Balance your finances

Bookkeepers are an integral part of any business: they are responsible for keeping track of all financial dealings made by a company. These transactions include sales and purchases made by individuals or on behalf of a firm. The main function of bookkeeping services is to accurately enter a business' daily financial information (such as purchases, payments and sales) into several different ledgers (e.g., one for customers, one for suppliers, one for receipts and so on). This can be done either by hand or by using bookkeeping software, depending on the nature and scope of the business.

Though bookkeepers are sometimes mistaken for accountants, the jobs are not interchangeable. A bookkeeper records financial information, while an accountant generates reports from bookkeeper data, to keep track of wider transactions within the company. Thus, the bookkeeper serves more of an administrative role, with the accountant in a position of financial management.

Despite this, the bookkeeper plays a critical role in both the banking and accounting processes. Without their accurate recording of transactions, a management team's reports and its projections for the future will be erroneous, which simply makes for bad business planning—something no one wants.

Using Bookkeeping Software

Most businesses use bookkeeping software to keep track of their financial dealings. Finding the right kind of software depends on how you plan to use it. Some programs are meant for very small businesses, but larger companies need something more complex, and should be certain that a prospective program includes all the features they need to help them do things like track inventory, perform high-volume sales orders, make credit card transactions and form reports based on these records.

Also be sure that your software package offers thorough and reliable customer support, because it may take a few calls to a software technician before every bookkeeper and accountant in a company becomes acquainted with the program. If you're not sure about a program, see if there's a trial or demo version available. This will give users a chance to try out a piece of software for a limited amount of time; typically 30 days.

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