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Finding a decent bookkeeper

A client is looking for a replacement bookkeeper & potentially wants to pass to me, but

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A client is about to lose their external bookkeeper, as it has been discovered that he/she is not performing the task adequately. As an example, the bookkeeper is billing circa 60 hours per month and isn't even reconciling the bank (this is a non cash property rental business with 80-100 transactions per month through the bank, comprising rents in and payments out). 
 

I came to prepare the accounts and the bank is out by several hundred thousand pounds and this is just one issue of several.  
 

The client has suggested passing the bookkeeping to me, but I haven't the capacity to take this on without subbing it out and my regular bookkeeper has retired.  An alternative is to help the client to source a replacement bookkeeper. 
 

Client needs to be able to see a monthly P&L on a per property basis and this has been extremely difficult so far due to a) the way the books were set up in Quickbooks and b) the books being in a bit of a state. 
 

Does anybody have any recommendations for a good subcontract bookkeeper local to South Manchester, or indeed a bookkeeper who would work directly for the client, on a monthly basis?

TIA

Replies (26)

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By tracyannw
01st Apr 2021 13:39

Sorry Manchester Man I am unable to help you here but if you don't mind I would also like to jump on your bandwagon? If anyone could recommend a good bookkeeper in central Scotland I could badly use the help?

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Replying to tracyannw:
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By Jo Selby
01st Apr 2021 18:43

Hi Tracy, I have clients in Scotland & am based in Yorkshire & work remotely if this would work for you? Jo

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By Clair James
01st Apr 2021 14:07

Hi, I'm available to help although only if the work was remote as I'm down in Kent.

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By Bewitchingbookkeeping
01st Apr 2021 14:09

I am a bookkeeper who can help if it can be all remote.

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By paul.benny
01st Apr 2021 14:13

@Manchester man - PM sent with recommendation
@tracyannw - I guess you wouldn't want someone in South Manchester?

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Replying to paul.benny:
By tracyannw
01st Apr 2021 14:32

Looking for someone local if possible. I am currently trying to get all clients digitalised but its painful with some of them so would need to be able to work from paper docs too.

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By sabrina simpson
01st Apr 2021 14:42

Good Afternoon, I would be happy to have a chat with you, I do bookkeeping and live in South Manchester, I currently have capacity for new clients. I will PM you my details.

Thanks
Sabrina

Exponential Accounting Services

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By hilllinda6
01st Apr 2021 14:30

I'm a QuickBooks online advanced advisor. I have a lot of slack in my schedule at the moment as I've never really got my business up and running.

I'll PM my details and see if I can help.

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By Athena Accounts
01st Apr 2021 15:15

Hello,
I’m South Manchester based and a QuickBooks proadvisor. I do have capacity at the moment so would be happy to discuss.
Kind regards,
Laura
Athena Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

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By Carole Baldwin
01st Apr 2021 16:28

I hear that Dianne Abbott MP is available, and we all know how good she is with numbers.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
01st Apr 2021 17:04

and better than you at spelling her name!

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By Carole Baldwin
01st Apr 2021 19:51

I usually spell her name starting with PR and ending with T.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
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By legerman
01st Apr 2021 22:02

Carole Baldwin wrote:

I usually spell her name starting with PR and ending with T.

No, that's the current Home Secretary, and there's another I on the end. ;)

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By Bobbo
01st Apr 2021 16:41

Billing 60 hours for 80-100 transactions per month? That bookkeeper has been truly fleecing your client.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
01st Apr 2021 17:23

When this comes up I always ask, what system are they on, and if not cloud why not. Then suggest they collaborate with their accountant and cut out the middle person. Sorry bookkeepers but that's progress! And no I won't be crying when AI makes me obsolete ('cos I'm obsolete already).

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
01st Apr 2021 20:15

Whilst hard work to set up has the client considered something like Key Prime from Landmark, it is designed for property companies, whilst accruals accounting it can be set up for either accruals or cash accounting re vat.

The leases get entered into the property management module which then feeds through to the invoicing and onward to the sales ledger, purchases also operate on a ledger system.

Reporting can be segmented by property or by groups /types of property.

