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What does my bookkeeper do?  The simple answer to this question is “All of the financial record keeping that your business requires”.  Your bookkeeper is a huge asset to your business because they have the knowledge and experience required to manage your business’s financial records.  The exact scope of what an individual bookkeeper does is reliant upon the size of the business and its financial needs.

Some of the roles your bookkeeper undertakes are:

Data Entry – entering all financial transaction into your bookkeeping program and producing reports when required.

Expense Tracking – making sure that invoices from creditors match your purchase orders and delivery receipts, as well as petty cash transactions and credit card transactions.

Invoicing and Receipts – ensuring invoices are sent promptly, following up on payments, and looking after any cash payments, banking.

Payroll – checking time sheets, allocating commissions, calculating payroll tax and superannuation, keeping accurate records.

Banking – the newer online accounting software packages are capable of linking to business bank accounts.  Your bookkeeper can download your statements into your software package and allocate payments and receipts into your system.  Reconciling these is an important part of a bookkeeper’s job.

Tax Compliance –  Some bookkeepers are able to prepare your BAS statement in line with ATO requirements.  This will depend upon the size of your business and how your accountant wants your tax reporting to be done.

Financial Reporting – your bookkeeper can provide regular financial reports from your accounting software package including: profit and loss statements and balance sheets.  Some bookkeepers, depending upon their training and experience, are capable of providing budgets and cash flow forecasts.

Often, in house bookkeepers are also required to help with general office duties, taking phone calls, and serving customers.  Subcontracting and off site bookkeepers normally work with the financials of the business only.

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One of the key questions I am asked from time to time is:

“What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant and why would I pay a bookkeeper if I already pay an accountant?”

A bookkeeper is a literal description for what a bookkeeper does.  He or she keeps your books, either in your office, or from his or her office, by feeding in the data and retaining the documentation for your business’s transactions.

An accountant may also focus of reporting, business analysis and processes, and advice.

More often than not bookkeepers and accounts work in tandem with the bookkeeper operating as the “feet on the ground” professional to enable a strong relationship between the business owner and their accountant.

Some accountants do provide bookkeeping services but these may be more expensive than a dedicated bookkeeper.

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 References
Mohr, Angie (2016) What’s the Difference Between a Bookkeepr and an Accountant?  Intuit Quickbooks, http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/bookkeeping/whats-the-difference-between-a-bookkeeper-and-an-accountant/

Barned, Jan (2015) What do bookkeepers do? MYOB The pulse, https://www.myob.com/au/blog/what-do-bookkeepers-do/

Bunten, Maggie (2014)  Bookkeeping Job Description: What Does a Bookkeeper Do? Udemy Blog, https://blog.udemy.com/bookkeeping-job-description/