Five must ask questions when finding a bookkeeper…

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Blog / News | Comments Off

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Have you ever noticed that when you are looking to buy a new car, you see the exact model you want more than ever? Or perhaps you think about someone in particular and then their name pops up all around you.

Last month, I was asked if Austral Cloud outsources clients’ bookkeeping overseas because we use online accounting software. It’s not something I would ever consider, but due to the benefits of cloud computing, it is now easier to do business this way. Upon investigation, I was shocked about the amount of bookkeeping work that is being sent offshore by bookkeeping practices whether the clients knew or not. I had heard of this happening in other industries but had no idea to what extent it is happening in the financial industries.

shocked ladySo another week or so went by and I was meeting with a new client to set up their accounts. I took one look at their accounts and was mortified. This was my first encounter with the work of an outsourced “bookkeeper”. Unbeknown to my client, her accounts were being sent offshore by an Australian bookkeeping practice. It was a total mess and it took hours to fix what was done. Thankfully we had got on top of it sooner rather than later!

There are practices that are very transparent about the work going overseas and charging less on the bookkeeping fees, but then there are those that are sending the work overseas and not telling the client and pocketing the difference. The problem with both methods is that if a trained professional is not keeping track of essential compliance and reporting i.e. BAS’s and Superannuation, it may be costing you a lot more in the long run.

 

The upside is, there are some really great bookkeeping practices out there! Just make sure that you do your research and ask the following questions;

  1. Are my books being taken care of onsite within Australia?
  2. What is the qualification of the person managing my books? Must be a minimum of Cert 4 in accounting.
  3. What is your BAS Agent number?  Check the validity at the Tax Practitioners Board
  4. What professional body are you a member of? Recognised BAS Agent associations.
  5. Do you have professional indemnity insurance? What amount does this cover you for? The minimum cover for a small business is $250k. Professional Indemnity Insurance

If you are not sure if you are meeting Tax and Superannuation obligations, the team at Austral Cloud Bookkeeping are available to help.

Kindest regards,

Chantal Adney

 

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