“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” – William Shakespeare
Digital revolution means many business roles have had ‘greatness thrust upon them’.
Information at the press of a button, automation, cloud accounting has increased efficiency so the bookkeeper’s role has been on an entrepreneurial journey of its own.
Bean counters who have chosen to run with the entrepreneurial spirit and grab hold of new technology are the ones who will remain in business over the next decade and you could argue many other professions are in the same position.
Finding a bookkeeper with the right skills that strictly adheres to regulatory and professional standards can become your business’s biggest asset.
Australia has around 250,000 bookkeepers (according to Matthew Addison, executive director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers), he further sets out that bookkeepers providing Business Activity Statement Services need to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board, which has its own legislated code of conduct, a complaints mechanism and a team that investigates complaints. However, this only captures around 12,000 registered bookkeepers leaving the rest to self-regulate and keep up-to-date with the ongoing evolution of a bookkeeper’s role.
Just to give you an idea of how the role of bookkeeping has changed since the back-end of the 20th century, the following timeline displays some of the major advancements:
1979: The world’s first spreadsheet software was launched – VisiCalc
1983: QuickBooks was introduced
1985: Windows 1.0 was launched.
1996: Hotmail was launched and email was introduced
1999: Data-Tech became MYOB
2001: Cloud accounting was launched with Saasu.
2007: The launch of Xero also saw the instigation of free use of practice software.
In a world of automation, the best bookkeepers are turning from simple recording of incoming and outgoing of expenditure to more financial analyst and some in the industry are looking at the role progressing further into that of a trusted advisor for the business.
Finding a bookkeeper with the right skill set now may save your business in the future, as both the role and your business benefit from the growth of the bookkeeper. If your accountant recommends a bookkeeper then that person is worth noting down because if your accountant trusts them then you should trust them too.
Technology and innovative cloud based accounting means that your financial data is at your fingertips, at any moment and much of what was expected of a bookkeeper is now automated, so why call on your bookkeeper at all?
A good bookkeeper will understand your business inside and out and know what solutions to offer in cloud based accounting or whether to invest in new retail space or whether to hire that additional staff member. A good bookkeeper will assist in growing your business into the future, acting as your trusted advisor.
Of course the level of trust and advice that you take on board depends on the bookkeeper’s experience, industry insight and background. For some businesses a VCFO (Virtual Chief Financial Officer) is more in order, however to make it worth the expenditure in this level of expert knowledge you would need to be operating in around the $1 million turnover and have a strategic direction for your business. If that is something you are aiming for then start with a VCFO who provides a simple bookkeeping service, that way you are developing the relationship and trust from an early business outset. Click here to our blog on “What a VCFO can do for your business”
Understanding your business takes both informal and formal training, so a bookkeeper with strong experience and a passion for technology, financial reporting and planning are good indicators that you have found a bookkeeper worth the investment.
A bookkeeper’s role is changing, in the right direction, because what the bookkeeper offers in today’s world will be vastly different to what the expectation will be over the next few years.
It’s an exciting time for the bookkeeper and if they have embraced new technology and are excited by the changes then they will really enjoy the current entrepreneurial and business landscape.
Cloud CFO provides customised CFO and bookkeeping services for small to medium businesses, helping them to understand their financial position, manage overall business performance and grow their business. Please email us at email@example.com or post your questions in the comments.