A lot of businesses would applaud that. Bookkeeping is one of the most hated areas in running a business and finally seeing the end of it would fill a lot of business owners with joy.

As a business you have to keep records to comply with your legal requirements. The bookkeeper is the one who makes sure that all the paperwork is in order and that you are reporting the right figures at the end of each accounting period. With the digital revolution the old school bookkeeper gets more and more tasks taken away by technology and accounting software is now slowly ready to take over.

Bold statement, isn’t it?  But look at the signs – the newest bill passed by parliament last September (Single Touch Payroll Reporting) gets primarily put to the software providers to answer the question about how to implement the changes. The accounting and bookkeeping bodies are still involved in the implementation process, but all they get consulted on is questions like “In what circumstances should the Commissioner grant an exemption to a particular employer?”

The other sign is, that the one advice you get as a bookkeeper at the moment, wherever you look, is to change your strategy from “just” doing the books to becoming a valuable business advisor.  Hint, hint – isn’t that a way of saying “Take a different direction or you are getting replaced soon”?

What does all that mean for a small business trying to keep the overheads low to make a living?

1)      Talk to your accountant about what he needs to file your business reports and what can be done differently with the newest technology. Accountants can recommend a lot of software that you can use to make things easier from the get go.

2)      Then talk to your bookkeeper and see if he matches the recommendations given by the accountant (if he is not open to changes then this is a good sign that you are paying too much for services that could be streamlined)

3)      If your bookkeeper is on board, sit down in a serious meeting and talk about your business strategy. Get him to think about what could be changed to make the back of house processes more fluent.

If all this points work out positively, you may be losing a bookkeeper, but you will be gaining a valuable stakeholder for your business.