A Complete Guide to Bookkeeping
Whether it’s a start-up creative agency or an established retailer on the high-street, bookkeeping is at the core of any business. That said, not all businesses give it the attention it deserves. Our six-part blog post series has looked at every aspect of a bookkeeper’s role, from what they do to how your business should go about filling the position.
In this post, we’ll draw together our blog post series to provide a complete guide to bookkeeping.
The role of a bookkeeper
First things first, what does a bookkeeper do? In short, they focus on finance management and balancing the books for your business. From important financial documents to recording transactions, payroll and purchases, bookkeepers keep track of everything your business spends and makes.
On top of this, bookkeepers will create financial reports to help you keep track of your progress and identify any discrepancies.
Accounting vs bookkeeping
The next question is how bookkeeping differs from the role of the accountant. In short, bookkeepers focus on keeping track of things. They identify, measure and record, keeping your books up-to-date and organised.
On the other hand, your accountant will build on this information – interpreting data and using it to assess the bigger picture, helping business owners and managers make the right decisions moving forward.
Qualities of a good bookkeeper
Given the central role they play in a business, bookkeepers need to possess several key qualities:
- Organisation – Bookkeepers need expert time management with the ability to continually prioritise their workload.
- Attention-to-detail – They need an outstanding eye for detail, recording everything perfectly and identifying any discrepancies.
- Experience – Ideally, your bookkeeper will have ‘been there and done that’, making them ready and prepared to deal with anything.
- Communication – Bookkeepers need to be able to discuss their work with key members of your business in plain English.
- Innovation – They also need a full, working knowledge of the latest bookkeeping software
- Trust – Above all else, you need to be able to trust them to deal with confidential information and sensitive data.
Outsourcing vs in-house
Should you outsource your bookkeeping or tackle it in-house? This comes down to how much time, effort and money you want to invest. Keeping bookkeeping in-house is possible, but you will need to hire a permanent member of staff. It’s not something you should take on without training and experience. Even then, you’re leaving your entire business accounts in the hands of one person.
On the other hand, outsourcing bookkeeping will add significant expertise and experience to your company without the cost of an additional staff member. It will improve accuracy and guarantee the best results while saving your team a lot of time and effort.
Hiring a bookkeeper
Whether you’re outsourcing or adding to your team, it’s important to choose the right bookkeeper for you. Here are four key factors to consider, when comparing candidates or bookkeeping companies:
- Training – What qualifications and certifications do they have? And can they apply this knowledge to real-world scenarios?
- Experience – Have they worked with businesses like yours before? Consider both the size of the business and the industry.
- Software – Can they work with the latest software? As well as accounting software, they should be able to adapt to whatever applications are used within your company.
- People – Bookkeepers need to be able to communicate effectively. Discuss how they would deal with different situations, liaising with clients, employees or key stakeholders within your business.
Bookkeepers you can trust
UWM is a team of experienced accountants in Leeds, providing fully-managed bookkeeping services to businesses across the UK. From plain-English explanations to the best cloud-accounting know-how, our team has all the expertise necessary to keep your business accounts running smoothly, giving you complete peace of mind.
Want to find out more? Give us a call on 0113 231 0202.