Running a bookkeeping practice is a great career choice for those who are good with numbers and like working with people. You can have different clients, from individuals to businesses, to charities, and any other entity needing help with their books. However, to find success, you need to be able to manage your business to keep everything organized properly.
Your first step should be to invest in an accounting practice management software. This type of solution will help you manage everything about your business. That includes scheduling clients, delegating work, and collaborating with your team and clients. It makes it simple for you to keep track of everything and everyone else on the same page. Beyond having such software, what you do with it counts. Here are three bookkeeping practice management tips to help your business stay organized and help it grow.
1. Be Very Precise When Tracking Time
How you and your team spend your time will go a long way towards how profitable your practice will be. You should be able to account for most or all of your working time to analyze the data and make any necessary adjustments. Bookkeepers tend to be paid by the hour or project, and you need to know how much time you are getting paid in each circumstance.
For any projects, track every minute that you have spent working. This will allow you, over time, to figure out how long certain projects will take you, and you can adjust your rate to match that. When you are billing by the hour, you need to know how many of your hours can be billed to clients and how many are spent doing things the client does not pay for. This includes administrative work, training, and trying to get new clients.
Tracking your time will also tell you how long it takes to complete certain tasks, like reconciliations and building reports. Once you know this, you can better plan your day and the projects you handle. All of this data will allow you to project your costs and revenues going forward. It will also tell you if you spend too much time on non-billable tasks or too little on the billable. You can then make adjustments going forward as needed.
2. Use Secure File-Sharing
As a bookkeeper, you have a lot of files to track. There are documents from clients, vendors, employees, and anyone else that impacts their finances. This also involves sensitive data that should not be exposed to potential data breaches. When using digital documents, emailing them back and forth can be tempting and easy. However, emailing is not secure, plus there is always a chance that you will email the wrong documents to the wrong client, creating a data breach.
Instead, set up a secure file-sharing service that is specific to each client. While you can access them all, each client will only be able to access what is appropriate to them. That way, everyone can get at files immediately when they are available. Your client can share information with you quickly and easily, and they can access all of the reports you put together for them.
3. Track the Services You Provide for Each Client
The term “bookkeeping” does not specifically define what services you are providing for each client. For example, for some clients, you may only provide reconciliation services on a monthly basis. For another, you might handle their taxes or payroll. For another, you might provide all of their accounting needs.
Since each client has different needs, you need to track what services you provide each. This will define your relationship with them and determine how much time you need to spend with them. On top of that, it will also allow you to offer other services to bill more hours, hopefully.
Make sure that before you start to work with a client, you clearly outline what services you will be providing. You do not want there to be a misunderstanding on either end. Otherwise, you could be asked to do work for which you did not agree, and you are not getting paid for. Or, the client may mistakenly think you are not handling something and make a mistake while doing it themselves. Too many cooks in the bookkeeping can create confusion and possibly chaos.
Good bookkeeping is a crucial aspect of any business. It serves as the backbone of an accounting system. You can only get good data from your accounting if you have entered good data in the first place. That’s why your bookkeeping practice can be so valuable for your clients. However, while you keep clients organized, you also need to keep yourself on the straight and narrow. These tips will help you manage your practice and help you provide the best service possible.