Any business owner will tell you with complete honesty that if there’s one thing you can’t afford, it’s a poor, incompetent, or inexperienced bookkeeper.
Funnily enough, that’s also exactly what makes a good bookkeeper so valuable and worth retaining, no matter their fee!
While it won’t completely protect you from financial headaches, good bookkeeping can dramatically lower your odds of running into trouble later.
How can you avoid bad bookkeeping services? Here are just a couple of things that point towards a dodgy bookkeeper.
1) Your bookkeeper makes frequent bookkeeping errors
The proof is in the pudding. In a bookkeeper’s case, in the numbers they give you.
Committing mistakes is part of the learning process, often serving as a reminder not to repeat it next time.
But if your bookkeeper keeps on making the same mistakes (and frequently), then you might want to start about seeing somebody else for your business bookkeeping!
Frequent bookkeeping errors can prove costly. It paints an inaccurate picture of your financial position, and can often be the cause of bad calls.
It’s not just mean money, either – the time taken to correct mistakes can be just as costly, especially for businesses that need to be agile.
If you notice your bookkeeper’s reports aren’t quite lining up with your bank statements, we recommend taking a closer look.
2) Your business bookkeeper is all over the place
If you ask us, the most important attribute any bookkeeper can have (second only to an eye for numbers, of course) is organisation.
A large part of bookkeeping is being able to find the right financial records and information and putting them into the right place. While modern bookkeeping technology has made this part of the job easier, a keen eye for details is still necessary for accounts that reconcile properly with your financial statements.
While a disorganised bookkeeper isn’t the end of the world, it is a potential liability in the making. What if this disorganisation leads to a crucial mistake being made later on?
In many businesses, this is the result of not hiring a dedicated bookkeeper (either internal or external). Many pass off bookkeeping duties to another member of staff, who often has plenty of other things on their plate.
Needless to say, this puts you at risk of not having the records that you need when you need them. Not to mention, the increased potential for mistakes or for transactions to go completely missing.
3) How good are their answers to your questions?
While interpreting the numbers is traditionally considered the domain of an accountant, your bookkeeper also has a wealth of knowledge.
There’s nothing saying you can’t go to them for additional insight and advice.
If your bookkeeper can’t give you their take – or worse, can’t even provide up-to-date and accurate financial information – then you might be setting yourself up for unstable financial decisions based on wrong assumptions.
Test your bookkeeper – ask them about some of the more esoteric parts of your bookkeeping and see what type of information they’re able to give.
If they don’t bring anything new to the table, it might be worth thinking about bringing in a new bookkeeper.
4) They just don’t know what to do
Your business bookkeeper is responsible for a lot of different tasks, including:
- Reconciling cash flows
- Making detailed budgetary reports
- Processing invoices and payroll
- Forecasting revenue and profit
- Performing inventory
- Filing tax returns and BAS lodgement
- Reconciling accounts
The list of responsibilities is endless. Unless you’ve formally trained as a bookkeeper, there’s no guarantee the staff member you’ve currently assigned bookkeeping to is up to the task.
Watch out for passive bookkeepers who wait wait for instructions and lack initiative.
5) Inefficient bookkeeping methods
Let’s not beat around the bush: bookkeeping can be time-consuming.
Professional bookkeepers know their stuff, and know how to maximise their output. They have established processes and systems that help them work faster, and with greater accuracy too!
Avoid dodgy bookkeeping services – call a professional!
Maximum Business Solutions provides efficient, effective and secure bookkeeping systems for small and medium-sized business all over Melbourne.
The result? Smarter bookkeeping, cleaner accounts, and better business transparency.
We work with your business to ensure good and healthy financial accounts for your business’ needs. That includes services like:
- Debt collection
- Payroll solutions
- Balance sheets
- Cloud software implementation
- Audit preparation