bookkeeper should be able to listen to you and then give you an objective view of the pros and cons of all of your options. The choice is yours.
Want more accounting, tax or bookkeeping tips for your business? Get together with Mitchell Partners in Surrey Hills VIC to take your business to the next level on 03 9895 9333.
Click here to read Part 2 of this article.