Article:

8 signs you need a better bookkeeper

07 June 2018

Years after starting out, many small business owners still do their own bookkeeping. If you are one of them, perhaps it’s time to take another look. Doing your own books – or using the same bookkeeper you’ve had for years – could be costing your business more in the long run. How many of these signs you need a better bookkeeper apply to your business? 

1. Bookkeeping is not your day job

Effective bookkeeping requires formal financial training. While you may be able to complete bookkeeping tasks; you could be missing out on real insights and opportunities that only an expert adviser can spot. For many business owners, this is simply a matter of sticking to what you’re good at – whether that’s running a medical practice, franchise operation or online store. Handing over your bookkeeping to a trained professional will free you up to focus on the business.

2. It doesn’t get done in work hours

Bookkeeping is an essential business function. If you’re trying to keep up with bookkeeping after working all day or all week, or in the midst of family life, it doesn’t take much to get behind. In the meantime, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities. As the inevitable delays creep in, this will affect your ability to make informed decisions about the day-to-day and long-term operation of your business. And expert bookkeeper will ensure you have the right financial checks and balances to keep your business on track.

3. You find bookkeeping boring

Without being disloyal to our profession, we don’t blame you. Only certain types of people enjoy poring over financial information. Most business owners are entrepreneurs. We believe your time is better spent working on the areas that spark your interest. Engaging a professional bookkeeping service like BDO’s Bookkeeping team can reduce the time and energy spent worrying about, or worse still procrastinating over, your financial obligations.

4. You only reconcile your accounts quarterly

If you’re leaving your financial reconciliation until a few days before BAS is due, you’re not alone. While it’s common among small business, we guarantee you’ll be missing out on data-driven financial insights that can make your business more profitable. Regardless of size, industry or turnover, timeliness is everything. Having access to up to date information on things like cash flow, stock levels, debtor levels, work in progress will help you make better business decisions.

5. You think it saves you money

One way to save money is to reduce your spending, so naturally, many owners opt to keep their outgoings to a minimum when operating a small business. However, the decision to DIY bookkeeping is often made without knowing the actual cost of outsourced bookkeeping services. Packages can be tailored to suit your needs and a professional bookkeeping service like BDO’s can save you money in many ways: 

  • We can help you keep track of your debtors, improving the cash flow of your business
  • We can remind you when your bills are due, giving you access to early settlement discounts, or making sure you aren’t paying late fees that many suppliers now charge 
  • By having up to date accounts – you can make spending decisions you can afford.  Many businesses spend without really understanding if they can afford it or not
  • By helping you meet your ATO obligations on time, you will avoid paying late fees or penalties, and save interest on payment arrangements
  • Ensuring that your record keeping is up to date should the ATO come knocking.  The cost of managing an ATO audit is dramatically reduced if the books are prepared right the first time
  • Explore other software opportunities that can integrate with your cloud based accounting software and will drive efficiencies in your business.  This can allow staffing resources to be redeployed in more effective and efficient ways.

6. You’re not sure if STPR applies to you

The introduction of Single Touch Payroll Reporting (STPR) from 1 July 2018 for businesses with more than 20 employees is a significant change that will require you to submit payroll information electronically on the same day you pay your staff. Getting your data right – and submitted on time – is critical if you want to stay compliant and avoid unnecessary penalties (or draw attention to yourself for audit or review).

It is proposed that STPR will be introduced across the entire economy from 1 July 2019, so regardless of your payroll size, you should think about how you’re going to be prepared.   

If you’re still not sure how the changes affect your business, get in touch today. BDO can help you make sure your financial information is correct when it’s automatically submitted to the ATO.

7. You use Excel to manage your accounts

Cloud accounting software (like Xero or QuickBooks) has evolved so much over the past few years, making efficient bookkeeping much more accessible to business owners of any size. You can login and access your financial information at any time, knowing that it’s accurate and up to date. If you’re new to cloud accounting, we can collaborate to effectively manage the transition for you, so it’s quick and hassle free. We work with you to consider the reports you need, and who needs access, to ensure your accounting system is built to support these information needs.

8. You’re making all the financial decisions on your own

Running a business is hard; especially when you’re making all the decisions on your own. At BDO, we’re in the business of helping people. When you work with BDO Bookkeeping services, you gain access to business professionals who can help you find better ways of operating your business. We give you confidence in your numbers by setting up tailored reporting solutions (e.g. KPI dashboards, three-way financial forecasts) and can provide one-to-one support for important decisions, reducing some of the burden for you.

Like to know more about how BDO’s Bookkeeping services could help your business? Contact your local BDO adviser today or complete the contact form.

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