A professional bookkeeper is an investment in your business, you will reap the benefits of taking the time to get the right person for your business. The expertise and insight of a professional bookkeeper will change they way you see your business. Most importantly their work will set the foundation for all future business decisions including financial management, taxation reporting and compliance, marketing and sales, employment and staff reviews. Just as a solid slab lays the foundation for a strong house, bookkeeping lays the foundation of all business decisions.
But this hasn’t always been the case. Until recently the bookkeeping industry has been poorly regulated and the barriers to entry have been low, meaning anyone that completed a quick course in computerised accounting would call themselves a bookkeeper. This type of bookkeeper contributed to the profession struggling to establish a foothold as a valued professional in the community.
The contemporary bookkeeper is a professional in their own right. They are recognised in law and regulated by the Tax Practitioners Board. They are subject to penalties that strike at their ability to conduct a business and earn a livelihood. Any qualified professional that is willing to risk their livelihood is a fool.
The introduction of the Tax Agent Service Act 2009 aims to rationalise the industry and only those professionals that meet stringent professional criteria will remain. And that is the point, the bookkeeping profession is in a state of change that will position it as a valued and respected part of the accounting community.
The bookkeeping industry has never looked better and it continues to improve. There are many qualified, experienced and professional bookkeepers working in the industry. Many are members of professional bookkeeping associations that aim to promote the professionalism of the industry.
But still, and I expect to get a little flack from this, some bookkeepers still have old thinking stuck in their head. Back office number crunchers, data entry processors, under appreciated by their clients and accountants. But really, WHY? If you are good at what you do, you should celebrate it. You should tell people about it. You should increase your fees. You should prospect for a better type of client and offload the ones that simply aren’t worth the trouble. Be proud of the contribution you make to your client’s businesses.
And, if you are the type of client that thinks they can save a few dollars by recruiting the cheapest bookkeeper, well “Don’t look now, but your house is about to fall down”.