Speaking to The Bookkeeper, Laurus Bookkeeping director Cassandra Scott said she has seen recent marketing by software providers targeting clients by perpetuating that bookkeeping “can be done over a cup of coffee or on your smartphone”.
“One of the big things we’re seeing is clients trying to reduce fees on bookkeeping support services and often that’s coming off the back of comments by software providers that it is easy and you can do it yourself,” said Ms Scott.
“There’s a perception out there or one that is starting to build among business owners that it is actually very easy to do their own bookkeeping, and yet... we’ve got the compliance environment which is becoming far more stringent — you’re increasing the industries now covered by TPAR, you’re looking at the STP regime, and it is becoming more and more complex for businesses.
“There is a real dichotomy there between the software providers saying it is easy, but the compliance drivers are saying it is actually getting more difficult.”
Ms Scott also flagged recent examples of payroll issues cropping up, including Lush’s $2 million payroll error, as an example of why bookkeeping should not be dismissed so lightly.
“There is a real mixed message going out there at the moment between the compliance authorities and the ATO and the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the message that is being pushed out to the client base through the software providers,” said Ms Scott.
“Businesses thinking it is very easy because the software providers tell them it is easy will be potentially caught out with those sort of compliance requirements.
“It’s like somebody going around saying, ‘Here’s a pair of scissors; it is really easy to use and you can now go out and cut somebody’s hair now’.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.