Bookkeeping – Duties of a Good Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping and the duties and responsibilities of a professional bookkeeper are very different to an accountant. The bookkeeper looks after the day-to-day duties while the company accountant may audit the books monthly, quarterly or at tax time. In addition to the services a bookkeeper provides, here are the additional duties and responsibilities of a professional bookkeeper.
Keeping financial records
Accountants frown on ‘shoebox bookkeeping’ so one of the key roles of a professional bookkeeper is to ensure financial records are current and up to date and there is a regular reporting system in place. The job duties of a bookkeeper includes keeping records of every financial transaction of the business and reconcile the accounts to make sure they balance every month.
Chasing unpaid invoices
A proficient bookkeeper will not only keep records of incoming and outgoing invoices but in addition to this role, they will also chase up any invoices that you should have been issued and also chase up purchase orders which have not been paid. This is an important part of the accounts payable’s role of bookkeeping so you can manage your cash flow and use this information to manage your business strategy and business forecasting.
Keeping abreast of changes in regulation
One of the key duties of a skilled bookkeeping service is keeping abreast of changes in regulation so you don’t have to. This is important in reducing your tax liabilities and making sure you are compliant with current tax legislation. They should also be aware of any important lodgement dates and make sure your bookkeeping is up to date in order to send to your accountant in a timely manner to help them prepare for lodgement.
Knowledge of the latest bookkeeping software and updates
An accountant will set up the initial software and the bookkeeper will maintain the day-to-day accounts and must familiarise themselves with the bookkeeping system. An expert bookkeeper must be well versed and specialised in the latest bookkeeping software updates and changes regardless of whether you are using MYOB, Quicken or other accounting popular software. This may mean purchasing software upgrades, receiving additional training and keeping their systems up to date.
Working with your accountant
One of the essential duties of an efficient bookkeeper is to look after the day-to-day financial needs of the business, keep records accurate up to date and work with your accountant. Your bookkeeper needs to frequently consult with your accountant to make sure that everything is set up properly, records are up to date and accurately entered into the system. If there are any errors, confusion or inaccuracies, this can be fixed up straight away and at a lower cost than an accounting fixing up mistakes at tax time.
With the Tax Agent Services Act 2009* being introduced in March 2010 requiring registration of bookkeepers preparing Business Activity Statements (BAS), it is more important than ever to hire a qualified and professional bookkeeper. While hiring a professional bookkeeper may seem like an unnecessary cost to a business who is struggling with their cash flow, a professional bookkeeper can help the business keep afloat and offset the cost of bookkeeping.
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