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Could Your Bookkeeper be Jinxing their Replacement?

How easily could you replace your bookkeeper?

find a good local bookkeeper myob xero excel online
If your bookkeeper left, could your bookkeeping records be passed on easily to a replacement bookkeeper?

WHETHER YOU USE A contract or remote bookkeeper, it’s crucial that they keep your bookkeeping in good order. If you ever have to replace them, you don’t want to be redoing your entire bookkeeping system.

So what are some ways that bookkeepers can work, and what can they include in their bookkeeping, that makes it easier for someone new to pick up the reigns? Let’s take a look:

Use the correct codes and descriptions

According to Western Australia-based bookkeeper, Deb Crompton, you should always ensure your bookkeeper selects the correct code and account for each and every transaction. They should also include detailed descriptions or memos of the transaction in each entry.

This will allow the replacement — or relief bookkeeper, if your usual one is sick or takes holidays — to conduct a simple transaction search to see how similar transactions have been recorded.

Ensure software subscriptions are in your name

There are a lot of bookkeeping firms that include, as part of their monthly retainer, the cost of a subscription to Xero, QuickBooks or whichever accounting software you’re using. This is usually because the bookkeeper earns a small margin of the fee by holding it in their name.

Most of the time, there aren’t any problems, but there could be if, for any reason, you decide not to use the services of that bookkeeper anymore, and they still have control over your software subscription — the subscriber has to give permission for a subscription to be transferred.

A smarter idea is to subscribe to your accounting software in your name, no matter how easy it seems to go through your bookkeeper.

Need a qualified bookkeeper?

Is your business in need of a reliable bookkeeper to manage your daily or weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either remotely or in-person? Would you like to find someone with tertiary qualifications and the practical experience of having operated her own business in the past? 


find a local bookkeeper

Our National Bookkeeping website has recently gone through a significant upgrade. Visit National Bookkeeping to find a suitable and experienced person available to work in your area, or able to work anywhere in the cloud.

Or if you are a bookkeeper looking to expand your client list or find contract work, you can register and become part of our network for free


 

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Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

How Does QuickBooks Really Stack Up Against MYOB?

compare QuickBooks and MYOB
QuickBooks is a much simpler accounting package to use than its rival, MYOB.

WE RECENTLY INTRODUCED our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course because we can see that QuickBooks is fast becoming a serious and respected rival to the more established accounting software packages.

We recently wrote about how QuickBooks uses the SuperStream-compliant service KeyPay to deliver payroll services because QuickBooks itself isn’t actually SuperStream compliant. Currently, the payroll feature in QuickBooks is free for all Small Business plans, as the company further positions itself as the low-cost accounting software option for Aussie small businesses.

Continue reading Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

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The 3 Tell-Tale Signs Your Bookkeeper Isn’t Paying Attention

Are You Getting the Best from Your Bookkeeper?

find-a-good-bookkeeper
You don’t need to be a whizz at bookkeeping to recognise when your bookkeeper isn’t prioritising your business.

MANY BUSINESS OWNERS LACK an in-depth knowledge of the bookkeeping process so they hire a bookkeeper to manage it for them.

But this can also make it hard to know whether the bookkeeper they’ve hired is paying close attention to their business’ books or not.

Ricky is a tertiary qualified bookkeepers from Blacktown in NSW, and he reveals there are three tell-tale signs your bookkeeper isn’t paying attention.

1. They’re always behind with your books

This is pretty common among a lot of bookkeepers, and it’s usually because they’re not motivated to do a good job. A good way to nip this in the bud, is to communicate key dates or timeframes with your bookkeeper.

If you need bills entered every Wednesday and a profit and loss statement on the fifth of each month, say so. That way you’ll know whether snoozing on the job or not.

2. You accountant’s bill is still high

If the bill from your accountant is still as high as it was when you didn’t have anyone managing your bookkeeping, it’s a good sign that your bookkeeper’s work isn’t up to standard. If your accounts are unorganised and unbalanced, it means your accountant will have to go through and review the information before they can do their job. That’s double handling, and you need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

3. They don’t understand cash vs accrual

finding-the-best-bookkeeper
Is your bookkeeper puzzled? A good bookkeeper knows what they don’t know. If they’re unsure about cash accounting, they should let you know this.

Because many bookkeepers today, particularly contract and remote bookkeepers, got their start after cloud-accounting software became popular, lots of them don’t understand the difference between cash and accrual accounting systems simply because software like Xero and QuickBooks defaults to an accrual system.

Cash and accrual systems each have their own merits, depending on the size and complexity of the business. So it’s important that your bookkeeper knows the difference between and understand the benefits of each.

 

Does Your Business Need a GREAT Bookkeeper?

Tertiary-Qualified, Thoroughly-Vetted Bookkeeper Available in Sydney’s West

Like GPs, there’s usually a bookkeeper on every corner, but how do you find someone who you really trust and who genuinely has the best interests of your business at heart? Some business owners are unsure where to start when looking for a bookkeeper they can trust and rely on.

It’s also extremely concerning how many Australian small businesses suffer — to the point of insolvency — as a result of inadequate cash flow. A large portion of cash flow problems stem from credit and debt management and the systems business’ put in place to do this. This is something that can be handled by a competent and experienced bookkeeper. But it’s also about business owners understanding the need to make this a priority.

In finding the right bookkeeper, word of mouth can be helpful, but some people are reluctant to even do this for fear of losing a cherished and valuable resource. A great deal of trust is also placed in giving such sensitive financial information to bookkeepers and some people don’t like their bookkeeper doing work for other people they know.

If you’re looking for a reliable, thoroughly-vetted bookkeeper, capable of managing your daily/weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either remotely or in person, our National Bookkeeping directory features dozens of tertiary qualified bookkeepers available to assist you.

