The Value of a Bookkeeper

Posted 5 May '18

The Value of a Bookkeeper

Why do some businesses undervalue what a Bookkeeper does? We recently quoted $110 per hour to do some work. It was high end Bookkeeping not just data entry. Investigating why the accounts did not balance and fixing up payroll. We were told that we were too expensive and the could not justify spending that much money.  As a comparison, we need some work completed on my webpage and the cheapest quote was $165 per hour.

This was very surprising. Bookkeeping is not a hobby it is a profession. As a Bookkeeper and Registered BAS Agent we need to keep insurance, stay registered with the Tax Practitioners Board attend training to maintain our education levels for both knowledge and the software that we  use.

Bookkeeping used to be viewed as data entry. Anyone could do it. With the changes in technology that is no longer the case. We use artificial intelligence (AI) to help bring the information into client’s accounts. The role of the Bookkeeper is now to ensure that the information that has been put into the accounts is coded correctly for reporting, GST and tax. We use Hubdocs as a solution. This allows us to capture invoices, receipts and bank statements to speed up the data entry. By using auto syncing common invoices can easily be scanned to Hubdocs and then imported into the software ready for matching to payments or to be paid at the end of month.

Some businesses think that Bookkeeping is Bank Feeds.  Bank feeds are a fantastic addition to software but if not managed correctly can be costly. Most software “suggest” where the information should be allocated to. The business owner or unqualified bookkeeper will happily press okay or match and magically they all go away from the dashboard. These may go to the incorrect code or include GST when there is no GST. This will have an affect on the BAS and the end of year Tax return.

When we take on a new client the first thing we do is a bank reconciliation as part of the business health check. We have seen bank accounts being out of balance by thousands of dollars due to mismanagement of bank feeds. 

Bookkeepers need to have knowledge of payroll. Australian payroll is very intricate with the number of awards that staff could fall under. Underpaying of staff by not understanding the award can be costly for small businesses. we have seen businesses fail an ATO payroll audit as they had not taken advice from their Bookkeeper. 

Most Bookkeepers will pick certain industries to work with, which means that can use their expertise in these industries to help improve businesses. This is a benefit to the business owner. 

Bookkeepers are here to help businesses but we also have our own business that we need to run. A lot of us employ staff and have the overheads that go along with this.

If you are looking for a qualified and reliable bookkeeper who knows the rules, you won’t get that for $40 an hour.

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