Modern software makes the data entry element of bookkeeping much easier so that small businesses can do more of their own bookkeeping and keep their costs down. They can use an app to take a photo of a bill or forward it to a special email address and trust OCR (optical character recognition) to do the next step.
But AI hasn’t yet developed to the stage where it can recognise where the bill should be coded for tax purposes. We’ll be the first to cheer when it does as tax law can be quite complex and it keeps changing. In the meantime, this is where a good bookkeeper comes into their own.
A bookkeeper will:
- Make sure that your bookkeeping is legally correct – having your books straight will save you time and money in the event of a VAT or tax enquiry as well as minimising any penalties for errors
- Save your accountant time (which saves you £) because everything is organised ahead of time
- Free up your time to relax or work on your business which could be priceless
- Do the work faster than you with the skill of an expert and, perhaps, some additional software so they won’t cost as much as you think
- Actually keep your books up to date as it is their main job and not something they do at the end of a long week.
At my own firm, Minerva Accountants, we use Xavier (aka Dext) software to assess the quality of bookkeeping (even if it has been done by our own team) before we can start preparing accounts, and there is a clear distinction between Xero completed by a professional and by an inexperienced amateur.