Bookkeeping is key to managing and growing a business
Promoted by Intuit QuickBooks.
Bookkeepers can help build and maintain sustainable businesses.
- Regular communication is particularly important in tough times.
- Every owner needs to understand the basics of their business.
- Investing in client support can protect a bookkeeper’s own future.
Accountants act first
When COVID struck, Alan Heiser acted quickly to help his bookkeeping clients cope with new challenges.
“We put out regular newsletters and bulletins, explaining what was happening, and what help was available,” he says. “We also made sure that everyone who qualified for JobKeeper received their payments on time. We even spent the weekend before the Queensland Government announced its COVID plan identifying which of our clients were eligible and preparing everything they would need to apply. Then, as soon as the plan took effect, we made a video showing them the questions they would need to answer and how best to respond.”
He was very conscious that JobKeeper could help to keep employees together.
“Whatever business you're in, you're relying on people,” he says. “Machinery is just a tool – your real assets are your customers, suppliers, and employees. JobKeeper meant many businesses could hold on to their employees and that’s really helped them survive. It would have cost a lot of money to recruit and train new staff.”
Getting back to basics
A former chartered accountant, Alan changed course to run his own highly successful catering company for 10 years. He then spent another 10 years in the construction industry before deciding to go back to being his own boss.
“I started Goldcross Consulting, and that’s when I discovered that many business owners don’t understand bookkeeping,” he says. “Consulting was fine, but these people needed to get back to basics, which is I set up Envision Bookkeeping as an arm of our company. We now have about 40 clients, ranging from a handyman sole trader to international businesses.”
Alan believes that a good bookkeeper does a lot more than keep the finances in order.
“We help our clients to manage and grow their business,” says Alan. “For instance, we show them how small changes can drive success. When we suggested that one of our restaurants use a slightly smaller takeaway container it made a massive difference to their costs.”
Investing in the future
Despite the challenges, Alan is optimistic that people will have their vaccinations, that the country will open up again and that things will eventually get back to some kind of normal.
“Our clients have had to face hard times but, so far, we've managed to bring everybody through,” he says.
This has often involved work he won’t be paid for.
“We all have to remember that, if we let our clients go under, we're losing business ourselves,” he says. “Sometimes investing extra time supports our own future.”
Meanwhile, Envision Bookkeeping is continuing to flourish, growing by 25 per cent for two consecutive years.
“I’ve been putting on staff to cope with the extra demand,” he says. “We get all of our business from referrals, and Intuit QuickBooks is great for that, so we expect that expansion to continue.”