Bookkeeping expert, having more then 5 years of working as Bookkeeper for the clients from US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland.
Expert in Softwares like Xero, QuickBooks, MYOB, Saasu, WaveApps, SimplyAccounting, FreshBooks, TradeGecko, StitchLabs, DearInventory, EntryLess, ShoeBoxed, Shopify, WooCommerce, PAYPAL, Stripe and many more.
As per your business, Xero.com or FreshBook would be the best cloud based applications to manage your financials as well as managing receivables efficiently.
With Freshbooks you can integrate payment methods also to give more reasons to your client for motivating them to pay faster, you can also communicate with them through Freshbooks and all your invoice history can be viewable to your clients.
Bookkeeping and Admin roles are completely different, if a person knows debita and credits doesn't mean that he/she is a good bookkeeper, sometimes there are situations where you need expert advise which an experienced bookkeeper can provide because they are experienced and skilled.
Sitting on two hourses very rarely makes sense.
If you hire somebody to manage both roles you are going to feel stress over a time because in this situation you have to invest more of your time along with that person to manage things in organised way.
I would suggest to hire seperate individuals for these roles because of the price variation, time required to manage specific tasks, expertise etc
At a certain point I agree with both Chris and Paul.
For a small business its really important to look over Cash flow on regular basis, it doesn't matter either your accountant or your bookkeeper is managing these regular tasks such as Cash flow, receivables and payable management, payroll, record keeeping etc.
The thing is you should have reports and data accurately and in timely manner.
A Bookkeeper is someobody who can spend much time managing your financials on regular basis as it requires a lot of communication between two parties which a Tax epert would not be able to do especially during the tax season or around the legal deadlines.
I have been working as a bookkeeper from last 5 years and have note that its always better to have two seperate parties for managing financials on regular basis, i.e. Day to day or monthly and for filing returns and raxes.
Few reasons are:
1 Cost: cost of a bookkeeper is much lesser then a Tax expert, especially if you have somebody oversease, like me.
2. UpToDate Books: A bookkeeper keeps uour books up to date at any point of time and can provide you reports whenever you need, which a Tax expert finds little hard due to certain reasons.
3. Review: This is the most important reason, A general understanding is that you can never find your mistakes, untill your work is reviewed by somebody else.
For this its good to keep these two tasks seperately so that your books can be reviewed regularly and can be improved as per the review analsis of your accountant, and yourself.
4. Receivables and Payable Management: Can you imagine that your Tax accountant is sending follow up emails to your customers and following up with you that if you have paid telephone bill or not? No you cant even imagine that, thats why you need a bookkeeper.
5. Final submission of accounts: Your tax accountant would find it difficult to make aome changes due to whatever reason, they would aimply make an adjustment entry to make things right. Just imagine you have coded some transactions in wrong account which needs to be rectified and changed with a proper account, your tax accountant would aimply pass on a journal and would correct those errors, but will that give you a proper overview of your financials on a monthly basis report?
Thats why you need a bookkeeper.
As per Paul he says that your tax accountant is much better to manage your bookkeeping needs as he knows your business well, I dont agree with him for this point.
I am working as a bookkeeper, and I never start any contract with having enough understanding of the Business structure and its process which is quite important to keep books in order.
These are the general thoughts over your query rest is all depends on your business structure and your needs.
Hope above mentioned pointa would help you.
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