Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Professional Bookkeeper for your Business

There have been a number of changes in the last 12 months affecting business and bookkeepers. While there are many bookkeepers available in the current market you should ensure that the one you choose complies with the following:
·         They hold the relevant certifications and qualifications.
  Are they a registered Business Activity Statement (BAS) Agent?
 Do they hold a certificate IV in finance or higher, such as an Associate Diploma of Accounting. 
   Do they hold professional indemnity insurance?
·         They are able to provide you with the information that you require in a timely manner. For example if you have a bookkeeper who works alone and has one hundred clients can you be sure that they will provide your business with sufficient attention.
·         They are available when you need them. Not all bookkeepers work outside of 9-5 standard office hours, so you may want a bookkeeper who is available on weekends or after hours.

Qualified Bookkeepercan provide you with information that will highlight any areas that require investigation and change and will ensure that those debts are collected on a regular basis. From 1 July 2011 all Registered BAS Agents are required to hold adequate professional indemnity insurance. This assists in providing insurance for not only the registered BAS agent but also for their clients. One of the major causes of business failure is the lack of understanding of the financial information that is provided to the business owner and the lack of cash flow management.
A bookkeeper should be enquiring of the business what sort of information they are looking for and providing specific reports relating to those requirements. For example a business that relies on cash will need to have cash reports more regularly than one that may have a large cash surplus.

These Bookkeeping processes include

·         Data entry of creditors and debtors invoices and ensuring they are reconciled.
·         Processing of payrolls and accounting for and processing Superannuation Guarantee payments, including any salary sacrifice arrangements.
·         Preparation of accounts for year end to enable the accountant to prepare tax returns, including the reconciliation and preparation of PAYG Summaries.
·         Preparation of budgets, including cash flow and monitoring on a regular basis.
·         Preparation and lodgement of BAS statutory requirements.
Providing your client with the relevant financial information will ensure they can make informed business decisions in a timely manner. Providing a Profit report six months after the event is irrelevant and will not assist the business.

These changes relating to bookkeepers ensures that the bookkeeper you contract to undertake your financial processing and reporting holds the relevant qualifications and certifications. It also means that they are up to date with the latest changes in legislation. The changes to the legislation make bookkeepers accountable for their actions and bring them into a more professional business field.