We do so much for our business owners and it can range from processing the payroll to helping business owners make important decisions about their future to sometimes to even resolving partnership disputes, the list goes on.
The reality is that we are at the coalface and very close to the business owner. We know what is going on. So my question here is, why do we not showcase all of the extra value we bring to business owners and package these services accordingly? Things like valuing the fact that most of us are on call for our clients when they want us — we will be there. So why not show this unlimited access as a value-add?
The other thing we often forget to really pitch is our skill at transactional level, the knowledge we have around the software we use, how to process particular items, the workflow around this that created the effectiveness and efficiency that all practice owners strive for and ideally the cost savings that small business owners want that goes along with this.
That’s value. We have the technology to help us do this. Technology has moved to a point now that cloud-based working is well and truly embedded, the next range of tools are here. Machine learning and AI are weaving their way into the tools we use in our practice and also into the lives of the business owners we work with, tools such as the accounting software we use and communication tools such as Zoom, Slack and Facebook.
We have an incredible opportunity to really use these tools to create effective and efficient solutions for our clients, but what’s next for the bookkeeper?
Over the last five years especially, the term “move to advisory” has been thrown around and it’s a broad term. What does it actually mean to a bookkeeper that has been in practice for many years and focusing on the transactional side of things?
I believe that essentially this is a golden opportunity for bookkeepers to help small business transform. Not all of us want to move into the space of advising business owners around their numbers and that’s ok. Not all of us want to go and skill up in this area, but what we can do is provide simple key things to a business owner that can be vital to their livelihood. Simple things like:
- Cash flow management (what business doesn't want better cash flow?)
- Three simple key metrics to measure for their business/industry
- Business expense monitoring
Then take things a step further to include things like:
- Cloud integration
- System design and implementation
- Business coaching around goal setting and accountability
- Marketing and digital services
- HR/payroll provisions
The opportunities are endless, and this where as bookkeepers we can really dive deep down into our skill sets that we have that maybe we just haven’t thought of using commercially before! Bookkeeping is essentially a service that we can provide, but it does not define us.
Bookkeepers are not dead or dying, we are evolving and stepping into a space of providing more value than ever before to small business. It’s about demonstrating our value and being 100 per cent client focused.
We are helping small and medium-sized businesses transform and in that process we ourselves transform.
Mel Power, founder at The Revolutionary Firm