Bookkeeping

What makes a good bookkeeper?

What makes a good bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper is a bit like a GP – necessary, there’s one on every corner, but great ones are hard to find. And when you do find one, you should never let them go. But how do you know if your bookkeeper is good or even better, a great bookkeeper?

Let’s start with what every bookkeeper should be before we look at what makes a great bookkeeper.
1. Training and accreditation

1. Training and accreditation

Every bookkeeper should have some sort of formal bookkeeper or accounting training and preferably be a registered BAS Agent.

If a bookkeeper is a registered BAS agent means that the Tax Practitioners Board are satisfied that the bookkeeper has the required skills, qualifications and a minimum amount of experience to correctly account for GST and prepare your BAS according to legislation.
2. Experience

2. Experience

Like most professionals, the less experienced and less qualified bookkeeper will usually be cheaper. But judging bookkeepers by price is false economy. If you’re simply comparing hourly rates, a highly experienced bookkeeper will always seem more expensive. This is not true because most experienced bookkeepers will also work significantly faster - and smarter - than someone who has less experience.

Now, if you are serious about excelling in your business but but do not want to worry about your bookkeeping, a good bookkeeper may not be good enough. You want and need a great bookkeeper. A great bookkeeper will do more than just get you over the line with your compliance.

Here below are four signs that your bookkeeper is doing a great job.
3. Great bookkeepers understand your process.

3. Great bookkeepers understand your process.

A great bookkeeper will take the time to really understand your business and how you operate so they can make sure that the processes are as simple and efficient as possible, and nothing is missed or duplicated. They will be able to see areas that can be streamlined in your business.
4. Great bookkeepers ask questions.

4. Great bookkeepers ask questions.

Many business owners find questions annoying. However, in order to ensure transactions are correctly allocated, it is better that your bookkeeper ask questions rather than guess.

An example might be an IT client who has a bookkeeper who allocated computer purchases to ‘Computer Equipment’ in the balance sheet rather than hardware purchases in ‘Cost of Goods Sold’. The client company might think their profit figures were really great until their accountant does their tax return and asks about all their asset purchases (which weren’t), to claim for tax deductions.

The great bookkeeper will see the need to ask the question.
5. Great bookkeepers know what they don’t know.

5. Great bookkeepers know what they don’t know.

Not only do great bookkeepers know what is legally within their scope (e.g. BAS Agents are not permitted to give any income tax or FBT advice) but they are also not afraid to say “I don’t know” rather than worry about "looking dumb" and will if necessary contact your accountant for advice.
6. Great bookkeepers are people you can trust, who do their homework

6. Great bookkeepers are people you can trust, who do their homework

A sign of a really great bookkeeper is one who is up to date on what is happening in the bookkeeping, accounting and technology spaces. The bookkeeping and accounting industries have evolved considerably over the past few years due to changing technologies.

Your bookkeeper should be explaining to you and encouraging you to use technology to save time and money by automating processes with cloud accounting packages such as Xero.

Finally, the relationship between a client and a bookkeeper is sacred. Most people won’t share their financial details with friends or even family, yet this person is privy to everything – especially if you are using one account for business and personal but that’s another article altogether.

Make sure you like your bookkeeper, that you trust them and feel comfortable being completely honest with them. Your bookkeeper cannot help you get the most out of your accounts if you are not being completely transparent with them.

Registered BAS Agent

XERO - Everything you need to run your business, beautifully

XERO - Everything you need to run your business, beautifully

XERO is a powerful and intuitive accounting software platform.

It has everything you need to run an efficient business online - invoicing, bank reconciliation, reporting, contacts and much, much more.
Become more efficient in your business flow

Become more efficient in your business flow

Do more work in less time. This can allow you to lower your prices and get clients from competitors who are working the old way... Xero will give you a much clearer picture of where you can save costs and where you are profitable.
Boost your revenue

Boost your revenue

With data from your business flowing in daily you’ll have a clearer idea of your costs and what is profitable – allowing more informed business analysis and allowing you to maximise your opportunities and profitablity.
Grow your business

Grow your business

With greater efficiency and clearer picture of your business costs and what is working well, you can create capacity for wherever you want to take your business.

Grow your clients, and bottom line by having a better bookkepping solution.
How Xero works for you

How Xero works for you

you need data flow, not just data entry - connect your bank to the cloud ledger and every morning your business data flows to Xero, where you and your One Stop Support Team can both see it. Seamless connectivity means you can keep your data current without data entry – all we need to do is code your transactions.

