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Australian Bookkeepers Network's What skills can I expect my Bookkeeper to have?

When looking to engage a bookkeeper, you should have an understanding of the key deliverables you are looking for. Be clear on the functions you are looking to outsource, and ensure those functions are within the skill set of the bookkeeper you are considering engaging. This is imperative to get the most from your outsourcing experience.

Different bookkeepers have different skill sets, often reflecting their background or particular areas of interest. Some also develop areas of specialisation. In general, however, bookkeepers normally have the following skills/knowledge:

 

Other than the above general traits, some bookkeepers may have particular specialties including:

 

 

What a Typical Bookkeeper Does

Typical bookkeeper responsibilities include, but are not limited to:-

Obviously, if there are any other duties that you would require your bookkeeper to do, always ask.  If they feel that they do not have the necessary skill set, then they may be able to recommend someone to assist you.

Australian Bookkeepers Network's 10 Reasons to Outsource your Bookkeeping

The Australian Bookkeepers Network has put together a list of reasons why outsourcing your Bookkeeping is a great idea!  I have therefore copied it below for your information.

  1. Free you and your key personnel up to focus on your core business.
  2. Save you money. A contract bookkeeper is significantly more efficient at dealing with bookkeeping issues and accounting software. This efficiency means the cost of you performing your own bookkeeping is likely to be higher. The opportunity cost (due to your time being spent on bookkeeping) may be significant again.
  3. Offer you the ability to tap into a knowledge base not available internally.
  4. Give you peace of mind knowing that you have complied with your legislative obligations.
  5. Enable efficient dealings with the Tax Office, including lodgements.
  6. Improve your financial reporting abilities, thus improving your access to key information with which to run your business.
  7. Allow you to leverage the bookkeeper’s software knowledge, ensuring that you’re using the best software applications for your business.
  8. Streamline your accountant’s role by providing them with better information, which in turn saves you more money.
  9. Give you access to specialist services including payroll, software installation & training, debtor management, cash flow planning, management reporting, and troubleshooting.
  10. Provide better continuity of service when compared with casual employees, and a flexible service that can be readily scaled up or down, ensuring you only pay for what you are using.

 

Thus, when deciding whether or not to outsource your bookkeeping, start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Will outsourcing my bookkeeping free up time and resources that I can allocate to more appropriate and/or more important work?
  2. Is bookkeeping the best way for me to spend my time?
  3. Can someone else do my bookkeeping better and faster than me?

 

 

Australian Bookkeepers Network's Outsourcing Myths Debunked

Again taken from the Australian Bookkeepers Network's website is a list of Myths associated with outsourcing your Bookkeeping, and the explanation why they are in fact myths.

MYTH #1 I don’t need to outsource because I can do it myself

Outsourcing has nothing to do with your ability to perform the function yourself. You outsource because you have made a conscious decision as to which functions are of the highest value to you and the best use of your time.

MYTH #2 It’s cheaper if I do it myself

Rarely is this the case. Consider the raw costs involved in performing a task in house compared with outsourcing. If you accept that an expert is more efficient than you (or your in-house option), then consider the cost of the extra time you spend performing the function. For example, if the expert is 50% faster than you and you spend $50 for one hour’s worth of the outsourced function, then divide $50 by 150 (1 plus 50%) and you have valued your time at $37.50 to do the same task. But perhaps the greatest fallacy is considering only the raw cost of the function. What is the opportunity cost resulting from you devoting your time to a function that you could outsource? Invariably, outsourcing the task to a professional and devoting the time you save to sales and marketing, customer and supplier relations, or strategic planning will yield a better return on your time.

MYTH #3 It’s faster if I do it myself

Unless you are a skilled operator of software and have a detailed working knowledge of tax and GST laws, then rarely will it be cheaper to do your bookkeeping yourself.

MYTH #4 The job is only done right if I do it myself

As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we don’t know everything. And unfortunately, it is also the case that we don’t know what we don’t know! We might think we are doing a sterling job but if we do not understand the tax and GST laws or the intricacies of software, we might be making inadvertent mistakes or even dealing with our bookkeeping at a sub-optimal level.

MYTH #5 It’s too hard to find someone to outsource the job to

Finding a good bookkeeper doesn’t have to be difficult—as long as you’re looking in the right places. Here are some good places to start: