This guest blog is written by Matt Remuzzi of CapForge Inc., a Riverbend Consulting partner.
Every thriving business owes its success to a variety of roles and responsibilities working in tandem. From the charismatic sales team clinching those deals to the dedicated customer service reps smoothing ruffled feathers, each role is vital to your business’ success. However, one cog in the business machinery often gets overlooked – the bookkeeper.
This unsung hero can significantly impact your business’s sales trajectory. So, why is having a bookkeeper pivotal in the rise or fall of your sales?
Why do you need a solid bookkeeper?
Your bookkeeper is more than just a number cruncher. They are the pulse of your business’s financial health and a vital contributor to your sales success. They not only ensure that the books are balanced but also provide crucial data that influence strategic decisions, including sales tactics.
Consider a technology company that’s struggling with plateauing sales despite a popular product lineup. On delving into the financials, their bookkeeper identified the problem isn’t sales volume but dwindling profit margins. High overhead costs were the culprit. With this insight, the company managed to trim costs, improve profit margin, and make its sales more lucrative.
Here’s is what a top-quality, competent bookkeeper offers:
- Financial clarity. Imagine steering a ship through foggy waters without a compass – pretty challenging, right? That’s akin to running a business without a clear picture of your financial situation. A bookkeeper provides this much-needed visibility, shedding light on profit margins, cash flow, and overhead costs, among other aspects. This clear-eyed perspective helps your sales team set realistic targets, price products or services accurately, and navigate toward profitability.
- Strategic input. A seasoned bookkeeper doesn’t stop at keeping the accounts in order. They dig deep into the financial data to draw out insights and trends that can shape the company’s sales strategy. From identifying high-margin products to pinpointing seasonal sales trends, these insights can fuel sales growth.
- Cash flow management. For a business, cash is king. Your bookkeeper ensures there’s always enough in the kitty for business operations, including vital sales activities. Effective cash flow management can fund product development, marketing campaigns, and even sales incentives, driving business growth.
- Compliance and risk management. Falling foul of tax regulations or missing payment deadlines can lead to penalties, harming both your bottom line and reputation. A diligent bookkeeper helps you avoid these mishaps and maintains your company’s credibility, allowing the sales team to confidently pitch your products or services.
- Support for business growth. As your business expands, managing your finances becomes more complex. A bookkeeper can adapt to your business’s changing needs and scale their services accordingly. Whether it’s handling increased transaction volume, payroll processing, or financial analysis for expansion plans, a bookkeeper provides the necessary support to facilitate your business’s growth journey.
What are the qualities you should look for in a bookkeeper?
When hiring a bookkeeper, examine their background and expect these 8 characteristics:
1. Attention to detail. One of the most important qualities that a bookkeeper should possess is strong attention to detail. Bookkeepers need to be meticulous in their work to ensure that every transaction is accurately recorded and categorized. Small errors or oversights can have significant consequences for a business, leading to financial inaccuracies and potential legal issues. Therefore, a bookkeeper must have the ability to spot discrepancies, reconcile accounts, and pay close attention to even the smallest details.
2. Organizational skills. Organizational skills are vital for a bookkeeper to effectively manage financial records and documents. Bookkeepers deal with a large volume of financial information, including invoices, receipts, and bank statements. They must have excellent organizational skills to maintain an orderly system for storing and retrieving these documents. A well-organized bookkeeper can easily locate important records, track financial transactions, and provide accurate information when needed.
3. Analytical thinking. Bookkeepers need to possess strong analytical skills to interpret financial data and identify trends or irregularities. They must be able to analyze financial statements, identify discrepancies, and provide insights into the financial health of a business. Analytical thinking allows bookkeepers to go beyond simply recording transactions and understand the implications of the financial data they handle.
4. Familiarity with accounting principles. A bookkeeper should have a solid understanding of accounting principles and practices. This knowledge enables them to accurately record financial transactions, apply appropriate accounting methods, and generate financial reports in compliance with regulatory standards. A bookkeeper with a strong foundation in accounting principles can navigate complex financial scenarios and ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial records.
5. Excellent time management. Time management is crucial for bookkeepers, as they often deal with tight deadlines and multiple tasks. They must prioritize their work effectively, ensuring that financial records are updated regularly and reports are generated on time. Effective time management skills allow bookkeepers to handle their responsibilities efficiently and meet the demands of a fast-paced business environment.
6. Professionalism. Bookkeepers have access to sensitive financial information, and therefore, they must possess high levels of integrity and maintain strict confidentiality. They are entrusted with the responsibility of handling financial records, and any breach of trust can have serious consequences. A trustworthy bookkeeper understands the importance of confidentiality and exercises discretion when dealing with confidential financial data.
7. Communication skills. Effective communication skills are essential for bookkeepers to collaborate with other team members, clients, or stakeholders. They must be able to explain financial information clearly, respond to inquiries, and present reports concisely and understandably. Strong communication skills enable bookkeepers to convey complex financial concepts to individuals who may not have an accounting background.
8. Flexibility. The field of bookkeeping is constantly evolving, with advancements in technology and changes in regulatory requirements. A bookkeeper should be adaptable and open to learning new software, tools, and processes. They must stay updated with the latest accounting standards and adapt to changes in financial reporting requirements. An adaptable bookkeeper can embrace new technologies and streamline their work processes to improve efficiency.
These characteristics apply to our team of experts and bookkeepers at CapForge. We offer highly qualified accounting specialists who work with you, side by side, to ensure the financial health and growth of your business. We understand that each client is unique with different needs and different budgets. Contact us to learn more.