If you are located in Sydney’s western suburbs, Ricky from Blacktown, NSW, is a qualified bookkeeper with tertiary qualifications; he is also a registered BAS agent. Ricky has a great deal of experience in the day-to-day accounting functions of a small business, from invoicing, accounts receivable and payable, to payroll, financial analysis and reporting. Visit his profile page and request a quote for bookkeeping services.


find a local bookkeeper

Our National Bookkeeping website has recently undergone a significant upgrade so keep a look out for more stories about featured bookkeepers in forthcoming blogs. Join now and we can feature YOU in our articles too.

 

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6 Questions You Can Ask to Find the Cheapest Bookkeeper

Questions can ‘weed out’ bookkeepers until you get your perfect fit

Job interview questions to hire a good quality cheap and local bookkeeper with MYOB or Xero experienceI have been reviewing the chat requests we receive via National Bookkeeping and it confirms my own thoughts about bookkeepers and the rates that businesses pay for good bookkeepers. These rates have a lot to do with overheads and qualifications — and often very little to do with experience. Allow me to explain.

Most of the daily transactions (see Daily Transactions Courses for MYOB and Xero) performed by bookkeepers involve data entry and coding. This data entry work is repetitive and once a new bookkeeper or accounts person understands the tasks, (which is often quite quickly) they can be performed over and over again with little variation except for client details and total hours worked (I’m assuming invoicing for services provided).

In the case of invoicing your contract bookkeeper could then provide reports and followup with clients to make sure your debtors management is sorted out.

The hardest thing for some small businesses is understanding how to weed out exactly the bookkeeper they need — and I hope these questions make your job easier. Remember, it’s often the answer that helps you find the right person.

checklist for job interview questions for bookkeepersThe questions you should be asking a prospective bookkeeper:

  1. How long have you been performing bookkeeping work?
  2. What type of bookkeeping tasks can you perform?
  3. Are you familiar with cloud accounting software and, if so, which ones?
  4. When are you available to do bookkeeping work?
  5. Where are you based?
  6. Do you have professional indemnity insurance?

I’m going to further break down these questions and show you the answers you should be looking for. Remember that our goal with this case study is to find the cheapest bookkeeper for daily transactions accounting.

1. Bookkeeping Experience

This was once the most important aspect of a bookkeeper’s resume for employers because it demonstrated that this particular candidate has experience that will benefit the business. If the bookkeeper you’re looking for has plenty of experience, then follow up with Question 3 regarding cloud-based functionality and whether they’ve used the latest versions of MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks.

2. Bookkeeping Tasks

This question is important because if someone is educated enough to complete and lodge your BAS, or even lodge your end of year financials, then they’ll want to be charging for the skills they have. You may as well get your accountant to do your bookkeeping if you are prepared to pay for someone with high skills education and experience. Many bookkeepers have plenty of experience doing accounts receivable and accounts payable and all of the steps in between so if it’s a cheap bookkeeper you want, then weed out the ones who can lodge your BAS for you. Read more about bookkeeping tasks.

3. Cloud Accounting Software

It’s important to know if your bookkeeper is familiar with accounting software that is accessible in the cloud because they may know some of the advanced features that comes with that — like integrations with other cloud-based services for project management, estimating, time billing etc. It may also come in handy because they’ll be able to work at home, or even from remote locations, and be more available at potentially lower cost (less travel time and cost).

4. Work Availability

Many bookkeepers will SAY that they’re available whenever you need them, but in reality they each have their own set of requirements and they may not want to say this right up front for fear of limiting their chances of getting your work. Some bookkeepers are mums (or dads) and they need to fit into school hours, while others are really looking for a full-time or part-time job. Some bookkeepers will be prepared to work at night and on the weekend (others may only work at these times) whilst some bookkeepers will only want to work during business hours.

We all need to manage the work-life balance that comes with leading a fulfilling life, and for some people, this includes working at night. Some bookkeepers want to spend time with their kids during the day and work when they have quiet time. Some bookkeepers work for multiple clients and can only fit you in one half day a week. It’s important to understand where your bookkeeper sits in this area.

5. Bookkeeper Location

This is a pretty big consideration, even in the modern times of cloud-based bookkeeping because your bookkeeper’s location can affect how busy they are or how long it will take them to get into your office to do their work. We’ve had some examples where some of our team members live miles from the nearest town; therefore to have to travel there takes time and considerable cost. If you have faith in remote contractors and are willing to work with a bookkeeper who works from home you may find you’ll get the most ideal bookkeeper and the best price — this is something I managed to do when I closed EzyLearn’s bricks and mortar training centres and instead went totally online!

6. Do you have Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance?

This one is a biggie because if the bookkeeper has PI Insurance they’ll also have the trappings that comes with it like:

  • Professional association membership
  • CPD / CPE point requirements
  • Basic Education Requirements to attain their Registration

If a bookkeeper has PI insurance you’re probably talking to a Registered BAS Agent, as bookkeepers who attain this level of bookkeeping do so because they want to perform one of the most important tasks they can for a business — lodge the BAS. A Registered BAS Agent is governed by the same government authority that governs Tax Accountants — the Tax Practitioners Board (TPD). Indeed, many businesses already have a tax agent or accountant who is responsible for lodging their BAS. Therefore, I’ve found the biggest reason BAS agents are popular is because you know you’ll receive an excellent job on the tricky aspects of GST and Payroll, PAYG, Superannuation etc without paying accounting rates.

request-quote-for-myob and xero bookkeeping servicesI hope these questions help you filter a great bookkeeper from all the enquiries that come for your job ads and remember if you’re interested in finding a cloud-based bookkeeper, feel free to browse the National Bookkeeping Directory or Request a Quote.