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The role of a bookkeeper is to enter, categorize, review, and reconcile transactions in a company’s accounting system. Having sales and expense data properly categorized enables business owners to see clearly where they are spending and making money.
In the past, a bookkeeper normally would receive a list of entries or transactions in the form of bank statements, emails, receipts, credit card statements and other documents. This paperwork then was manually assigned to different accounts based on the transaction type. There are bookkeepers who may still process work this way but, more modern bookkeeping processes are available using various accounting platforms which are able to automatically pull data in from bank accounts, credit cards, point of sales systems, or e-commerce tools, so instead of having to input data from scratch, the bookkeeper confirms that the various transactions are going into the correct accounts and manually moves them to different accounts if necessary.
Additionally, a bookkeeper can handle billing (accounts payable) and invoicing (accounts receivable) to help a business stay on top of the income coming in and leaving the business (their cash flows). All of these is organized information that is then available for the business owner in finance reports including the income statement, cash flow, shareholders' equity statements and balance sheet which shows what a company owns and what it owes at a fixed point in time.
As your businesses grows, a bookkeeper can help you tackle tracking the day to day financial transactions but, how do you know when you need one? Some signs that indicate you may need to consider hiring a part-time bookkeeper might be:
Is your bookkeeper knowledgeable, reliable, consistent? Do you feel at ease asking them a question about your business finances and are they easy to communicate with? With the right bookkeeper, the answers should be "Yes" for all of these!