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Accountants Bookkeepers Connection (ABC)

In the recent episode of Bookkeeper Radio: Accountants Bookkeepers Connection (ABC), your hosts Peter Thorp and Kelvin Deer were joined by the host from Accounting Industry podcaster, ‘From the Trenches’, Paul Meissner, and Deb Roberts from ‘Pure Bookkeeping’. Together they discussed the Bookkeeper/Accountant Relationship, which historically has not always been a smooth one.

Here are some tips that our panelists shared from both perspectives that can assist you in strengthening the connection, in a way that everybody wins.

Bookkeeper Perspective

  • Meet with the clients Accountant
    • If you haven’t met yet, then give the Accountant a call
  • Make it known at the introduction point of a few things what you would like from the Accountant/ what would make the process more effective/efficient
  • Let the Accountant know of any existing systems and processes that you have in place, make sure the Accountant is aware
  • Ask the Accountant to inform you of any changes, and if there are changes made, then why those changes were made
  • Nurture the relationship – if the client has an issue with the Accountant, encourage the client to go directly to the Accountant and give the Accountant the opportunity to resolve the issue

Accountant Perspective

  • Leave any angst of a past experience behind – everyone has good/bad stories, but you’re both only as good as the Accountant/Bookkeeper relationship you have right now
  • When handing over work to the Accountant, let the Accountant know what has already been looked at, and what format you are bringing to them. There often isn’t a right/wrong, it’s just knowing who’s lokked at what and how things have been treated.
  • If any issues were faced, discuss with the Accountant.
  • If not sure if the coding is correct, ensure coding is consistent across document, so it is easy to find and reallocate (if required)
  • The more information you communicate to the Accountant, the better
  • Delivering a file in person is more effective, as it allows you to give more detail
  • Don’t view a change in the work file as a negative thing, it isn’t always because the Bookkeeper’s work was incorrect, sometimes changes aren’t easily explained. There are many reasons for changing the coding (tax treatment, business ratio’s, the way the accounts look for a bank, etc)
  • If you have any questions for the Accountant, ask in a calm, non-argumentative matter, and often the Accountant will be more than happy to explain why they have done something a certain way. 90% of the time it will be related to tax, not the bookkeeper error.

Communication is the key player in the Bookkeeper/Accountant Relationship, and is not an element to be undervalued. When communication breaks down, this leaves room for angst and frustration, which can often easily be avoided.

Both parties need to be aware of what’s going on with a work file, to ensure a smooth flowing process. It is important to make this system clear from the beginning so both parties understand the other’s process, and know what to expect.

Clients win when Accountants and Bookkeepers work together.

Thank you to Paul Meissner ‘From the Trenches’, and Deb Roberts from ‘Pure Bookkeeping’, for joining us on the episode as our expert panelists, and for the valuable input that was given to the topic of conversation. If you would like to view the recent episode, visit www.bookkeeperradio.com.au.

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