Implementing some simple recommendations can help streamline the interaction between a business owner and their outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper to ensure that accurate records are produced at a reasonable cost.  Listed below are some of suggested ways that will improve the process, accuracy and completeness of reported information and should reduce the amount of time that it takes an outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper to process your monthly accounts.

  • File all of the relevant documentation including purchases invoices, sales invoices, petty cash receipts and new asset invoices together in one place so that it is easy to be provided to your outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper.
  • To ensure completeness of the information, ensure that the invoice sequence for the current month follows on with the next number that was provided for in the previous month and that all invoices in the sequence for the month are provided. During an audit, the inspection of the invoice sequence will be done therefore it will save time if this has been controlled throughout the year.
  • All petty cash activities including receipts and payments should be recorded and supported with the relevant receipts and documentation and transactions should include detailed notations of what the expense was for to avoid time spent looking for information.
  • Check that all transactions on the bank statements have adequate supporting documents so that additional time is not spent looking for the documents and requesting copies.
  • Note any unusual items that you would like your outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper to be aware of and copies of any relevant documentation should be included.
  • If there is a new employee to be added to the payroll, ensure that the signed employment contract as well as their personal details are included in the documentation.
  • If an employee has resigned, then all of the pertinent information should be included in the documentation given.

If you are in doubt as to whether you should send certain types of documentation to your outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper a good rule is to rather provide too much information than too little, as it will save time and queries. Your outsourced accounting service provider/bookkeeper will thank you if you implement these simple suggestions.

Sue Dewsbury

Bookkeeper, Johannesburg

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