What to Look For in a 21st Century Bookkeeper

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As a business owner, unless you have bookkeeping skills and experience, it’s highly likely you’re going to need the services of a bookkeeper.

However, it’s also important to realise that not all ‘bookkeepers’ are created equal.

Bookkeeping is a highly skilled profession that requires a lot more than simply recording numbers in a journal or software package. A professional bookkeeper understands the meaning behind the data, and they can offer insights that can help you save time and money, improve profitability, and achieve your business goals.

So, how do you go about finding a bookkeeper with the right qualities? Here are six top qualities to look for.

1. Qualifications

Bookkeeping has become more standardised & also regulated in Australia than in the past. Bookkeepers are now expected to have qualifications (for example, a minimum Cert IV in Bookkeeping or Accounting) and to be registered as a BAS Agent. BAS Agents must also have professional indemnity insurance to cover them for liability.

2. Knowledge and experience

Some people might call themselves bookkeepers because they have experience entering data into an accounting system such as XERO or MYOB. However, a truly experienced bookkeeper grasps the basics of accounting and will have up-to-date knowledge of GST, PAYG, ATO compliance, superannuation requirements, financial reporting and more.

3. A good track record

It’s important to check the record of any bookkeeper you are considering. If you are going to employ a bookkeeper in-house, you should check their references and employment history. If you are going to partner with an external bookkeeping firm, you can find out more about them by checking out their testimonials, and by asking the firm if you can talk to some of their existing clients.

4. Technology skills

A modern bookkeeper needs to be able to use current software packages and various add-on programs and to be comfortable doing so. To get the most out of these software packages, they should be fully-trained and preferably have certification in the relevant platform.

5. Business savviness

A professional bookkeeper will have a good understanding of business generally. They will also take the time to understand what your individual business is about – including how it operates, what is important to you, and what your goals are.

6. Communication & trustworthiness

You want a bookkeeper that you feel comfortable with and that you can trust when it comes to discussing your finances. It’s also important to have a bookkeeper that comes out from behind a screen to share insights. For example, they might suggest ways you could improve your cashflow, or perhaps explain how you could save money on your expenses.

Consider partnering with a professional bookkeeping firm

When you’re looking for the best bookkeeper, there are certain advantages to partnering with a reputable bookkeeping firm. For a start, as well as getting expertise, you won’t have to worry about setting up the new bookkeeper on your payroll system, or about what will happen when they are sick or go on leave. 

At Bookit, our team has more than 120 years of combined experience in providing premium bookkeeping services, and we offer a dedicated account manager for every client. Our services cover the full 52 weeks of the year, which means our clients don’t have to worry about holidays or absences. If you’d like more information, feel free to get in touch for a chat.

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