Many owners of small businesses have turned to various professionals who can help them run their enterprise in the best possible way, and one professional who can certainly help you is a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers are different from accountants in several key ways, and while bookkeepers deal mainly with your financial records and transactions, accountants can take care of audits, taxes, and so on. But if you are considering hiring a bookkeeping service or bookkeeper for your business, what do you really need to know about them so you can hire a good one? Here’s everything you need to know about bookkeepers – and what they can do for your enterprise.
The difference between the two
As the term implies, a bookkeeper will take charge of your books. They are often trained as well as certified to make sure your accounts are in order, and they can even offer guidance and advice, particularly in terms of the deadlines and timelines you need to follow for proper financial documentation and reporting.
An accountant can also concentrate on financial reporting as well as business processes and analyses, and they can definitely give you advice. Most of the time, these two will work in close conjunction with each other, but if you are a small business, you may need only a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service, which can save you both time as well as money. Oftentimes, larger companies may require both a bookkeeper and an accountant, so it really depends on the size and complexity of your business as well.
The training they require
Bookkeepers can be laymen, but it would be better if you acquire one who has the proper certification and training. Such bookkeepers can also be members of a professional authority or organisation, like AAT. You should also take a close look at their experience, particularly when it comes to businesses that are similar to your own. If they have worked with similar businesses in the past or are still currently working with them, this is a good indication that they will know how to deal with your requirements and have prior knowledge regarding your business procedures and processes.
The core duties of your bookkeeper
There are two major tasks that any business owner needs to do for financial accounting: bank reconciliation and data entry. If you don’t take care of these, all your other bookkeeping and financial recording tasks will be affected. So your bookkeeper or the bookkeeping services you choose should handle these core duties, but there are other things they can do for you as well.
Data entry is the recording of all your financial transactions, and it involves balancing your books. Bank reconciliation, on the other hand, is making sure that all the books are balanced against your bank statements as well as other key documents so your records are completely accurate.
Your bookkeeper can take charge of monthly reporting, which helps summarise the financial standing or position of your business, and they can also take care of your accounts receivable and credit control, your accounts payable, your payroll, and even end-of-year reports. They can perform more advanced tasks depending on their skill and experience, such as business strategy, tax filing, training your staff on financial software solutions, and meeting with your accountant, especially in terms of tax concerns and financial details and queries.