The use of bookkeepers has grown substantially over recent years. This article examines the merits of using a bookkeeper in your business, and how to get the most out of the relationship.
When many people think of bookkeeping, thoughts turn to looking after petty cash, entering invoices into a software system, and keeping receipts together. The reality though is that the modern-day bookkeeping professional offers a range of services that can be utilised by your business including:
- Management reporting on business performance
- Data entry into accounting software
- Cash flow projections
- Payroll tax returns and compliance
- Preparation of year-end financial records for your Accountant
- Payroll and superannuation processing including dealing with the ATO and superannuation funds
- Activity Statement preparation and lodgement
- Record keeping
- Software training.
If you do decide to engage a contract Bookkeeper, then unless they are an employee of your business or unless they are only undertaking basic services (such as bank reconciliation, basic date entry such as entering invoices onto a computer program) then they must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as a BAS Agent. If they are not registered, then they may be breaking the law. You can check their registration on the Tax Practitioner Board website //www.tpb.gov.au. They will also have their own BAS Agent number which along with the Tax Practitioner Board logo they may or may not display in their email signature.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Aside from being registered with the Tax Practitioners Board, what should you look for in a contract bookkeeper? Consider the following:
Personal traits that fit with your team
- Do they understand your business and your industry?
- Do they have a natural affinity with you and the personnel they will be dealing with in your business?
- Are they knowledgeable and add value to your business?
- Are they reliable and punctual, with strong attention to detail?
Your bookkeeper should be able to demonstrate that they have experience relevant to the assignment you are offering. Many will likely have testimonials to evidence this.
Back-Up and Support
A good bookkeeper will have back-up and support that they can use to quickly settle issues that may be outside their skillset or experience. Back-up and support can take the form of educational materials, explanatory resources and access to other qualified practitioners from whom the bookkeeper can seek feedback and support should any technical issues arise. This support may be in the form of membership of a bookkeeping industry organisation such as Australian Bookkeepers Network //www.austbook.net/ .
To read the complete article please see the ATR Bi Monthly update for Jan/Feb 2017 – this can be accessed via your exclusive ATR Members Area //www.mytaxsavers.com.au/login
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