Working for Great Elm Bookkeepers, I have often come across the stall from business owners on the phone, when they say “We have an Accountant already, and we don’t need a bookkeeper, thank you!” Not what you really want to hear when prospecting, and not always easy to then break the ice and explain why a bookkeeper and an accountant can run along side each other and be beneficial to your business. So me being me and enjoying blogging, I thought that I would write a blog with the reasons that it may be good to hire a bookkeeper, so here goes!
A bookkeeper is someone or a company who records the financial transactions of your business. We also do the following:
- keep track of sales, purchases, payments and receipts.
- work on the design maintenance and review of internal business processes.
- organise, collate and record financial data on a day-to-day basis and store this information in general ledgers
- record the financial information of your business in a standard way, so that accountants can also access it.
So I thought I’d use this blog opportunity to look at what a bookkeeper can do for you, and when you might look at hiring one for your business.
Ok.. So why do you need a Bookkeeper?
If you’re the type of person who has started your own business, it’s likely that you’re passionate about running it and concentrating on the tasks you love doing. However if you’re like most business owners that I have come across, you’re not so interested in recording all the details of every financial transaction, and tend to keep all your receipts in a bag ready to be sorted out at some point in the future when absolutely necessary!
As an example, imagine that you own a hair salon business, you may have the following already in place:
- a simple business model
- a high transaction rate with lots of customers
- many sales a day – perhaps dozens or more
- supplier invoices for hair products
- sales recorded through cash registers or other POS (point of sale) systems
- staff wages to record and pay.
What an awful lot of information to track and record,whilst also cutting hair, taking bookings, looking after staff and running the salon. I wouldn’t be surprised if bookkeeping might not be something you enjoy or have time to truly understand.
The problem is without proper, accurate bookkeeping, it would be so easy for all those transactions to go unrecorded, left to pile up until the end of the month or the end of a financial period, and this is when mistakes could easily be made and many important details could be lost or, I hate to say it, forgotten. And this is where hiring a bookkeeper comes in. We can lighten the load and take the pressure off you and the business, we will take away all the day to day recording of receipts, invoices and financial transactions you have. We really do free up business owners time, and enable them to focus on what they do best and love doing!
What do Bookkeepers actually do?
Well we as bookkeepers are trained to use the same financial recording methods as accountants do. We do this so that your accountant can quickly and easily process your financial information for month/year end. We at Great Elm Bookkeepers, will:
- Take all your receipts, invoices and other transaction details – we can pick these up from you or arrange delivery to us, we will also, if required work onsite at your business.
- Record the information in accounting software, such as Xero, Sage, Quickbooks or other similar software, using proper accounting methods.
- Work with you to make sense of the numbers, for example assigning costs to specific clients.
However, there’s more to bookkeeping than just recording daily transactions. Our staff at Great Elm are all highly skilled at using accounting software, which enables us to be able to provide you with various services as well as being able to advise you on:
- add-on solutions to streamline your business workflow, such as POS Tools
- Payroll Services to simplify the way you pay your staff.
- bookkeeping rescue work – the tidying up of any mistakes made by inexperienced staff
- training for small business on using accounting software.
We can also offer day-to-day support for small business owners. In fact the way I see it is that a good bookkeeper is your partner in keeping things running smoothly within your business.
So how are we different to accountants? ( I hear you ask)
Bookkeeping is definitely a vital service to many businesses, but how does it differ from accounting? Well the two services are often compared, and most small business owners think that they only need an accountant, however using a Bookkeeper and Accountant for your business can be very complementary because:
- Bookkeepers do the day-to-day work and bring the accounts up to a high standard of detail and accuracy. We can also advise you on issues that might affect you in the near future, such as cash-flow problems or late invoice payment from clients – allowing you to plan for the future of your business.
- Accountants will then look at the accounts that have been created by the bookkeeper, often on a quarterly basis. They will make any minor adjustments required and they will use the information in the accounts to file tax returns and other official reports with the HMRC. They will also provide high level business advisory service.
Therefore, for your business to run smoothly, ideally you need both people. You’d hire a bookkeeper to look after the day-to-day work and provide the management accounts on a monthly basis, ensuring that you know exactly how your business is doing in “Real” time, and you’d hire an accountant to handle official reporting and for high level business advice, and to file all the report with HMRC.
In my eyes, it’s a no brainer – if you already have an accountant, why not have a chat with a bookkeeper like Great Elm Bookkeepers, and see exactly how we can work along side your accountant to help you focus on what you love doing, and grow your business, leaving all the numbers and figures in the very capable and reliable hands of us!
If this has peaked your interest, and you’d like to find out more, get in touch to arrange a free 60 minute consultation to see exactly how we can help! 😁