It is not for the faint hearted, decent records at outset to have a sound opening position are essential, and setting up a lot of leases takes time, we have a three business licence and I have one of our property beasties (the smallest) operating through it and will have the second ready to go live on 1 January (our next year start).

It deals with vat, does MTD submissions straight from the software and whilst cost is not cheap cheap , £1,000 pa maint/support p.a. and initial set up/training nearer £4,000, it is at least specifically designed for property, processes and the database are built with property management in mind- I looked at a few property systems before choosing it, most were aimed at management of third party property (agents) rather than for property investment companies like ourselves- we have three main property investment entities with a combined total of nearly 100 leases and commercial property rents running at a bit over £1million p.a.

It flags rent reviews, lease end etc also permits one to link pdf copies of leases and other property documents, EPCs, fire certs, etc, etc, plus plans/drawings to the property database, so gives a multi user (with different access privileges) total management and accounting system for our property investment. (Whilst I am yet to use it with bank feeds I believe that is also an option)

https://www.landmarksystems.co.uk/products/property-management-software/...

Note- I am not connected with Landmark except as a customer.

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By Moonbeam
02nd Apr 2021 11:24

Sadly many people who tell me they are bookkeepers have no decent training at all.
I suggest you help the client recruit someone who has brains first and foremost and is keen to learn. It would help if they didn't have any bookkeeping background. If you're looking for a part-timer, Mumsnet is an excellent source of highly intelligent people who can't work f/t.

It wouldn't take you very long to train them up over the phone or Zoom, and keep an eye on their work over the year.

Yes, the client would need to pay you for this, but it really wouldn't take you long to train the right person.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
02nd Apr 2021 22:11

Catch is once trained at client's expense they do a runner to set up as a self employed bookkeeper, accountancy needs to get like football, five year contracts and transfer fees.

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Replying to DJKL:
By Moonbeam
03rd Apr 2021 07:58

That's not happened to me, but I suppose it's always a risk

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By Paul Crowley
03rd Apr 2021 21:27

Yes it has happened to me a few times
One came back once he realised after 2 years that bookkeeper was charging ever such a lot on a monthly basis (with extra 'one off' fees on top as well) that his costs had in fact doubled.
We went back to spreadsheets and me fixing at year end

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By the_fishmonger
06th Apr 2021 16:25

Moonbeam wrote:

Sadly many people who tell me they are bookkeepers have no decent training at all.
I suggest you help the client recruit someone who has brains first and foremost and is keen to learn. It would help if they didn't have any bookkeeping background. If you're looking for a part-timer, Mumsnet is an excellent source of highly intelligent people who can't work f/t.

Many times it's been pointed out that many who sell their services as a bookkeeper are data entry clerks. They do not understand the 'keeper' bit of bookkeeper and, so long as they have an extraction system in their derriere, they will never understand the concept.

I do like the idea of using mumsnet to find p/t workers though. I'd often wondered where they all disappeared to when we wanted a 20hr/week person rather than f/t. Thanks for that one :-)

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Routemaster image
By tom123
04th Apr 2021 12:31

These threads always fascinate me. From my industry perspective, there is no clear distinction between 'bookkeeping' and 'accounting'. My senior bookkeeping staff are quite capable of posting journals etc.

In fact, I struggle to see what 'accounting' is if it does not include 'bookkeeping'.

Surely if you take the BK away, then you are just left with a few journals and then typing in to Taxfiler etc?

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Replying to tom123:
Melchett
By thestudyman
05th Apr 2021 09:40

If I'm looking at ACCAs definition of someone who is in practice, who prepares tax returns and annual accounts, they are indeed an accountant.

So I would say the difference is in relation to the accountant having the skills and experience to competently prepare self assessment, corporate tax returns, annual accounts, general accounting and tax advice, audit services etc...

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Replying to tom123:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
05th Apr 2021 11:34

The ability to recognise [email protected] entries!

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Replying to Red Leader:
Routemaster image
By tom123
05th Apr 2021 11:57

Never a truer word spoken in jest!

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Replying to Red Leader:
Routemaster image
By tom123
05th Apr 2021 11:59

Never a truer word spoken in jest!

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