One common complaint I hear from small business owners is that they don't get what they want from their bookkeeping system. There is a laundry list of reasons that small business owners claim their bookkeeping isn't valuable to them. Common reasons include: they think their bookkeeper sucks, they don't know how to get what they want, and or they don't see the value in bookkeeping. Some business owners know what they want from their bookkeeping, they just don't know how to get it. Here is a three step guide on how to obtain value from your small business bookkeeping.
A bookkeeping system that does not provide the owner with valuable information is typically due to a communication breakdown. You have to have a meeting with your bookkeeper to let them know what information you need to obtain from your bookkeeping. Let your bookkeeper know what information would really help you run your business better. Additionally don't stop pushing your bookkeeper to new heights. After you have accomplished one goal, set another. Keep communicating your desires from your bookkeeping until you are getting valuable information.
You need to clearly set and communicate deadlines with your bookkeeper. If you need to see an open AR report or sales report from the prior week each Monday morning by 10 am then let your bookkeeper know. You should set deadlines for lots of different tasks. You might want all bills entered each week by Thursday afternoon so you can send payments each Friday. Most likely you are going to want to see a set of reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The only way these reports are going to mean anything is if they are accurate. The only way to ensure that you are looking at accurate reports is to make sure your bookkeeper is reconciling QuickBooks accounts on a regular basis. I would audit your bookkeeper to make sure your accounts are reconciled on a regular basis. Make sure they are reconciling all your accounts including bank accounts, credit cards, loans, lines of credit and liability accounts. Set deadlines with your bookkeeper and make sure to hold them accountable.
The last step of getting more valuable information from your bookkeeping is to hold your bookkeeper accountable. You definitely want to hold them accountable to the desires you have set. I would hold them accountable to reconciling your accounts. This is because you can't be sure that any of the information you are looking at is accurate unless your QuickBooks file is reconciled. Don't let them give you an excuse that statements are only available once per month; ask for QuickBooks daily or weekly reconciliations. Hold your bookkeeper accountable for all of the goals you have set. Make sure they are hitting your deadlines for daily bookkeeping tasks, QuickBooks reporting that you have asked for and all of the bookkeeping goals and desires that you have set.
The reason you may not be getting the information from your small business bookkeeping that you desire is you may not know what you want or how to ask your bookkeeper for the information. By communicating your desires with your bookkeeper, setting deadlines and holding them accountable you will make them step up and produce.
What information do you want for your small business bookkeeping that you are not getting?