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Are you working with an “old skool” or “new age” bookkeeper?


The phrases ‘keeping the books’ or ‘bookkeeping’ are ones that often leaves small business owners with the feeling of dread for a number of common reasons:

  1. It’s boring

The small business owner is usually a technician or salesperson of some sort whose main aim is to keep doing what they normally do. They don’t want to be losing valuable time or sales by having to sit down with that pile of receipts to be processed!

Some business owners don’t mind dealing with the sales invoicing side of things, or dealing with the takings. That’s because they see immediate value in that process – the business turnover and/or their bank balance.

But nothing seems more boring than having to sort invoices and receipts into date order, reference these, file them, list them out or enter on a spreadsheet or system of some sort…………….uuurrrrgghhhh!

Or even having to list out their bank statements into some form of analysis………….typing out transaction after transaction, noting the payee, the amount, and putting a category against it………..what’s the point in this they wonder?


  1. I don’t understand what I’m meant to be doing

You’ve heard from other small business owners the types of books you need to be maintaining and you replicate their methods partly to save more time but mainly because you really haven’t a clue how to do it any other way, or why.

Or you work with a more “traditional” accountant who gives you a series of spreadsheets to use, shows you how to list out your business invoices, receipts and bank data and lets you get on with the job. But what the hell is this all about? It does your VAT return figures, right?


  1. It’s takes too long

You’re the type of small business who has a high volume of small receipts for everything you spend. Some of these are paper receipts, some are on email, some are…………well you’re not sure where some of these are!

And it’s takes hours if not days to assemble these into a big pile on your desk, then (hopefully) some these into date order, before firing up the PC/laptop and typing all the lovely data into your wonderful spreadsheets………

Working with an Old Skool bookkeeper

So what’s your solution? Hire a bookkeeper of course!

A lot of small business owners don’t mind hiring a bookkeeper to take care of all of these mundane tasks as long as the cost isn’t too prohibitive.

They’ll happily pay someone £X per hour to get the paper off their desk and processed. And if it gets their VAT returns done, great!

If it helps their accountant with what he or she needs for their end of year job too, even better.

But this is what we call “Old Skool Bookkeeping”. It’s how things used to be done. The biggest drawback with working with an old skool bookkeeper is the lack of true value in what is being done and how it is being done.

As a small business owner working with an old skool bookkeeper, you’re really just paying for stuff that seemingly needs to be done, even worse it’s mainly for the government and to tell you how much of your hard earned money you owe back to the tax authorities!


Working with an New Age bookkeeper

Is there a better way? There certainly is……………

How about your ‘bookkeeper’ gets paid to do things that you want to have done, things that really matter to you, things that will actually make a difference to your business?

Cloud accounting firm such as K Phelan & Company provide a meaningful bookkeeping service to our clients and customers using the latest in cloud technology. Let me expand on that for you……… are the big benefits of working with New Age bookkeeping firms such as ourselves:


  1. It’s in the cloud

All your financial data is online, meaning you can actually see everything that has been done for yourself but in a much more meaningful way.


  1. It’s more meaningful and useful information

So instead of looking at a list of expenditure based on invoices and receipts, you’re looking at who you owe money too, you can see how much you’ve spent each week or month on certain areas of these business, you’ll see which customers haven’t paid their bills yet……….all of this type of info can help you make better decisions about your business to help improve your bottom line……….which in turn helps grow your pride and joy or help you plan to get paid that little bit more for you!


  1. Go mobile

Still keeping all those receipts in a bag or folder for your “old skool” bookkeeper? Not anymore. You can use mobile apps to snap photos of all your receipts and get these processed in the cloud by your “new age” bookkeeper, which also means………..


  1. Bin the paper

That’s rights, chuck them away, bin them, shred them…………no more paper clogging up your office or home!

Your new age bookkeeper will process everything online and data entry to a cloud based accounting system will include a PDF or similar attachment of the pic of your invoice or receipt. You can view this within your mobile app and cloud accounting system anytime you want, and you can set up the cloud system in such a way that all you need to do is view the invoice/receipt alongside its data and then click ‘Approve’ to send it through to your new cloud accounting system……….simples!

All the data entry itself is dealt with by your new age bookkeeper using other cloud apps to automate the data entry part of the process. This gives your new age bookkeeper more time to do better things for your business such as…….


  1. Automated bank records

Working with a New Age bookkeeper and the latest cloud technology allows for your online business bank account to be hooked up to your online accounting system. Your bank statements are feed directly (or imported) to your new cloud systems, so no more listing out those statements!

And now you’ll see WHY you record your business bank statements………..your new age bookkeeper will be matching off and automating the data analysis for you, so that money from customers and money to suppliers are paid off against invoices already sent out or invoices/receipts fed in from those mobile apps for your expenses.

Your New Age bookkeeper will tell you in a flash what your current bank balance is, how much money is due in from customers and when, how much is due out and when………….so a quick and easy cash-flow predictor for your business. Isn’t THAT what you’ve always wanted!


  1. Streamline your invoicing

If you still want to keep control of your sales invoicing function, working with a New Age bookkeeping firm will still add big benefits. You’ll be able to enter up your invoices from any PC with internet connection or even from a mobile app. Then check it and email it from within your new cloud system straight to your customer’s inbox.

Take the classic ‘man with a van’ small business………… can literally turn up at your customer’s house or place of business, get the job done and then use pre-set templates on your phone to send your customer an invoice/receipt for your work when sitting in your van outside………….no more sitting up into the early hours just to make sure you invoice all your work!


  1. Get paid faster

Working with a New Age bookkeeper will get money into your bank account faster……….that’s a fact.

Using these new cloud tools can automate your credit control and debt collection procedures. Statements can be produced and sent electronically with a few clicks. Invoices can be tagged with “reminders” so that an automatic email goes to your customers to alert them that they haven’t paid their bill. Your New Age bookkeeper can set up these systems with you whatever way you want.

For example, you might want:

  • A reminder to go a day or two before payment is due for invoices
  • A second reminder to go on the day payment is due
  • A third reminder to hit your customer’s inbox a few days after payment was due
  • Another reminder goes 7 or 8 days after payment was due
  • A stronger reminder goes out 14 to 21 days after the due date

And so on……………all automatically, all emails worded in such a way that they look ‘live’ and not automated.

What’s the big benefit? Less time doing all of this by paper, less time typing email after email to ask for your money, less time on the phone or physically chasing down your late payers. So you can spend more time getting proper work done ON the business.

Your new age bookkeeper can also take over any phone calls to chase debt for those really troublesome customers who drag their heels over payment. The beauty is there is now a complete history of every invoice and every reminder sent to them at the click of a button……….no more “I didn’t get your invoice/statement”…………..the cloud tools now available can actually record when the customer opened your emails!

Remember………………polite persistence pays.

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