It is claimed sometimes that bookkeepers are too expensive, and this has been pushed along at times by some accountants who try to convince the a client that it is true and offer the service at less than their cost and then inflate their other accounting costs to cover the shortfall. When this kind of action takes place by players in the bookkeeping and accounting marketplace, the real value of the bookkeeper and the services they offer and perform for the client begins to be lost and become unclear, especially to the client.
Many accountants convey the idea that all a bookkeeper does is code bank statements and they can do that cheaper by using the bank feeds available along with auto-coding rules, …but is that really what bookkeepers are all about?
Are bookkeepers better than accountants, or are accountants better than bookkeepers?
The answer to this question is both offer a very important service to the client, and neither is “better” than the other, they compliment each other. As I love using analogies to explain and convey an idea, I will use one here. In a motor vehicle there is an engine (the power plant) and the transmission (the processing of the power into valuable output). To look after this combination there are two groups who are specialists in their own areas, an engine specialist and a transmission specialists.
The business is the engine and without that engine there is no need for the engine specialist or the transmission specialist as both are dependent on that engine.
The bookkeeper is like the engine specialist, They provide the skills and expertise to take care of the day to day running efficiency of the business, making sure everything is running as it should and preventing problems that can prevent the business owner from performing at their peak.
The accountant is like the transmission specialist, they take the business output and analyse it and make decisions about those outputs, and how they are best used to serve the business in terms of final output efficiency. (what gear to use to best serve the business needs) This can include, minimizing tax liabilities, providing the business with management information and much more.
The question is though, are bookkeepers charging too much for the service they offer?
I will leave this post at this point for now to allow each reader to think on these questions, but I do not intend to leave the post hanging on these questions.
My next post will deal with the reasons why bookkeepers are far from being too expensive, and why they can offer the client a far better service in this area than can an accountant.
See you on the next post and am happy for you to comment.