How your bookkeeper can support your business strategy
Bookkeeping is the process of recording the financial aspect of business transactions. It is a legal requirement for companies to keep accurate books, in fact it is a criminal offence to deliberately report inaccurate results.
The directors of a company are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the information they present to Companies House and HMRC through the various filings they may be required to make.
As a director of a company, you want to focus on developing a good business strategy plus growing and caring for your business, your customers, your employees. Being compliant and financially focused is a key component of a running a successful business – and it should be embedded into your strategy.
Bookkeeping is the compliance job that needs to get done, but the importance of doing it right, and preferably, from the start, cannot be stressed enough.
Whether you have an in-house or an outsourced accounting service, what are the key things you expect from your bookkeeper and how can they help support your business strategy.
1. Be accurate and on time. This is not only a legal requirement, but could save hours of work when filing deadlines get near, and more importantly when key business decisions need to be made.
‘We just found a great investment opportunity, if we buy this piece of machinery, we can increase our offering and productivity. But can we invest in it, do we have the resources, how can we test this business idea?’ That’s when you need to look at the numbers. And the ideal situation is where you need to see where you stand financially at this moment in order to make a business case, a cash projection etc.
If your books are a few weeks behind, if things in there don’t make sense (‘Do we still owe Plumbing Ltd £3,000 from last year?’), then your task has suddenly become more complicated and by the time we sort the books out, the opportunity might have already passed. So, timeliness and accuracy are key.
2. Always be well informed on tax matters and constantly up to speed with changes that might affect your business. Chances are you are working with contractors, how will the new IR35 regulations affect you?
3. Be responsive and proactive – bookkeeping is a service, that means that apart from being compliant, you want to be ahead of things. So when queries arise, you’ll expect at very least acknowledgement of your question within 24 hours, if not a clear answer by e-mail or a call if necessary.
4. Stay tech savvy – and up to date with technology such as accounting software, data processing, file management, that makes communication and data manipulation smooth. Ideally, you want to be guided by your accountant to the best way of sharing data safely online, of making any changes to your accounts, asking for or giving input on queries, rather than the other way around.
5. Be considerate to management time pressures. Their schedule should always be known to you and you’re given a few days’ notice before anything needs your review, checking or approval. At PCFO, alongside business strategy and modelling, we can also support you with bookkeeping and other compliance work, being the expert in your business means that we’re often best placed to provide these services as well. We provide the best and most qualified outsourced FD and CFO services.
Our team is dedicated to helping your business to succeed and we work with tax specialists so that we offer a service tailored to your needs, look after your books and filings for you while you focus on what’s important.