Things to know before hiring a bookkeeper or accountant
Why Xero integration could save their time and your money
Small business owners willingly wear many hats. One job that many drag their heels on, though, is the balancing of books. Keeping track of expenses, paying wages, and tallying the sales can be very time consuming – particularly as your business grows.
It’s why many small businesses choose to outsource the financial side of things to a bookkeeper or an accountant. Question is, which one’s right for you? Or do you need both? Before you decide, it helps to know who does what.
What does an accountant do?
When most people picture an accountant at work, they see a pile of tax returns, a mug of coffee and a calculator. Indeed, many mistakenly think that preparing financial statements and tax returns is all that an accountant does. But accountants are in fact a very clever bunch.
Did you know, for example, that an accountant can do an audit of your business? Or that they can crunch your numbers to provide advice about things like operating costs and forecasting? Working closely with you, they can show you ways to improve your cash flow and help you grow.
Think of an accountant as a trusted advisor who has your back, helping you to set goals and stick to them.
What about a bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is someone who helps with more of the day-to-day money management. That is, recording the money coming in and the money going out. They do things like process your invoices, payroll, reconciliation, and calculate GST. A good bookkeeper will generate all the data that your accountant needs at the end of the year to complete your tax return.
Starting out, many small businesses manage the books themselves. Cloud-based accounting tools like Xero make it easy to keep up with the accounts. It’s even easier when your accounting software collects data directly from your bank account via a Xero payment and bank feed integration (hint: yes, Tyro and Xero talk to each other).
But as you grow, balancing the books can become time-consuming and take you away from other key areas of the business – which is when it might make sense to outsource the bookkeeping role or hire someone in-house.
So, who do you need?
Every business is unique, so there’s no straightforward answer here. But, broadly, many businesses will benefit from both a bookkeeper and an accountant.
A bookkeeper can take care of all your paperwork, doing all the data entry and making sure the books are up-to-date. If your bookkeeper is a paid employee, then they can lodge your business activity statements for you each quarter – ticking this tedious task off your to-do list.
Then, when you need strategic advice about where your money should be going, you can call on an accountant to dive into the data and make recommendations to help you grow.
Things to ask
If you’re on the hunt for a new accountant or bookkeeper, then ask around for referrals. Once you’ve got yourself a shortlist, here are some important questions to ask of potential providers:
– What are your qualifications and/or registrations?
– What experience do you have in helping small businesses like mine?
– What experience do you have in my industry?
– What are your rates?
– How could you help me?
– How will you communicate with me, and how is this charged?
– Do you have any current clients that I could speak to about your services?
It really is worth taking the time to find a good bookkeeper or accountant. If they have the right experience and credentials, then they can add immense value to your business.
Xero integrations could save you time and money
Whether you choose to use a bookkeeper, an accountant, or both, there are things you can do to make things easier for them. Given that they typically charge by the hour, then setting things up for seamless reconciliation and one-click processing could save you money down the track.
For example, you can connect your Tyro Bank Account with Xero accounting software to get access to integrated bank feeds. This makes reconciliation a breeze for whoever’s managing it as real-time transaction information is sent to Xero. You can also schedule batch payments in Xero – like BPAY® and bank transfers, and Xero Payroll – and manage it all in the Tyro App without having to re-enter information, saving your valuable time.
Who knows? By setting up Xero integration you might decide that balancing the books is so easy that you can, in fact, do it yourself.
Learn more about Tyro and Xero.
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