What makes a good bookkeeper?

There are many benefits to hiring an outsourced bookkeeper for your business, like to save time, increase accuracy, and gain greater knowledge. A bookkeeping service will also reduce your stress, but only when you’re confident your financial data is in the right hands. So what makes a good bookkeeper? And how do we  use our decades of experience to meet and excel past these standards at Fresh Financials? 

  1. Up to date financial information – Up to date and reliable financial data is key to making business decisions and meeting deadlines.

Every client who works with Fresh Financials receives daily bookkeeping rather than simply weekly or monthly. This allows us to not only foresee future road bumps, but exciting opportunities as well.

With daily bookkeeping, you’ll stay on top of important information like your accounts payable. By knowing exactly how much you owe your suppliers down to the day, you can avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the month. It also keeps you accountable, so when deadlines loom for VAT submissions or tax compliance, we’re able to comfortably meet them with no last minute scrambling for important documents.

To learn more about the benefits of daily bookkeeping, check out this blog!

  1. Consistent communication and keeping you informed- regular updates will be a good bookkeeper’s top priority

Good communication is the most important part of your relationship with your bookkeeper. It allows you both to work towards a shared vision of success and stay fully informed on what the other is doing.

A good bookkeeper keeping you up to date on changes in the financial world also means you can stay one step ahead, even during uncertain times like the Coronavirus pandemic. You’ll be able to take advantage of new schemes like grants and plan for those ever changing furlough claims. 

As a Fresh Financials client you will be kept up to date via blogs and Mailchimp without the need to dig around yourself for what’s happening.We also provide advisory services alongside everyday bookkeeping so you can understand how these updates affect you and your business specifically. 

  1. Modern software and systems – an absolute must for accurate, reliable financial data.

While the trusty spreadsheet still has its place in finance, accounting software provides you with the most reliable financial data. By reducing processing time and minimising human errors, you get efficient and accurate reporting whenever you need it. Many accountants and bookkeepers will offer a choice of software packages, but with so many options and programmes to choose from, where do you start?

When it comes to software and systems, the Fresh Financials way is to offer less and be the best at it. We work exclusively with one accounting programme: Xero. Specialising with one software allows us to really hone in on the details within Xero and its partner programs. Some of our favourite things about Xero are:  

  • It works seamlessly with partner apps, Dext, Chaser and Float providing fully integrated, streamlined systems in a language you can actually understand!
  • It links directly to your bank account so, alongside Dext’s uploading intuitive software, you’ll never have to manually input data again! 
  • It’s fully cloud based so you’re no longer chained to your desktop!

As a standard, all our clients are set up with Xero and Dext. Every app we recommend is cloud based and integrates with the accounting data within Xero wherever possible. And we use them ourselves because we really believe in what we offer! 

  1. Credit Control – Using the right bookkeeper will help take the stress out of chasing overdue funds.

Keeping track of payments coming in can be quite a daunting task, but using the right bookkeeper will help you keep on top of Credit Control. The Fresh Financials approach to bookkeeping means you can be assured that any money coming in is reconciled daily so that you have a clear, up to date picture of what is owed to you. 

We use Chaser, an automated app designed to take the stress out of having to chase clients for overdue funds and that’s fully integrated with Xero (see why we love Xero so much?). The software saves an enormous amount of time and stress and brings in money faster – it even helped one of our clients go from 90% of payments coming in late, to 90% coming in on time or early! Read more about why we love Chaser here

  1. Payroll – Keeping payroll and bookkeeping under one roof is more efficient and cost effective than using a separate Payroll agent.

Having Payroll prepared alongside your Bookkeeping ensures all reporting to HMRC and pension providers is up to date and all relevant figures are recorded within the financial data immediately, without the need to get reports from one agent to another.

Having dealt with so many changes during the Coronavirus pandemic with regards to Furlough payments and claims, our clients really benefited from having all their data in one place at the same time so they were able to plan their finances quickly.

  1. Compliance and security All bookkeepers must carry out Anti Money Laundering (AML) checks and be GDPR compliant.

As part of a standard onboarding process, your bookkeeper must gather some personal information and documentation from you for AML checks. You can read more of exactly what’s required of you here.

Your bookkeeper needs to be GDPR compliant and needs to ensure your financial data is stored and can be accessed securely. 

Fresh Financials are lucky to work alongside Foxability who provide us with peace of mind that our clients are digitally protected. Working together with secure logins and two factor authentication, our clients can trust that their systems are set up securely and kept in safe hands. 

  1. Cash flow – Keeping an eye on your cash will help you plan for the future.

Up to date financial data gives you the opportunity to add cash flow forecasts to your financial armoury. At Fresh Financials we use Float, a cash flow app that syncs to the data within Xero to pull all your vital data. Cash flow forecasts not only keep you aware of how your business is doing day to day, but also allow you to plan for the future and embrace new opportunities.

  1. Tax preparation – A good bookkeeper will help put an end to nasty surprises.

Saving for your VAT and Tax bills weekly or monthly puts an end to any nasty surprises at the end of a VAT period or the Financial year.

If you use Fresh Financials payroll services, we will advise you of PAYE & NIC liabilities every month, and the same is true when we file your VAT Returns each month or quarter. 

We are not Tax advisors, we can’t offer ‘tax saving advice’,  but we do have decades of experience in accounting. We can monitor your profits and provide an estimate for your VAT and Corporation tax liabilities based on the information in Xero, meaning you can put aside funds ready for the end of the VAT and Tax periods.

You can read more about how Fresh Financials is different to other bookkeepers along with the fresh approach to bookkeeping in the blogs section of our website.