Having owned my own construction business, I know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever-changing technology.
For most business owners, myself included, the focus remained on keeping the money coming in so that suppliers and staff can get paid on time.
Making sure quotes and invoices are accurate, variations are recovered, all the right materials are included, and timesheets are submitted can be the difference between a job costing you money or making you money. Time is the commodity that is the hardest to save, so spending time researching software solutions that might make these processes easier is a total after thought.
This insight has made me appreciate the role a bookkeeper plays in helping run a small business.
Bookkeepers know and understand their clients’ admin requirements and have built the confidence to introduce new ways of working that not only reduce the complexity of the business but improve the ability to report on how individual jobs are performing.
A bookkeeper has the privileged position when it comes to understanding how a business operates, and being exposed to hundreds of software providers through the ecosystem.
Understanding how the business is run, the Bookkeeper is able to reflect on the process flows and methods being used. Informed Bookkeepers who consider other methods, where time and effort can be reduced, are not only reducing the administration cost for the business they are instilling a culture of constant review and improvement.
Many small businesses fail to grasp the use of technology as they have preconceived ideas that it will be hard to use, it will slow me down, it will take more time than it will save. Technology has moved on considerably and with the standardisation on Cloud Accounting applications and the deployment of easy to use apps the landscape has moved.
Customer proposals are built using accurate materials costs picked from an active price file. Experience from previous jobs is the base point to start the new quote, and the production time of the estimate is reduced and simplified. The project estimate becomes the critical document allowing customer invoices to be produced that are accurate and linked directly to the quote. Making reporting of cost to complete and remaining revenue per job easy to report.
Supplier invoices being imported directly into the job via Xero is a complete game changer and in many cases will be the single process improvement with the biggest impact for a small business.
With material prices fluctuating and demand for work at an all time high most small business operators just don’t have the time to be changing systems or processes, that is where the bookkeeper can earn their weight in gold.
Reducing complexity, saves time and money for the small business. This saving goes straight to the bottom line of the company and can be used to fund additional improvements.
Don’t take your position for granted, make the most of your privilege and deliver real measurable improvements to your clients - they will love you for it.