Good bookkeeping, which should be a goal for all businesses, requires accuracy, consistency, expertise and regular attention. It can help keep the owner informed, avoid waste in a business and provide the first warning sign if something is going wrong.
Too often the reality is that the processing of the pile of paperwork that builds up in the corner is a rushed task late at night, over a weekend when you would rather be spending time with family or taking a well-earned break. Little attention is given to the opportunities around the process, as the Next Job is looming.
In a larger business, the bookkeeping is often delegated to a PA, or an administrator, who may have no understanding of the logic behind the instructions they’ve been given. They’re reliable though, and can be trusted with the sensitive information.
The outcome of good bookkeeping is precise management information that empowers the Business Owner, but the processing of the source documents and all that it entails isn’t good use of a busy business owner’s time. The key is finding a suitable alternative that frees up the business owner while keeping data secure and ensuring accurate and timely data.
We don’t offer bookkeeping ourselves, as we can add more value for our clients in other ways. Instead we’ve identified a number of certified and experienced bookkeepers, both locally to us and further afield, who complete the necessary processes to the quality we would require. We can make any necessary introductions and work closely with them.
This way of working allows us all to make the most difference to you, while we can focus on areas that add more value.
We manage the overall process, liaise with the business owners and the appropriate bookkeeper as necessary, particularly in the early days of the relationship or should issues arise.
Otherwise we leave the relationship to develop to enable the bookkeeper and client to work closely together.
What we do offer is a FREE Premium Dext licence (formerly ReceiptBank) for every client, because we want to help reduce the bookkeeping burden as far as possible.
The licence comes with sufficient transactions and licences to enable every business to benefit from the efficiencies it offers. Whether you have an internal or external bookkeeper, the system can provide a huge time saving and improve accuracy and consistency too.
As certified users of Xero and Quickbooks, we can also offer support and guidance for you or your bookkeeper, through the software, suggesting ways to streamline your existing processes. We can also suggest ‘bolt-on’ apps that can make life easier still. Find out more about the benefits of Cloud Accounting Software here.
Bookkeeping is not all about the software though, it’s about the knowledge and confidence that the right information is being recorded in the right way. As mentioned above, without experience or support, this is often left until the last minute or until just before the VAT Return is due to be filed.
We all know how many demands there are on everyone’s time these days, and working through ‘the books’ on a Sunday afternoon to get the VAT up to date isn’t good for anyone!
- Family relationships suffer
- The quality of the records suffers
- The knowledge that the pile is waiting hangs over you, spoiling the rest of the weekend…
The experts can process far quicker, more accurately and more consistently; what is the opportunity cost of you NOT passing the responsibility on?
Talk to us now to solve this, once and for all, and we’ll give you back your evenings and weekends and the peace of mind to enjoy them!
Cloud packages have revolutionised accounting processes, but Software can now offer so much more!
Our service is entirely bespoke but we include a range of additional features in our service for every client at no additional cost.
It sometimes feels that the Accountancy industry has its own language, so here are our translations for you…
How often should my bookkeeping be done?
Ideally, certain tasks within the bookkeeping function should be completed daily. The minimum we’d recommend would be weekly, so that you know where the business stands, and can use the information in your bookkeeping system to make informed decisions.
- Reconciling and updating the bank is easier than ever with bank feeds. Uploading invoices to Dext (Formerly ReceiptBank) can be completed in minutes, as can uploading of expenses, whether to Dext or Xero Expenses.
- Sales invoices should be out of the door as quickly as is humanly possible, as they won’t get paid if they’ve not been sent! With Apps and cloud software, this can be done in just a few mouse clicks so it’s well worth taking half an hour to get your processes in place to remove any bottlenecks that you may have.
Daily bookkeeping should take most businesses no more than half an hour each day, but the benefits can be huge. (Obviously if you have significant numbers of transactions, this may need slightly longer, but talk to us if this is the case as there are bound to be efficiencies that will reduce the burden, and even if it takes more than half an hour, there are still benefits from this being a daily occurrence than it being left until the end of the month or similar.)
What if I get something wrong on the bookkeeping?
Don’t worry! We all make mistakes, and these days the online software packages allow for them. Xero and Quickbooks in particular make it easy to make changes, and have very good online support that can help. Clients can also always call us if they get stuck, or have entered something incorrectly. We’ll have access to their software so can pop in, make any adjustments, and talk them through what we’ve done and why.
Should I pass my bookkeeping to an administrator or to my PA?
Absolutely! If they take the time to do the right training using the online options, or external training support, this makes perfect sense. You can choose which areas of the system them have access to, if you want to keep areas and information for your eyes only, but it’s a great idea to delegate some of the more mundane aspects. You can spend that time on more valuable tasks.
Administrators and PAs tend to be methodical and structured people which is a really good start, and a great trait for anyone doing the bookkeeping. Systems such as Xero are far more user friendly than they used to be, so you don’t need to have previous financial experience to be able to understand them and know what you are doing.
Moving accountancy firms is not something you should take on lightly. We have now been working with Chris and Liz Baranov for the best part of a year and I have to say I could not be more pleased with the service we get.
They take a genuine interest in our business (which makes you feel like they are part of your business). They are happy to answer the sporadic questions you have when running a business such as “can you remind me how to do XYZ in Xero”, which is so important when you are short of time running a small business. And they add value to what we are doing with their weekly email updates, which is a nice touch.
I’m really pleased we have changed our accountants to Baranov Associates, and feel much more in control of our financial position thanks to Chris and Liz. Highly recommend these guys.
Mr S Norris, Carefree Campers Limited
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