The untold story of Bookkeepers: What They Do, What We Can Expect and Why It Matters

The Vital Role Bookkeepers Play in Helping Business

Bookkeeping plays a vital role in small business operations, but how much do business owners know about the profession? What do Bookkeepers do, and what are some of the benefits of bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is more than just keeping the financial records up to date and accurate. It is about understanding business processes and efficiency. Bookkeepers have evolved to become so much more. Bookkeepers are now payroll officers, software implementation and integration managers, strategic analysts, and business consultants.

A Professional Bookkeeper has the expertise to assist small businesses in a way that can often make a massive difference to the overall capabilities of that business. Most of all, a Bookkeeper can help a business owner implement and maintain the best business processes leading to a better, up-to-date, and timely understanding of the business’s operational and financial health, allowing the business owner to make smarter decisions.

According to recent research performed by Intuit Quickbooks Back to Business, Bookkeepers have played a significant role as a positive influence on confidence levels for small businesses in Australia, with key findings from the research including 70% saying their accountant or Bookkeeper helped them through the pandemic.

What Makes a Bookkeeper Exceptional?

Organised, Efficient & Experienced

A good Bookkeeper should understand the industry a business is in, the business process, and the business requirements. They make sure that operations are streamlined to provide business owners with reports and assists small business owners to meet the needs and deadlines for compliance.

A Professional Bookkeeper should be connected to a professional association providing support, resources, and accreditation. They have a commitment to continual education, learning and development of skills.

Ethical & Trustworthy

A Bookkeeper has a trusted and respected role. Ethics and trustworthiness are paramount. The business owner and the Bookkeeper should feel comfortable with each other to build a relationship that is founded on trust.

Bookkeepers should only ever be honest and thorough in their dealings. 

A Bookkeeper must do the right thing and take steps to put things right when something goes wrong (which does happen). The bottom line is that the Bookkeeper is honest and accurate. Everything else will follow from working to this fundamental attitude.

Training & Accreditation

Every Bookkeeper should have some sort of formal bookkeeping or accounting training, and if a contract Bookkeeper is a registered BAS Agent. A registered BAS Agent means that the Tax Practitioners Board are satisfied that the Bookkeeper has the required skills, qualifications, and a minimum amount of experience to correctly account for GST and prepare your BAS according to legislation.

Latest Technical Knowledge

Due to an increase in the reliance on digital technologies, a Bookkeeper should have the latest software knowledge. According to the Intuit Quickbooks Back to Business research, among that small businesses who have implemented new technologies or plan to do so, the most common focuses are financial processes (43%), making the digitisation of bookkeeping a priority for many small businesses in Australia.

Source: Accountants Daily – 1 in 5 SMEs flag accountants and bookkeepers as key to business survival

Communication Skills

Bookkeepers are a community that helps, and Professional Bookkeepers need to have fundamental characteristics to be successful, established, and compliant. Excellent communication skills are necessary for a smooth interaction flow within the business.

Good communication with the business owner means a better flow of deadlines and requirements to ensure the business meets its reporting obligations. A good Bookkeeper asks the relevant questions. They will also share ideas with the business owner on matters of financial planning, methods of increasing revenue, budgeting, cash flow, and cost-saving strategies they can adopt to improve the performance of the business.

Benefits for Business Owners

We know what a Bookkeeper does and what their day-to-day responsibilities look like. But how do these job duties translate as benefits for a business? Great bookkeeping goes beyond refined record-keeping and balanced books.

  • The benefits for a business to engage a Professional Bookkeeper are more significant today, especially with technology. While a Bookkeeper maintains financial books and ensures their accuracy, a business can be more efficient and streamlined by integrating business operations with reporting and record-keeping. Technology steps in to make the job easier.
  • Hiring a Professional Bookkeeper maximises accuracy. With training, resources, support and experience, professional Bookkeepersensure accurate financial reports and data.
  • Bookkeepers free up time in a business owner’s schedule to concentrate on the business’s core functions and consider things like business development, refining workflows, and boosting the business outcome.
  • If the ATO investigates a business, having solid business records on hand, produced by integrated, streamlined business and bookkeeping systems, is a huge plus. Often, the investigation process is a simple review of your records. But things can become much more challenging than necessary if the documents are missing, in parts or out of order.
  • Bookkeepers develop and improve business systems by applying their systems, compliance, and software expertise.

While a Bookkeeper does not make financial decisions for a business, they can help a business achieve success while providing an overall view of where the money is coming from and where it is going.

Bookkeeping is integrated business system management: It is working with the business – and the best technology-based solutions that apply to the business – to improve their business efficiency, which leads to achieving the other purposes of bookkeeping; effective business process, technology-based efficient solutions, efficient and streamlined record-keeping, efficient and streamlined invoice generation, and purchase processing.

In having a Professional Bookkeeper on the team, a small business gains an expert, allowing the business owner to focus on what they do best. Having an expert means the business wins!

The role bookkeepers play in a small business operation is enormously valuable, and good bookkeeping practices go a long way towards safeguarding the success—and longevity—of your startup. So if you are in business, or are thinking about taking the leap, don’t hesitate to contact us today. The best time to get a handle on your financials is before they spin out of control.