The quest to find a good bookkeeper

The quest to find a good bookkeeper

by Tracy Cromar

On my travels I often hear business people bemoaning how rare it is to find a good bookkeeper.

As this is usually followed by the words “like you here at TLC”, it does warm my heart.

But it also got me to thinking. What is going on in the marketplace that solid bookkeeping skills are in such short supply?

Especially since they are so necessary to keep a business efficient, profitable and legal.

Qualifications

Now, bookkeeping is the process of recording all your business financial transactions.

The reality is that there are no legal requirements for a bookkeeper to have any formal qualifications.

But when you find a good bookkeeper, you’ll discover that –  like a lot of things in life – there’s a little more to it than that.

They let you analyse your business, making it easier for you to make forecasts, look at performance and scrutinise expenditure.

As they run through transactions, they check they’re consistently assigned to the correct account code and flag tax deductible expenses for when you file a return.

They help you prepare accurate VAT returns. And, if HMRC decide to pay you a visit, you can have confidence you’ll be able to show them every single sales invoice and stationery receipt, should they ask.

At the core, they record receipts, invoices and sales documents – including payroll and fixed assets – into an intelligent computerised system.

Cloud stuff

And this is where I believe the issue lies. The proliferation of cloud accounting software means people get a false sense of security.

They confuse data inputting with bookkeeping.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Cloud-based systems have revolutionised the world of data.

They give you unprecedented freedom to work anywhere and anytime. Your information is up to date, it’s secure, efficient and saves you time.

But find a good bookkeeper and they’re aware of the proper processes.

They understand accrual, they can read a balance sheet and they know the importance of consistency of categorisation. They understand why an annual payment needs spread across the full year.

Employing a data inputter equipped with powerful cloud accounting software is all well and good. But it’s a little like giving a learner driver a Ferrari.

They might get you from A to B the first time, but if they’re not aware of how the machine works, or if they don’t have enough experience then there is always a certain amount of risk that things could go badly wrong.

Now, I’m not saying that all Ferrari drivers need to know what goes on under the bonnet. But wouldn’t you feel safer and more confident with someone in charge who knows what’s what?

Find a good bookkeeper

At TLC Accounts, our mission is to liberate small and medium-sized businesses across Scotland from time spent keeping track of numbers.

So we work in the background like a well-oiled machine.

Our go-to software is Xero. It’s a cloud-based system that gives you unprecedented freedom to work anywhere and anytime.

But the important thing is the foundation on which TLC Accounts is built.

There is a combination of years of experience, certification and mastery of the work tools. And we are delighted to share endorsement from business owners to prove the point.

Working in partnership, we can run everything smoothly, keep tidy records, and make compliance a breeze.

So fire up the Ferrari and let’s get those financial efficiencies figured out.

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