Bookkeepers: 6 Things That Your Bookkeeper Can Do For You
Bookkeepers: Six things that your bookkeeper can do for you. The world of bookkeeping is a mysterious one. What exactly do bookkeepers do? There’s no simple answer to this question. Bookkeepers wear many different hats depending on the needs of the person or business they’re helping. However, there are a few things that pretty much every bookkeeper can do to help you. I’ll call these the ‘core talents’ of a bookkeeper. We’ll get to those in a minute. First, let’s talk about why your small business needs a bookkeeper in the first place.
Why your small business needs a bookkeeper?
This might be a simple question, but it’s the most important one. In order to answer this question, let me ask you another question. Did you start your business to do bank reconciliations every month? I’m willing to bet that you’re shaking your head and saying “Hell no” to that question. That’s exactly why you need a bookkeeper. Now that we’ve established that, let’s look at what a bookkeeper can do besides bank reconciliations.
What can bookkeepers do?
Like I said, there’s no simple answer to this question. Just like any field of work, there are many things they can do, and it will be different depending on the clients’ needs. Not everyone needs a bookkeeping solution with all the bells and whistles. Here are a list of things that bookkeepers do:
At a very basic level, a bookkeeper will manage the transactions that come in through the accounting system’s bank feed. This means that they match downloading transactions in the corresponding register and add the transactions that are missing. The missing transactions will most likely be those that are generated outside the accounting system. Transactions include credit or debit card transactions or handwritten checks. This could include matching deposits with customer payment to help manage the accounts receivable or outgoing transactions against vendor bills.
This is usually all a small business needs from a bookkeeper – the businesses core employees will be generating estimates and invoices. There is no reason why they can’t continue to carry out these tasks until the business grows. Bookkeepers can manage a small businesses books after-the-fact and reconcile accounts against statements each month.
Typically, the businesses staff prepare the estimates and invoices. The bookkeeper then submits these electronically and records payments when it comes through the bank. This is a terrific way to alleviate the business of the collections process as the bookkeeper can handle collections. Small businesses sometimes need a bookkeeper to remind them of things like not starting work until the money is in their bank account. Even Amazon gets paid up front.
But there’s another option. Businesses often use industry specific estimating programs to calculate the price of a job. They can then provide the bookkeeper with the total and they can then enter the value onto their chosen bookkeeping software. This allows the bookkeeper to create and process invoices as the project moves along. Creating and sending invoices as well as providing statements and helping to receive payments is all part of the A/R process that a bookkeeper can help with.
Here’s how AP works:
- When your business gets a new vendor, you will send the basic information about the vendor to the bookkeeper.
- The bookkeeper will contact the vendor to get both W-9 information and ACH banking information.
- Invoices will be submitted to the bookkeeper by the vendor. The bookkeeper will then scan the images and code the invoices. This is then sent to the client for approval. The bookkeeper will also set up the payment terms.
- Once the invoice is ready to pay, the bookkeeper prepares the payment and sends to the client for approval and one-click submission.
- IRS 1099’s will be sent out at the end of the year.
Bookkeepers can also take on the job of a payroll manager. Bookkeepers can offer payroll services, and this can take on a few forms. They might assist in the processing of pay checks, liability payments or returns. At a lower level, they could simply put the payroll data into you accounting system. While a separate payroll provider has submitted the reports to you. They can import this data from a file provided by the other service provider.
With regards to payroll, there is no one method that bookkeepers use to accomplish this task. It depends on whether they’re employed in-house or outsourced. Are they just going to process the payroll while another company generates checks? The answer depends on your business and a bookkeeper will assist you in whatever way is most appropriate. A bookkeeping service will work with the client to select the best options for payroll and benefits. The bookkeeper will also have employees complete forms in a paperless method, eliminating identity fraud issues.
Technology Recommendations & Process Streamlining
One of the best things about bookkeepers is that they stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology in the industry. I guarantee that your bookkeeper will be finding new, useful apps and software that’s specific to your needs and your industry. They might even discover a way for you to cut your labor costs.
At the same time, a bookkeeper could recommend some innovative technology solution for your small business. They’re always looking for ways to help your business run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Creating an efficient workflow goes together with app solutions. All apps are developed to help alleviate a problem or specific pain point. One of the most important aspects of a bookkeeper’s service is finding modern technology to help save your business time and money. This will streamlining your existing processes.
Bookkeepers can coordinate and facilitate with auditors and tax consultants on behalf of their clients. Bookkeepers have a wealth of intimate, technical knowledge of your books. This makes it easier for them to contact your tax preparer when you’re about to file your tax returns. They can estimate your timely tax payments. Bookkeepers can create a strategic cash forecast strategy to help you make informed decisions.
These are the core talents that a bookkeeper can bring to your business. A bookkeeper can do so much more than just simple data entry. They’ll probably thank you for appreciating their true abilities. When you start looking for a bookkeeper, don’t look for one on Craigslist with the description “Receptionist needed – QuickBooks experience is a bonus”. Being a receptionist and a bookkeeper are two entirely different professions. Look for an experienced Corporate Controller/ CFO that has started their own practice. This service will be stream-lined and more affordable than hiring a part-time bookkeeper or hiring CPA firm.
When you ask, “What does a bookkeeper do?” The answer is anything from setting up an accounting system to training staff in the day-to-day accounting tasks that need to be completed. Ultimately, the answer to the question will depend on what your business needs. Having a bookkeeper to help keep track of your small business finances will free up the time and the energy that you need to keep growing your business.
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