How to choose a bookkeeper you can trust
Tradies are always pushed for time when running their own business. Hiring a bookkeeper to keep your accounts in line is a good idea so you have one less problem to worry about. Here are some tips to help you choose a bookkeeper you can trust.
Know what you need
The first thing you need to do is to assess your business needs so you know what sort of bookkeeper you need. As a tradie you have unique needs. Consider how many transactions you make and the services you require to keep your business on track.
Hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service
When you hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service, it can save you money. A business that offers a full service does everything from bookkeeping and invoicing to preparing and lodging BAS statements. They should use good software and give you good advice about the best accounting methods for your business and what expenses you can claim as a tradie.
Do they have industry experience?
The single most important thing is to hire a bookkeeper with experience working with tradies. This way they know how you operate and exactly what expenses you can claim. A bookkeeper with industry experience will easily understand your business and what it takes to do a good job. A good bookkeeper can give you good advice on how to improve your business operations to help it grow and become more successful.
Avoid hiring the cheapest bookkeeper
Cheap is not always the best. As a tradie you would already know this. Sure, you are working within a budget but you get what you pay for. If you think hiring an experienced bookkeeper that understands your industry is expensive, hiring a bad bookkeeper will cost you more. Can you afford that?
The beginner’s guide to bookkeeping
While the days of dusty ledgers and paper receipts are becoming a thing of the past, bookkeeping is here to stay. From better budgeting and tax preparation, to planning and peace of mind, good bookkeeping equals good business. But it’s so much more than writing down numbers in a ledger or a software program and tracking money in and out.
The short answer is that a bookkeeper tracks and records all of a business’ day-to-day financial transactions. That includes handling customer receipts, invoices, payments to suppliers, client billing, payroll, tracking and maintaining budgets, recording depreciation and reporting issues as they arise.
What’s the difference between accountants and bookkeepers?
At this point you may be asking yourself “isn’t that what accountants do?” Well, no. Bookkeepers are primarily concerned with the daily transactions of a business and handle more of the financial administration, while accountants take a more “big picture” approach to your financials, offering insights and information based on what bookkeepers do. Moreover, accountants often help business owners with tax strategy and planning, completing tax returns and financial forecasting.
Do I need to hire a bookkeeper?
That depends. Because bookkeepers and accountants work in tandem to provide you with a clear picture of your business, having both on staff is important as your operations grow. Initially, many small businesses opt to do it themselves or hire a bookkeeper part-time.
Get a good bookkeeping program
Explore the types of bookkeeping options available to you, which range from handwritten ledgers to Excel spreadsheets to automated systems, and choose the right solution for the way you work. If you can hire a part-time bookkeeper, talk to them about what they’ve used for similar clients and allow them to help you select the best option for your business.
How to Choose an Accounting Degree Program
Many people consider accounting the language of business. This age-old field remains a vital part of the modern commercial world. Companies across the nation need individuals who can understand numbers and make sense of their bottom line. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accounting jobs can expect steady growth across the next decade. The BLS projects that employment of accountants will grow at a rate of about 6% from 2018-2028, the average rate of growth for all occupations in the U.S. Accounting plays an integral role in the economy, and the profession continues to evolve.
Below, we cover everything you need to know to select the right accounting or finance degree for today’s business world. We explore the different accounting degrees available to accounting majors and examine the many factors to consider when selecting a degree program. We also explore what to look for in an accounting degree curriculum and the various specializations students can pursue. Additionally, we highlight the many accounting degree career paths open to new graduates, as well as the salaries that accountants typically earn in the modern economy. This guide concludes with answers to frequently asked questions about becoming an accountant.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER AN ACCOUNTING DEGREE
Earning a degree in accounting prepares you to enter a growing field that features robust demand. Every organization — whether it is a government, nonprofit, or for-profit entity — needs to know the state of its finances, which makes financial jobs on pace to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
Information and data drive today’s economy, and accountants hold the key to an organization’s financial information. Accountants often find themselves moving beyond bookkeeping and into boardrooms to help make decisions that propel companies forward. Some accountants also direct and develop accounting information systems, while others use their expertise to uncover fraud as forensic accountants. In short, an accounting degree opens an array of career possibilities.
HOW TO KNOW WHICH PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Finding the right accounting program requires that you first consider your personal and professional goals. Like other college majors, accounting programs encompass a broad range of topics, and each university boasts its own features and areas of expertise.
Bookkeeper or Accountant?
There is often confusion about the difference between bookkeepers and accountants, but any business requires both bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeeping is the foundation of accounting and while there is often an overlap between what bookkeepers and accountants do, it’s not a matter of one versus the other. Both have specialised experience and knowledge for the tasks they perform
What is the difference between Bookkeepers and Accountants?
Generally speaking, bookkeepers are across the business accounts on a more regular basis than accountants, as their job is to manage the day-to-day financial applications of the business. At the end of the financial year, they hand over a tidy set of accounts to the accountant.
Having a bookkeeper involved makes the job of an accountant a whole lot easier, as they take what the bookkeeper has done, make year-end adjustments for things like depreciation, FBT, home office expenses etc., and prepare tax returns and financial reports
Anything income tax or business structure related is usually the domain of an accountant. One of their responsibilities is to make sure you are meeting your tax obligations. They ensure that the business’s accounts accurately reflect the position of the business, and that you are claiming everything you are legally entitled to. They may also analyse the business’s financial reports, discuss with you its financial health and viability, and advise on how to improve business performance.
Many business owners love the business they are really good at and love what they do. But, the bookkeeping side of their business often becomes a dreaded chore and is usually not the best use of their valuable time. In contrast, bookkeepers love keeping your books tidy and will do everything they can to lighten your load. Plus, bookkeepers are much more efficient in processing data because that is their profession.
Ways to Make Bookkeeping Easier
When first starting a business, you’re asked to quickly absorb information on new topics and handle many tasks that you have probably never done before. And, unless you have previous experience with business financials, dealing with the economic side of a business will likely be new to you. With this in mind, we’ve put together tips to make the process simpler for you!
Keep Business and Personal Separate
Maintaining your businesses bookkeeping will be challenging enough without mingling your personal income and expenses. You need to keep your business receipts and invoices for five years, and sorting through a big pile trying to remember if that expense four months ago was personal or business is a waste of your valuable time. Establishing separate files, budgeting systems and bank accounts for your business expenses and income makes tracking and reporting much easier.
Choose the Right Bookkeeping Method for You
If your business is small enough, an Excel spreadsheet might meet your accounting needs for a while. But when your business begins to grow, you’ll need a more powerful solution. Accounting software can be a huge help by organizing your invoices, cataloguing receipts and generating the reports you need to make solid financial decisions with the click of a mouse.
And Keep up With It!
Bookkeeping is like any chore: the longer you procrastinate, the longer it takes to catch up. Unfortunately, ignoring that pile of statements and invoices won’t make them go away! Eventually, you’ll be forced to waste a day that you could be spending with friends or family entering numbers and sending late invoice reminders. Bookkeeping doesn’t have to be a daily chore, but don’t wait until the end of each quarter to pull all that data together.
Pick the Right Time
If you’re most productive and creative first thing in the morning, don’t use that time on your bookkeeping tasks. Determine a time of day or week when you can focus, but don’t need optimal brain function to work. That’s when you should catch up on your bookkeeping. Set this as an appointment in your schedule, and keep to it! If you’re finding this difficult, and that you are behind no matter what, it may be time to add a professional bookkeeper to your support team!