Yes, I don’t want to charge you for unnecessary work.
This is about how to get the best value out of your bookkeeping and accountancy charges. But there’s a deeper, and more valuable, message as well. In this short piece, you will learn a thinking process, which you can replicate in other areas of your business.
Start with what has to be done
Some of the work that you must do, and we must do, are hygiene factors. The bookkeeping must be done, and the government requires the accounts and tax returns to be produced. So, it’s important to try and keep those costs down because what we’re really dealing with here isn’t just cost, but time. The more time it takes for you to tell us what we need, the longer it takes us and the more it costs you.
The deeper message
Businesses often do not grow because they run out of the one resource you cannot create more of – Time. Specifically, yours, the business owner. This is equally true as we head into a wintery economic outlook. Get what you have to have done, so you’ve got time to plan and stay afloat.
As the business grows, you spend less time on the technical aspects of what you do, and you must spend more time on how you run things. That means more admin time spent on marketing, sales, people and all the rest – those things you will not understand as well as the technical aspects.
So we fool ourselves. We play this little game where we say that we need to spend more time on the technical work, because that’s what earns us money. What we really mean is that we are more comfortable in that space and so when life gets difficult dealing with uncertainties in marketing, finance, strategy etc, we go back to our happy place, and start dealing with the technical bits again.
This isn’t all or nothing. Of course, you’ll have to deal with some technical elements, but you can’t put off everything else. The issue with the technical side is that your understanding is so good, you can better limit your uncertainties. You may not like or understand all those other areas of your business so well, but you do recognise that there are many uncertainties elsewhere.
That which we dislike or do not understand, we delay. You cannot do that and expect to grow.
Common issues we face – an illustration
Sadly, we often get information from clients piecemeal. They forward emails with an invoice attached without explanation. The client will know what it was for because they made the purchase. But we cannot guess. They say “it’s from Amazon” yes, we can see that, but what we really need to know is why was it bought?
There are always going to be questions, but keeping them to a minimum will reduce time and money. To do this, please validate everything before you send it to us. Does this make sense? Is it complete? Are these all the invoices? And all the bank statements that are going to be needed? The same things are needed every month.
Please don’t respond to questions piecemeal. Get all the information for the questions before sending it back. If we get an answer to 5 out of 10 questions we asked, then we can’t complete the work, and we will only ask again, which wastes more time and costs us both more. Remember, there are two costs here, not just the bill for our work, but the cost of your time spent repeating something.
Rework is always the most expensive work of all
Upload invoices and receipts to AutoEntry or Dext as you get them, don’t queue them up until you’ve “got the time”. You will never have time. Also, when we process your data, there are often items missing, and we have to get back to you to search for something which happened some time ago. Good luck in finding it fast. It’s always quicker to input data as you go.
As we have said before, the limiting factor is always time. That means your time. Finding ways of saving time makes managing the business much easier. We know you are busy, and admin is a pain so, the sooner and quicker you can get it dealt with the better. Build it into your schedules, and that makes time for other things.
Don’t put this off until time becomes available, because it won’t. Delaying only means there will be more to do, so you need a bigger chunk of time. That’s more difficult to find, so it doesn’t happen until it’s critical. Doing what you can as you go through the day is always better.
This is exactly how it happens when you spend too much time on the technical aspects. You have to recognise that as your business grows you stop being a bricklayer, or machine operator, or digital specialist or whatever. You have to be a business person. Especially now, given the state of the economy.
Any business can be made profitable if you deal with all the major aspects as though they were equally important. Because they are.
This method of managing your day doesn’t just apply to how you think about and deal with your bookkeeping and accounts. You can and should translate this thinking into everything you do. We guarantee it will make you money.
You know where we are if you need us if we don’t call you first!
How we can help you
We are all about helping you achieve the best life-work (not work-life) balance for you. We do what you need to keep you on the right side of the taxman, answer all your questions, and make helpful suggestions.
Always recognising that your business is a tool for you, not an end in itself. We help you plan to live your best life for longer.
Freedom and independence is the key to success, so book a free Business Energizer session with us to find out how to achieve it.