10 Ways to get more Value from your Bookkeeper

Here are the best ways to make the most of your virtual bookkeeper and maximize the value they bring to you and your business. 

Hiring a bookkeeper is one of the first and most important steps you can take as you grow your business. If you want a highly cost-effective solution, working with a virtual bookkeeper who is based in an offshore office but is trained to meet the requirements of your locality is a great place to start. 

However, many people hire a virtual bookkeeper and then fail to make the most of their services. They don’t stay in touch and they don’t stay curious about their numbers. As a result, things start to fall through the cracks.

Financial Fanatics has a team of 90 virtual bookkeepers who support businesses around Australia. Based on our experiences, this is how you can get more value from the members of our team. 

How to work better with your bookkeeper

Save time and make more money! 

  1. Use the system your bookkeeper recommends

    At Financial Fanatics, we recommend the top three financial software platforms: QuickBooks, MYOB and Xero. These systems make tracking income and expenditure so much easier. Your virtual bookkeeper will use them to issue and reconcile invoices, create reports and help you share tax information with your accountant. If you have an ecommerce or a trade business, you may also choose to use industry-specific software. If this is the case, we can recommend a platform that will provide the insights you need while saving you and your team a lot of time. 

    We use platforms that we prefer and are familiar with. It makes life easier to stick with them because it means you and your virtual bookkeeper can hit the ground running and they don’t lose time trying to learn a new system. 

  2. Hand over control

    It might feel hard at first but the more you outsource to your bookkeeper, the less stress you will be under and the more value they can add to your business. Your bookkeeper is trained to take care of reconciliations, payments, collections, payroll and reporting… so you can stop managing these on your own. We sometimes see incidents of ‘double handling’ and you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t trust your bookkeeper to take care of things for you. 

    When you sign up, be clear on what your virtual bookkeeper will do so you know what you’re paying for. You can always add to their task list as you grow, for example by adding payroll services as you start to need them. 

  3. Maximize the use of online tools

    You can reduce the time needed for manual bookkeeping jobs by integrating tools such as Dext, Hubdocs and Expensify with your existing platforms. The more you can automate, the more value you will get from your virtual bookkeeper as they will have time to focus on other tasks. We are happy to recommend products that maximize our efficiency and result in you getting more for your money. 

  4. Stay in touch on a regular basis

    Over the years, we have consistently found that a lack of communication can be a pain point between virtual bookkeepers and business owners. As much as your bookkeeper exists to take things off your hands, they also need to hear from you. Find a system such as responding to their emails quickly at the start or end of the day, updating a spreadsheet they can refer to or setting a time to be present so you can share 2FA codes if necessary. You’ll get better value if you’re able to quickly respond to questions.

    Too busy to interact with your virtual bookkeeper? Assign the role to someone else on your team so they have an additional point of contact. 

    And don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out to your provider if you’re trying to get through to someone and not having any luck. 

  5. Ensure your bookkeeper has a built-in review process

    Mistakes in the area of finance can be unforgivable. At Financial Fanatics, we have built-in review processes to detect errors. If you’re working with a different virtual bookkeeper who doesn’t offer this, you’ll need to spend time reviewing their activities yourself. 

    Remember that some errors can be a matter of opinion so set expectations early; this way you’ll be less likely to encounter disagreements. 

  6. Focus on output, not hours

    When you hire a bookkeeper, be clear about what you want them to achieve. This way, you’ll feel better about your investment and be able to confirm they are delivering what’s expected of them. Your virtual bookkeeper may not log every keystroke they make at work but you should be comfortable that you’re getting what you pay for. 

    The benefit of using an offshore bookkeeper is that you will have excellent value for money. Consider that you would otherwise be spending one or more days handling your invoices and accounts receivable; this will give you an idea of the contribution your virtual bookkeeper is really making to your business. 

  7. Get your bookkeeper to do your BAS

    Most virtual bookkeepers are also BAS agents and can do the same work as a tax practitioner for a lower cost. Your bookkeeper already knows your systems and can use a streamlined process to create your BAS. Your accountant can check in to make sure everything is correct and touch base with your bookkeeper if necessary. 

  8. Check in regularly

    People who get to know each other work better together. You don’t have to have a close personal relationship with your bookkeeper but you’ll get better value if you arrange a monthly or quarterly check-in (or weekly if your business is financially complex). You may find your bookkeeper has some insights to share that can help to improve profits or plug small money leaks before they become floods. To add to this, just showing interest in the state of your accounts will make a huge difference.

  9.  Introduce your accountant to your bookkeeper

    Accountants and bookkeepers go together like orange and chocolate. If they are able to communicate, your accountant will be able to give you better advice about tax because they’ll have access to the information they need. Try setting up a ‘power meeting’ where you’re all in a virtual room together. 

  10. Implement Profit First

    If your business is complex with lots of moving parts, using Profit First can help you stay in control of cash flow and profits. 

    Your virtual bookkeeper can do most of the heavy lifting in terms of allocations and reconciliations so your business uses the ‘envelope’ method and money goes to the right places (including your bank account). 

    Not sure about Profit First? Reach out to our team and we can explain how it works. 

Your Virtual Bookkeeper exists to add Value to your Business

You’ll get increased value from an outsourced bookkeeper if you know your objectives, hold them to account and keep the lines of communication open. Your bookkeeper exists to maximize value in your business; they are not a cost or a necessary evil but have an essential role to play in your ongoing financial performance. 

No matter who is looking after your bookkeeping, make time in your week for them. Respond to their emails, ask questions and check in regularly and you’ll get much better value for money. 

Need a virtual bookkeeper? Book a no-obligation call with Financial Fanatics today. 

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