New Role: Professional Proactive Bookkeeper
Redefining the bookkeeper role in a business and the fundamental services provided by bookkeepers is well underway and continuously evolving. The key drivers that brought change were the small and medium-size business owners that we serve. Business wants to stay above the competition. They need information in real-time and fast data collection to help make business decisions quickly. All of this can now be provided by technology. Business owners are no longer looking for traditional data entry. They are looking for guidance and strategies, and interpretations to improve the bottom line. A bookkeeper must now go beyond debits and credits and provide proactive services.
Today’s Professional Proactive Bookkeeper will provide risk management and internal controls for fraud prevention. Data protection, needs analysis, basic HR functions, technology implementation, data mining and analyzing of KPI’s, and improvement strategizes.
We have a lot of tools today – cloud-based accounting solutions, all the add-on connected services and Apps that are available – and they make us all more efficient. This trend is not going away or even slowing down. We can expect technology will continue to take on more sophisticated tasks and provide trends and predictions. At first, it may be costly for small business, but all of these things can be done now and will soon be affordable to small business.
We must use these tools to provide guidance, to capture wrong or misclassified transactions and information. To spot trends and put proactive policy and procedures in place to continuously improve the numbers. We must understand the hidden numbers and work with them to improve the success rates of business.
A proactive bookkeeper will be sure to help reduce the cost for the company by finding cloud base solutions to increase performance. Companies need unlimited storage, safe, secure backups, automatic upgrades and data sharing in real-time. Mobility is a priority for all members of a company’s sales team. It is more important than ever for the bookkeeper to be engaged with technology and provide needs assessments services that will differ for each customer. We will need to know what to measure, teach the business owner why we measure and help to effect change.
A company’s accounting should not be apart from the business, but rather be an integral, real-time, reliable component. To achieve this objective, the proactive bookkeeper should provide co-developed solutions and services by collaborating with other solution providers, accountants, IT specialists and of course the business owner. A dream team approach, building relationships that will take a business to the next level of growth.
Small business owners tell us all the time that cash flow is what keeps them awake at night. The cash- flow projections and real-time dashboard are a valued roadmap for the business owner. This is future focused advisory work for the professional bookkeeper to provide. Relevant KPI’s specific to the business, along with an action plan to improve on them will result in value-added services appreciated by business owners.
Life Long Learning
To build a Professional Proactive Bookkeeping firm we need to move at the same rate as the disruptive changes that are impacting the profession. A never-stop-learning mindset builds resilience.
Continuous education or constant learning is the order of the day. Developing and improving our skills and knowledge is essential to perform and adapt to change. Investing in training will yield results. Look for learning that is flexible, diverse and available at various times throughout your day. The social web is a fantastic place to acquire new skills. Collaborating with other professional bookkeepers in industry forums, Facebook groups and other social networks can be fantastic learning tools. This business model is sustainable and will not only ensure growth in your own bookkeeping business but makes all proactive bookkeepers’ futures relevant and profitable.