Like other service providers, Bookkeepers are paid for their time and their expertise. Therefore you can help to control your bookkeeping costs by enabling your Bookkeeper to focus on applying their bookkeeping skills, rather than undertaking activities that don’t provide “added-value”.
When trying to reduce (or, ideally, eliminate) the activities that your Bookkeeper undertakes that don’t add any value, be aware of:
- Eliminating unnecessary “Queries” (questions that your Bookkeeper has for you as a result of processing your source documentation)
- The sorting of your source documentation (paperwork) prior to it being captured
Source documentation comprises the following types of paperwork, although not all types are relevant to every business.
Credit card statements
Petty cash records
Cash receipts book
Slips (receipts) relating to all cash, debit & credit card payments
Invoices for clients
Invoices from suppliers
Wages & Salaries info
I suggest that you give your source documentation to your Bookkeeper in a lever arch file, with each category of source documentation in its own A4 plastic filing wallet. This will reduce your Bookkeeper’s pre-processing time.
Whilst on the subject of source documents, be aware that SARS requires that all source documents be kept for seven years, so that the documents are available should they decide to audit your business.
When you hand over your source documentation to your Bookkeeper each month, ensure that you give them everything. It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t! Add explanatory notes relating to any items or transactions that are out of the ordinary, supply the documentation associated with any new debit orders that have been set up, and don’t forget to highlight any personal income/expenditure that has gone through your business.
By carrying out these simple steps, you should see a reduction in the number of “queries” that your Bookkeeper has. This, when added to shorter pre-processing time, should lead to a reduction in both the amount of time that your bookkeeping takes and the associated costs. Even more important, it should also result in your Management Accounts being generated quicker, which means that you’ll have earlier access to financial information with which to manage your business.
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