Many business owners assume that their accountant won’t like them hiring a third-party bookkeeper. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A good bookkeeper, like those at Admin Army, are worth their weight in gold. Your accountant knows this and if you collaborate openly between business owner, accountant and bookkeeper, your business will run smoother and more efficiently.
Your Bookkeeper Is Not Your Accountant
There is a difference between bookkeeping and accounting. A bookkeeper and an accountant do vastly different jobs. Yes, there is some cross-over but that’s actually a smaller area than you may think. Your bookkeeper and your accountant ideally have a very complimentary set of skills and responsibilities. They should work together for your benefit.
They’re Different Development Pathways
Your Accountant should have years of formal education, work experience and a commitment to ongoing professional development. A great bookkeeper can have a far less formal education. However, they will share the experience and dedication to continuous development that your accountant has.
This isn’t to say that one is better than the other. Your accountant and bookkeeper both have specialist skills knowledge and experience that is key to the jobs they perform. Accounting has always been a far more structured and formal pathway through high school, university and professional bodies. Bookkeeping has organically developed over the years as the ‘gig’ economy has. Administrators in medium and large businesses have moved into self-employment and transferred their skills and experience to helping small businesses.
They’re Complimentary Roles In Your Business
Your bookkeeper is going to be logging into your business accounting system on a regular basis to process the day-to-day transactions. Essentially, your bookkeeper takes the raw data that your business generates and reconciles it into usable information.
Accountants are increasingly becoming your trusted business advisors. They no longer just meet with you once a year to tick off all the compliance. Your accountant now meets with you throughout the year. They develop a long-term strategy with you, plan cash flow and set sales targets and track your performance.
Your bookkeeper is a vital part of this. They take on the bookwork that otherwise distracts you from meeting your targets and executing your strategy.
Streamlined Support & Compliance
When your bookkeeper and accountant work together, you and your business are the winners The right team can let you focus on doing the work you love while your paperwork and admin is looked after by an expert team.
Better Books, Faster Financials
It’s a harsh reality that an accountant is going to trust the work of another professional more than that of a DIY business owner. This means that once your bookkeeper has turned your raw business data into usable information, your accountant will have a quicker time processing that information.
With a bookkeeper, your accountant can skip through data processing and straight to the data integrity and accuracy checking. They can then make adjustments as needed for end of year to optimise your tax position and have your finalised financial statements ready in a timely manner.
This means you can get more from your accountant for the same cost as they will have more time to look at the information and assess it against your strategy as well as your personal and business circumstances.
Proactive Accounting & Support
With your bookkeeper keeping the books sorted on a day to day basis, your accountant can track your monthly performance with ease.
This is one of the biggest shifts from the old accounting firms to the modern ones. Your accountant is now able to run monthly KPI reports to track you against your budgets. You don’t have to get lost in the information, they can pluck out the key items you need to be aware of and condense them onto a single page. Giving you more insight than ever before while also letting you focus on doing the things you love rather than paperwork.
This proactive support allows your accountant to better forecast tax liabilities and adjust any payment advice as necessary. It also allows them to spot issues before they become serious and work with you to limit or eliminate them.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
Your business can benefit greatly from the combined skills of both a bookkeeper and an accountant. Don’t hesitate to open a discussion with your accountant about a bookkeeper that they could recommend to help you out. Or with your bookkeeper about an accountant they recommend for specialist guidance and advice.
There is no one-size-fits-all accountant and bookkeeper combo. Every accountant and bookkeeper is also different in terms of their skills and how they deliver their services. Take the time to find the right match and don’t hesitate to invest in the right team.
Chris Mercer is Managing Director of MBP Advisors + Accountants, a modern accounting firm that specialises in business development and advisory as well as accounting and tax compliance.