08 Jan OUTSOURCING BOOKKEEPING IS EASY
Some people think that outsourcing to a bookkeeper is hard. Sadly some business owners stick with doing their bookwork themselves, struggling day-in and day-out, and often getting late lodgement fines, because they perceive that getting someone else to do it is just too hard.
Others I know, are just too embarrassed to let anyone else what just what a mess they have. A professional bookkeeper will not judge, or even think to themselves it’s the worse they’ve seen. When you’ve been around awhile, chances are, your books are not the worse they have seen.
I know some business owners worry about the cost, but the fact is that when you get a professional in, who knows what they are doing and are able to get in and get out, the cost is very affordable. Reality is that you’ll probably make more money doing what you do best – running your business.
Let me show you just how easy it can be:
- Select a professional bookkeeper who works with a few different clients, and has at least 10 years bookkeeping experience. Check that they have done work in your industry or a similar industry. If they are experienced, and know your industry (or a similar one to it), they will pick up your business very quickly. In fact, they may even have tips for you on how to improve what you are doing and be more efficient with your administration and paperwork. For example, I know that Cloud Bookkeeping Solutions encourages clients to use ReceiptBank; using AI to get the data in and cut back of data entry time.
- These days, I’d be looking for a bookkeeper who is operating a professional operation; they have a website, they are Registered BAS agents and they have a team. Having a registered BAS Agent is in a way, like insurance. They are licensed and legal, so they have to meet standards set by the ATO’s Tax Practitioner Board. They must have professional membership (which means they have to keep abreast of the industry). They must complete ongoing professional development and training. They also have to have Professional Indemnity Insurance … all great news to you the user.
- Check them out online – looking at their website or Google My Business page, or Facebook page. See what their clients are saying about them and read the testimonials and reviews. If they don’t have reviews (some don’t chase them) then at least ask for some referees you can ring and speak to.
- Have a chat to them initially and run through your structure and how things are done. If they ask questions that is good; they are not being nosy or pedantic; the more info they have initially, the less they will need to ask along the way. In fact, if they ask no questions, I’d be concerned. Remember too that the first month (or two) may take a little longer, but after that, it’s usually fair sailing.
- If you are going to share the work with them (ie you might invoice and do payroll, whilst they handle recording expenses and reconciling, then please make a list of all tasks and be clear who is doing what. For example, you don’t want to presume they are handling super payments, whilst they assume you are doing that as part of payroll. Now, a professional bookkeeper will probably already have this list and actually ask you – but if not, ensure you clarify.
- It doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve known clients who’ve wanted to key everything into a spreadsheet first for the bookkeeper, or ‘code’ the credit card statement. Xero, like your bookkeeper, learns. They just need to know the first time, and then after that, can follow the pattern. Professional bookkeepers don’t want you spending a heap of time preparing things for them; they have great systems and processes to onboard new clients – with their guidance it truly is easy.
- You may think it’s going to be expensive, based on how long you take yourself. Remember this, if they are an experience and professional bookkeeper (and you are not) then there is every likelihood they will do it in half the time. When you know what you are doing (as a professional bookkeeper does), without the interruptions from the business, it’s amazing how quickly things happen.
- A professional bookkeeping service will know what is happening in the industry. It’s their business, so between professional development, industry newsletters and professional membership, they keep up to date. That means you don’t have to. You don’t have to worry about new laws around superannuation, or compliancy. You don’t have to keep abreast of changes in legislation. They do all that and then guide you and keep you on track so that you are meeting all your tax, super, BAS and payroll obligations.
- Still keep abreast of your business. A good bookkeeping service will send you monthly reports; read them. If there is ever anything in your financial reports that you don’t understand – then ask them. Show interest in your business and it’s figures and don’t hesitate to ask your bookkeeper or accountant if you have questions.
- Finally, imagine how it will feel to not have to worry about your paperwork anymore. What could you do with that extra time every week or month? It that time you can spend with your children, or perhaps it means you can focus more time on growing your business and getting in more business? The old expression “it’s just easier if I do it myself” actually is often not true.