Would you gamble your life-savings in one hit? Would you go all in on a whim? Would you bet your whole business on red? No? Neither would we!
You’ve put everything you have into building your business – the stakes have never been so high. Is trusting your business with just any bookkeeper a gamble you can afford to lose? You need to do your homework and make sure your bookkeeper has ticks in all the right boxes.
The House Always Wins
The problem with gambling is you lose control; you hand everything over to the dealer. When the Dealer has control, the House always wins! Are you or your bookkeeper the Dealer in your business?
As a business owner you should expect your bookkeeper to work for you not against you. When you appoint a bookkeeper, you should demand the following, as a minimum:
- Confirmation that your bookkeeper has satisfied minimum education requirements and is a Registered BAS Agent.
- Confirmation that your accounts are complete. You should demand to sign off your key reconciliations including bank, credit cards, loans, payroll and GST/PAYG;
- Periodic financial statements, as a minimum a monthly Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet;
- Confirmation that your Australian Taxation Office and superannuation commitments are up to date,
- Aware of current developments in Cloud accounting, in particularly they must know their way around Xero, Saasu or a similar cloud-system;
- Available to you when you require information, not just when you have an appointment. Remember, the bookkeeper is a guest in your business!
The rule of thumb is, the less you know about the numbers in your business, the more competent and capable your bookkeeper must be.
How do you take back control?
Your financial records hold the key to the success of your business. Accurate financial records provide the foundation for making all crucial business decisions. They can demystify sources of profit or causes of losses, identify risks and highlight what makes your business tick. As a business owner you need a bookkeeper that shares your numbers with you.
All too often new clients tell us that their bookkeeper is unwilling to hand over or discuss the business numbers with them. Furthermore, innovative cloud-based accounting systems like Xero and Saasu give control back to the business owner.
You should feel that you can discuss any situation with your bookkeeper – from basic data entry to resolving complicated decisions and, heaven forbid, a full-blown meltdown. Your bookkeeper should be on your side, be able to handle constructive criticism, be willing to explain the numbers, and encourage you to check their numbers. It makes a real difference if your bookkeeper wants to work with you in your business.
The bottom line is that the goals and aims of your bookkeeper should align with your own. Ask your bookkeeper, what do they want to achieve from working with you and your business? Don’t gamble and place all your bets on the wrong bookkeeper.