Is your Bookkeeper Up To Industry Best Practice?

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve thought about clients whom I have loved working with.

It may be just business but it does get personal. We work hard to build a business together, even in my capacity as an outsourced bookkeeper.

As with any relationship, sometimes it can go sour. Usually it’s nothing more than just having the wrong chemistry. Sometimes it could be as bad as one party being totally unprofessional.

But there are other reasons to consider breaking up. Do you know the sign that it’s time to bid adieu to your bookkeeper?


1 – “I want to switch to an online accounting system but my bookkeeper doesn’t seem to know much”

I can’t even begin to list down all the benefits of keeping your books in the cloud, but here’s a few to consider

  • The ability to work anytime and anywhere? Check.
  • Having a peace of mind knowing that your documents are protected from fire, water damage and catastrophe? Check.
  • Easier collaboration with your staff members and bookkeeper? Check.
  • Faster payment processing for your customers? Check.

In this day and age, a bookkeeper has to keep up with the latest technology. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to online accounting software. I’ve tried a few over the years and Xero is still my favourite.


2 – “My bookkeeper keeps tonnes of files and prints on paper when we work”

It might not seem a big deal now but what if one of you misplace or lose a file? If you are still using a paper-based system, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Reducing paper usage also helps reduce the clutter in your office.

Besides, I have a particular liking for Mother Nature. Please save the trees. It’s the least you can do for the environment.


3 – “When I ask for data, my bookkeeper can’t provide it until much later.”

Time is money in business. If your bookkeeper takes days or weeks to get you the data or analytics you need, maybe it’s time for a breakup.

It should be a quick turnaround. Your bookkeeper should be able to pull up the numbers easily if he or she has a good system in place. They shouldn’t be digging into a library of files or have to crunch numbers when you need information urgently.


4 – “I have to wait until the end of the quarter to know my profit or cash position.”

Your financial numbers should always be in shipshape and up to date. Your bookkeeper shouldn’t be tidying up your numbers at the last minute when your BAS is due at the end of the quarter. With an online accounting system, you always have a finger on the pulse of your business.


5 – “I don’t know how much money is owed to me or how much money I owe my creditors.”

This problem is the same as above. For the sake of a healthy cash flow, you need to know these numbers. Your cash flow will be in trouble the longer it takes to get paid. Likewise, your reputation and credit score will be in trouble the longer it takes you to pay up. A good bookkeeper should be able to give you this information without hesitation.


6 – “I’ve never discussed how my company is performing with my bookkeeper.”

A good bookkeeper knows whether a company is going south or going places. After all, they work with the nitty gritty financial details of your business.

You will be wasting a precious resource and opportunity if you’ve never asked your bookkeeper how your company is really going. A good bookkeeper will share this information without being prompted. You can track your business performance over the years and even discuss what needs to change to hit your goals.


7 – “I don’t have a relationship where I can speak to my bookkeeper anytime.”

I believe that a good bookkeeper should feel like another staff member of your company. Why not? They process your books, which is an essential operation in any business.

Thus, you should cultivate a healthy working relationship with your bookkeeper. It would be great if you can just pick up the phone to discuss an issue or idea with them. It shouldn’t be a quarterly affair or worse, a yearly affair when you need to file taxes and close the books for the end of the financial year.   If you would like a different perspective on things book a “next action” chat with me now by clicking here.


Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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