Speaking to Accountants Daily, Illumin8 director Andrew Van De Beek said the increased demand for data by clients is forcing accountants to turn towards providing bookkeeping services.
“It’s not a choice accountants have. With cloud accounting and everything that it is bringing, it is meaning accountants have to pay more attention to data on a more frequent basis, and as a result, they are getting dragged into what you would consider to be a bookkeeping approach to their finances as opposed to an accounting approach because you’re having to look at things more regularly,” Mr Van De Beek said.
While Illumin8 has been providing bookkeeping services, the demand has seen Mr Van De Beek launch a separate bookkeeping business — Illumin8 Ya Books — from 1 July.
Co-founder Kat Stathis will now head up the bookkeeping operations at the new firm which will continue to sit under the Illumin8 umbrella.
“We’ve tried a few different iterations of bookkeeping over the years and it didn’t work,” Mr Van De Beek said.
“The two top reasons why was, we had no one with true ownership of the delivery of that service, which we have now solved with Kate being in charge; and the second one was, we were accountants trying to be bookkeepers.
“We didn’t understand the detail. We had to change our mindset to appreciate what a client wants out of a bookkeeper. It is very different to an accountant, but clients don’t understand that they are two different things.
“Bookkeeping services are often more robust, more engaged, it is more up to date, whereas a traditional accounting approach is not.”
Mr Van De Beek believes having a dedicated bookkeeping practice will only result in better outcomes for clients as more focus is afforded to each circumstance.
“Often when you have a blended service approach, you don’t fully see the true value of each individual service because they can often get mushed up in between,” he said.
“Bookkeepers and accountants have historically not gotten along because there is a lot of fear and control that comes with looking after clients, and we want to have an approach of delivering the best result and respecting the people involved in that process, be it the bookkeeper, the accountant, the business coach or even the mortgage broker.”
Jotham Lian is the news 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.