Cheap Bookkeeper vs. Smart Bookkeeper

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It’s your business, your choice – at the end of the day, It’s your money.

Recently, I have started bidding on people per hour website and unfortunately, I haven’t won a single job yet. When the bidding is closed and I am not awarded the job, I compare my bids against winning bids and on every occasion, I find that the winning bid was lower than mine – Fair enough, if the buyer wants to spend less money.

However, I wish every buyer understands the point below.

You get what you pay for. (Infact, people per hour website discourages the bidding war by suggesting at the time you place a bid, that majority of bids are awarded to higher bids.)

I want to share a recent experience of my client.

Matt ran a vehicle body shop and used a free software to generate professional looking invoices. On an average, he issued 80 invoices a month and around 70% of the invoices were on 30 days terms, as the clients were used car showrooms in the area. Matt had a very good reputation due to high quality work. He did not have a proper accounting system however he knew that his annual turnover was around £288,000 for the previous accounting year and he managed to prepare VAT returns based on the accounts on excel spread sheets.

The business was growing and he could not maintain an effective credit control and so, he wanted to implement Sage 50 accounting software.

He had two options:

A reliable and hard working bookkeeper: @£10 per hour

A reliable and smart bookkeeper: @£15 per hour

Outcome Hardworking Bookkeeper Smart Bookkeeper
Enter the existing 960 invoices on Sage Manual entry at the speed of 60 invoices per hour = 16 Hours @ £10 per hour Total cost £160 Export various reports from existing invoicing software to CSV – Excel. Re-create all customers in excel with few clicks, use vlookups to correctly align the invoics and upload to Sage = Whole process takes 4 hours @£15 Total cost £60
Going forward Continue with the use of old invoicing software and bookkeeper manually punching sales invoices in Sage = Cost around £10 – £15 per month Whole invoicing is transferred to Sage,  Customised invoice is prepared on Sage and no more data entry is required. Training provided to prepare and print the sales invoices – Set up and training costs = £130 one off – Going forward no cost for processing customer invoices!!!

I have illustrated the benefits in invoicing process. A smart bookkeeper will bring many advantages to your business which will reduce the accountant’s involvement in various matters and their fees.

If you ask your accountant the difference between a cheap bookkeeper and a smart bookkeeper, you will get an honest answer.

At times, a smart bookkeeper turns out to be a cheap bookkeeper.