Keeper of books: Find yourself a good storyteller

When the story of your life is being written, you would like it to reflect on what you do every day and how it relates to other aspects of your life. You would like it to be written in a language that you understand. As for business owners, their business is their life story. They put everything they have into it, working tirelessly to make their business a success.

ARTICLE SERIES: KEEPER OF BOOKS


In today’s fast-moving world, the advancing technologies have changed the way we do business in a lot of ways. Our stories are becoming harder to read, and just like how any successful story requires a clear plot, a successful business requires a full understanding of how the intricate aspects affect each other. Business owners, taxpayers and decision makers are in desperate need of the insights hidden in their numbers.

Here at Gilligan Sheppard, we help unlock your business’s full potential, by using your story. We firmly believe that bookkeeping is not just about plugging data into a format that is understandable, its about reiterating your story. For our clients, our story starts with Xero. Xero is the plan, the brainstorm. By gaining access to a business’s Xero data, we can quickly see where the challenges are and what improvements are needed. We can then advise how to integrate efficiency into your financial processes, to ensure your story has that all-important happy ending.

One of our clients here at Gilligan Sheppard has found a lot of success with his consulting business. The group now has three separate entities, with people working from various locations across the world, business data flowing in and out in different currencies, and bank transactions moving between multiple different companies. For businesses like these, it is very important to have information correctly entered and having timely reconciliations and reports delivered to management for planning, overseeing and leading projects from ideation through to completion.

Unfortunately, the client’s accounts person was not able to provide such essential support. When the client came seeking guidance, the first thing I did was talk to our taxation partner Richard, to ensure I had a good understanding of the client’s business structure – how they generate income, what their expenditures were like and the impact on different entities. Then, I had a couple of zoom meetings with the company’s general manager who is responsible for the daily operation of the business. I also went to meet the client’s accounts person. She was a hard worker but lacked the confidence to fully engage with the transactions. I soon realised the solution to solve the problem was to find a person to bridge the gap between non-financial and financial people.

What I did was simple; I first segregated the duties, then listed the procedures in a spreadsheet for everyone to follow. I have also provided training to the client’s accounts person – this involved explanation around the importance of following the procedures, how the transactions link between different entities and why it is essential to perform monthly closure and reconciliations.

As simple as it sounds, good communication

was the reason it all went well.

It has been six months since we helped our client implement the internal procedures, and already I have been requested to review their books and provide recommendations again. Six months saw vast improvement, with such progress in such a short time span, we can now work on the crux of the story and strive towards that happily-ever-after finale.

Your bookkeeper plays a dynamic and energetic role in your story. With Gilligan Sheppard, you get the personal touch, combined with a business relationship that is built on trust, transparency, and real honesty. 

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