Empowering bookkeepers who aren’t bookkeepers

Bookkeepers play a vital role in businesses of all sizes. They are responsible for recording and organising financial transactions, allowing the business to track their spending and income, make informed financial decisions, and ensure that appropriate tax regulations are complied with. However, not everyone who works with a company’s finances is a bookkeeper. They work in admin, sales, or buying. In smaller businesses, or particularly for sole traders the “bookkeeper” may have no formal position within the company at all. Often the partner of the business owner will end up as the bookkeeper, or the owner may do it themselves in odd moments. So, how can we empower these bookkeepers who aren’t bookkeepers?  

Give them the right tools and training.

The latest accounting software, such as Xero and QuickBooks, is designed with the non-expert in mind. Giving your nominated bookkeeper access to accounting software, as well as training on how to use it will ensure that they develop an understanding of what the software can tell them, and you, about the financial health of the business.  You can also support them with training on bookkeeping best practices that will keep your operations in line with those that HMRC and accounting professionals will be able to work with. One of the main concerns for those who end up as bookkeepers is that they know this is not their core skill feel out of their depth and anxious as The aim for us is to reassure, train, explain, and give them confidence in the tools they have to make their job easier.

Support the development of their skills and knowledge.

Bookkeeping is a constantly evolving field. It is important for your business to stay current on the latest developments in software, regulations, and techniques.  Encouraging your bookkeeper to develop their skills and knowledge by reading relevant blogs and publications and attending workshops and online courses, being mindful of the fact that this may not be their primary role in life or work. 

Recognise and reward their contributions.

The bookkeeper plays a vital role in your business. Your organisation’ success depends to a greater or lesser extent on their management of the day to day recording of finances. If it is a job they have fallen into rather than being taken into the business for the role they will need to be motivated and enthused about what can be seen as a mundane task. Recognition can take a number of forms, but simply making their job as easy a possible is one key way of making sure that they know you, as the business owner, value their contribution. A few things that can go a long way to achieving that include.

  • Automate as much as possible. The online tools and software that we mentioned above can automate many of the tasks that bookkeepers perform. This can free up time for their primary role. 
  • Outsource non-core tasks. If you have the resources, you can outsource non-core bookkeeping tasks to an external person. Once again freeing up your bookkeeper to focus other tasks that are important to your business. By removing the routine tasks, you also enable your internal bookkeeper to spend time looking at the bigger financial picture. 
  • Create a culture of collaboration. Encourage your bookkeeper to collaborate with other members of the business team. As well as bringing visibility to an undervalued role, it will bring the bookkeeper understanding of the wider business implications of their work.

At Hydref Accounting we work with bookkeepers who aren’t bookkeepers, as well as those with an accounting background. We support their businesses in getting started with the best software platform for their industry, company size, and requirements. We train them to understand and have the confidence to use that platform to guide the financial decision making of the organisation. Get in touch 03333 449270 or book an appointment through my Calendly link.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *