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Business Tips – Bookkeepers & Financial Year End – Part 1

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I’m really getting to the point where I am beginning to feel like I am ‘sounding like a broken record’!  Problem is that many SME’s don’t seem to be listening and that is really sad.

Every day I meet people who haven’t listened and who are now paying the price and I mean “paying” in every sense of the word.  People who are trying to negotiate payment plans with SARS and people who are trying to hide from the Sherriff of the court, who has arrived to attach their possessions and even people who have had to liquidate their businesses and their stories are all the same – they didn’t understand or know how to do the finances of their businesses.

If only they had listened!

Sure a good bookkeeper/accountant will cost you money.  Sure there will be administration that you will need to do on a daily/weekly/monthly and annual basis, but look at what you have to gain from than – a business where you actually know what’s going on!  For me there’s actually nothing worse than not knowing where I am financially.

Here are some of the things that a good bookkeeper/accountant should be doing for you (so NO, it’s not just about the numbers, it’s also about delivering a good service and understanding your business too).

Your bookkeeper/accountant should ensure that you are properly registered – not only as a company but with all the different legislative bodies that you need to be registered with.  You don’t automatically have to be registered with all of them as some of them are industry specific.  For example if you run a pub or bar or restaurant, you would need to have  a liquor license but if you run a book store you wouldn’t.  If you have staff, you need to be registered as an employer both with SARS and the Department of Labour, and so on.  Your bookkeeper/accountant would need to ensure that you are properly registered and that your annual fees (where applicable) are paid and up to date.

The bookkeeper/accountant should also ensure that your books are maintained on a monthly basis and that they are accurate and calculated and recorded and documented in compliance with the GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principals) requirements.

It is the responsibility of the bookkeeper/accountant to ensure that the monthly/bi-monthly and annual statutory requirements are met on or before the deadlines.

As most of you know by now, there have been many changes to legislation over the last few months, but here’s the thing – legislation changes all the time.  Your bookkeeper/accountant needs to keep up to date with, not only all the changes that have taken place, but also the changes that are being proposed for the future.  The bookkeeper/accountant should be keeping you up to date with all of the changes, especially in terms of SARS (VAT and Tax).  Changes in these two elements could have a financial implication on your company if they are not correctly and timeously implemented.

Next time we will look at some additional issues that your bookkeeper/accountant should keep you informed about.