Payroll Support

Self-service online payroll software

Self-service online payroll software

It’s easy to process your payroll, pay superannuation and stay compliant. With Xero, your payroll information is seamlessly updated into your accounts, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
Employee access on the go

Employee access on the go

Xero Me allows employees to submit leave requests, view leave approvals, enter timesheets, and access payslips from anywhere, anytime, on any device. And payroll admins no longer have to worry about printing or emailing payslips.
Streamlining payroll - Inbuilt timesheets

Streamlining payroll - Inbuilt timesheets

Pay super contributions for your employees with the click of a button. File employee tax file number declarations and your payment summary annual report direct to the ATO from Xero.

Easily track time and attendance, minimise compliance risks and increase employee productivity. Employee hours seamlessly appear in your payroll for automated calculation and reporting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Xero?

Xero is a New Zealand-based software company that develops cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses.

MYOB used to be the industry standard but Xero brought a fresh, easy on the eye and contemporary approach that has won over most people who experience it.

Why do you recommend Xero?

It’s clear that all small businesses need good cashflow to survive. But many don’t really understand or manage their cashflow. They also don’t have good visibility of their accounts.

If you’re a small business owner, there might be a few reasons you started your own company. You may have wanted to do something you’re passionate about, have control of your future, or be your own boss. But it’s likely that balancing the books wasn’t high on the list of potential advantages.

Having passion for your business is great, but accounting often sits at the opposite end of the scale. The software many businesses have is often difficult to use. It’s had a history of being time consuming and confusing for anyone who isn’t an accountant.

Why use cloud accounting software?

Here are five ways cloud software makes accounting fun :

  • When statement lines from your bank account are fed into your accounting software automatically, you can see your cashflow in real-time.
  • Being able to see bank balances, invoices, bills and expenses at a glance gives you a clear picture of your finances.
  • View your accounts in the cloud so you can access them when you want, where you want, on any device.
  • You’re free to be mobile – not chained to your desktop. When you can work on the same data as your advisors at the same time, there’s no need to share a computer or exchange files.
  • Small business accounting software with free updates means there’s no need for installations or maintenance.

Wh should I change from my old software?

When business owners use software that’s intuitive and easy, they are much more in tune with their financial situation. This means they can avoid problems and take action when it matters, not after the fact, when it’s too late.

Adding to that, accountants and financial advisors are able to give them much better insight and advice, spotting future opportunities for growth.

When you get excited about using your accounting software, you’ll notice the positive effect it has on your business.

Is My Data Secure?

Your data is safe with multiple layers of security.

Protecting your data is a fundamental consideration of the XERO software design team - without security the product would have little appeal in the marketplace.

Xero has invested in industry-leading infrastructure and constantly strive to ensure your data is always secure. Around-the-clock physical security

Xero servers are located within enterprise-grade hosting facilities. Access is restricted to authorised staff through a combination of biometric systems and 24/7 onsite security guards.

Multiple firewall layers and network security

External access to Xero servers is controlled by multiple layers of firewalls, intrusion protection systems and routers. These are configured, monitored and updated according to industry best practice.

Regular third-party audits and inspections

Xero security is regularly reviewed and audited by external specialists. This gives independent confirmation that the way Xero build software is secure.

Data is securely stored online

With Xero, your accounting data is not stored on your computer. That is it's most powerful yet simple eature. If your PC, laptop or tablet breaks down, gets lost or stolen, you don’t lose your data – it’s safely and securely stored online and backed up in several locations.

Two-step authentication

Two-step authentication provides an additional layer of security for your Xero account in case your password is stolen via phishing or malware attacks. As well as using your Xero password to log in, you will also need to enter a code generated by an authenticator app installed on your smartphone.

How does Xero handle employee expense claims?

It’s simple and quick to manage personal expenses and reimburse employees for payments made on behalf of the business. Create claims at work, home or on the go.

Manage expenses and receipts on mobile

Capture business expenses and give your employees access to create expense claims with Xero's mobile app for Android and iOS.

All your receipts in one handy place

Drag a copy of the printed receipt into Xero or upload it using the Files feature. See a list of all the receipts that make up a total claim. Approve claims quickly

After receipts are added you have the option to approve or decline individual items – then just schedule a payment for reimbursement.

No more paper and missed details


Don’t waste time waiting for reimbursement. Managing your expense claims is simple with Xero.

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