3 Reasons the Term ‘Bookkeeper’ Gets A Bad Rap  

With ‘bookkeeper’ in our name, this might seem contradictory but hear us out for the sake of your business or your current bookkeeping solution. Whether you’re evaluating your current bookkeeper, in search of a new one, or contemplating if you need one at all, we want to clarify some misinformation to  guide you towards a bookkeeping solution that’s right for you.

1. Bookkeeper has a Negative Perception – Many people think bookkeeping is just about capturing invoices/receipts, allocating transactions, or preparing your documents for tax returns. Which can suffice depending on the size of your business. However, to get your business finances to the point of growth and long-term stability- that is only the beginning. Consider those services as merely the tip of the bookkeeping iceberg.

There are bookkeepers who will go above and beyond crunching the numbers, thus defying this stereotype. These bookkeepers will take the time to understand your business, pinpoint what makes your business bleed money and stop the leakages. These bookkeepers will focus on establishing processes and utilizing tools to improve operational efficiencies, thereby uncovering opportunities to increase profits. It really depends on whether your business needs basic bookkeeping, which covers the essentials, or more advanced accounting services, which will leverage the bookkeeping essentials as a foundation.

2. The Notion that “Anyone can be a Bookkeeper” – Despite its frequent use in bookkeeping courses and marketing materials, this isn’t true. The lack of standardization in the bookkeeping industry has created an environment where individuals lacking sufficient skills or knowledge can enter the field unprepared, yet with a false sense of confidence. This often results in potential financial errors, inconsistencies, and ultimately very costly clean-ups for the business owner.

However, we don’t want you to think all bookkeepers are lacking. Our aim is to raise awareness that bookkeeping expertise comes in various levels, and finding the right fit depends on your specific business needs. Considering expertise is important, but ultimately, you need a bookkeeper you can rely on, with proven skills and experience in your industry.

3. Lack of Regulation for Bookkeepers– Without regulatory oversight on who can become a bookkeeper, there is limited accountability in place to ensure that they adhere to ethical standards and professional conduct. Adhering to bookkeeping laws and regulations is of utmost importance for businesses, to ensure transparency, accuracy, and integrity in financial reporting.

Look for evidence that the bookkeeper has a trusted reputation, values integrity, and adheres to bookkeeping laws and regulations. Ok, that might sound like a no-brainer but here’s a vital tip, protect your data. Your bookkeeper should never have full access to your bank accounts and if they ask for it, consider it a red flag. A view-only option or a secure client portal where you can upload financial documents is increasingly critical in today’s cybersecurity landscape. Bonus points if they are insured for errors and omissions or cyber security which adds an extra layer of protection.

At the end of the day, the term ‘bookkeeper’ often gets a bad rap due to common misconceptions about the role’s value, the perception of it being merely data entry, and the lack of understanding about its critical impact on business success. Despite the stigma, choosing the right bookkeeper for your business is essential for accurate financial management.

Even if your business is small and only requires the essential bookkeeping services (the tip of the bookkeeping iceberg), at some point you’ll want to consider securing a comprehensive bookkeeper who can scale with your business as it grows.

Lastly, look for a professional who is not just skilled in managing finances but is also dedicated to understanding and supporting your business’s unique needs. Prioritize those who are dedicated to continuous learning and adhering to the highest ethical standards, ensuring the best possible service and security for your business. By doing so, you can find a bookkeeper who will truly add value.

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