Keeper of books: A co-operative approach

Throughout this article series, I have been expressing the importance of bookkeeping and its technological growth and impact on accounting for millennia. I would now like to discuss the golden opportunity to give your accountant a fresh approach.



Working with different sized companies that operate inversely from each other is a challenge that we embrace. Cloud accounting software such as Xero gives SMEs real-time insight into their financials – many of which were previously only made available to large businesses that could afford to pay for ongoing accounting services (rather than simply at the end of the financial year).

I have always been pondering exactly what advice and support small businesses require. Particularly here at Gilligan Sheppard, we are constantly reflecting on how our firm can help our clients maximise their potential.

For example, we engaged with a client two years ago that only had one staff member at the time, and over the past couple of years they have seen substantial growth, securing multimillion dollar projects, and expanding their team to nine people. We started with basic bookkeeping functions including payroll management, accounts payable and receivable, which is not a necessity but rather creating that initial spark to engage with clients on a more regular basis. Thereafter, we started conversing about cash flow management, budgeting and forecast, management reporting and review and even advancing with advisory board management.  This highlights the importance of fortified business relationships and allows for open communication in both directions, which our flexible open-door policy facilitates. To us, you are more than a set of numbers on a spreadsheet. When you work with an accountant who is approachable and easy to talk to, it is much easier to keep your thumb on your business and finances.

It is not a necessity for clients to initiate a bookkeeping service, but it is extremely beneficial that you do. After all, you can be a lot more confident in your data and ensure that your analysis is accurate, reliable, and timely. Then we can start adding more value through things such as, forecasting proper strategic management reporting, restructuring internal procedures to improve productivity, and even helping with tax planning. Personally, I relish the idea of cooperative bookkeeping service as it indicates the full extent of things we can do to maximise our clients’ potential. Realistically, for most organisations, this is a standard procedure which requires a full team with extensive operational costs.

For small to medium-sized businesses, my suggestion would be to extensively utilise the advantages of cloud accounting, with professional assistance available on the go. Remote accessibility optimises efficiency as its convenience postulates regular, systematic bookkeeping and makes gathering the necessary documents for tax filing and other financial tasks much simpler. It further speeds up the process and helps to serve clients better with reduced cost. Beyond the basic analytics surrounding P&L and balance sheets, your accountant can examine on a more regular basis, key elements that drive the business performances which are the jobs usually done by a highly paid accounts manager or a CFO.

Here at GS, we are currently offering free evaluation on our clients’ bookkeeping. To ensure you receive the greatest bookkeeping experience possible, feel free to talk to either your accountant, or alternatively navigate our front desk to converse with me.

If you don’t know where to begin, want to talk through something, or have a specific question but are not sure who to address it to, fill in the form, and we’ll get back to you within two working days.

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