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Do qualified bookkeepers matter?

Do qualified bookkeepers matter?


Prospect with £3 million turnover is looking at Clearbooks as an alternative to Sage.

Prospect also thinks an unqualified director banging in data into Sage is all that is required for accounts. Sigh!

Marshalling arguments as to why a qualified bookkeeper is a better option and Clearbooks, however lousy Sage is viewed, is not the answer to a £3 million T/O growing company. Also why some financial advise is better than a director using Sage as their cash flow stinks (IT company). Not sure they even know that!

I have a number of arguments to bolster me but as tired of repeating the same arguments as to why accountants matter would welcome some good points which as an informative forum will help me convince them but may have points not thought of (or forgotten) but will certainly motivate me in a tired argument.

Many thanks.


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26th Jan 2012 15:51

Value your time.

This is a message I try and get over to clients who are fond of 'DIY'. A qualified bookkeeper might cost £15-20 per hour. If that is all the client values their time at then perhaps they should give up running their own business and take up bookkeeping?!

I have clients who run a £500k t/o cleaning business yet see nothing wrong in covering for staff who are paid £6.50 per hour. 

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26th Jan 2012 15:58

Technical knowledge

I used to think that bookkeeping was something anyone could do. Just input the data.

However, my view has changed fundamentally.

Without understanding the dynamics of the relationship it might help your point if you put your views bluntly to the director followed up by a checklist of core duties a bookkeeper must be competent of. For example:

Inputting technical accounting journalsProperly maintaining purchase and sales ledger journalsReconciliation of bank and credit card accountsReconciliation of the record on sage and the physical records and dillgent filingWould he feel comfortable during a VAT inspection with the inspector looking at his work with a large mircoscope? Confidence in the accounts is key for the business and for compliance.

Etc etc

If he still insists then what more can you do?

Good luck!

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27th Jan 2012 09:42

It sometimes works

Some of the best books I have come accross are in organisations where one of the directors keep the books. Of course it does not always work if they do not have sufficient time.

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