How important is bookkeeping for a small business? A superb summary by a Northern Ireland-based specialist sums up just how vital bookkeeping is for companies big and small.

Marie, of New Balance Bookkeeping, pointed out that “staying on top of their accounts” can help companies to “make strong business decisions”.

Introducing the work of her own business, Marie explained that New Balance is a “small, client-focused practice”.

“We’re very very small at the moment but hoping to grow bigger and we have quite a varied client base. We deal with lots of small businesses but we have some as well which would be classed as micro-entities and slightly bigger as well.”

Bookkeeping for Small Business – What is Bookkeeping? Making Tax Digital with Marie Wells

She answered a common question those outside the business community might ask by outlining the crucial difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant.

“Going back years ago there was quite a marked difference…I think now the gap is starting to close on the services that are offered by both accountants and bookkeepers where bookkeepers are expanding their skill sets and able to offer the likes of management reporting and income tax returns.

“It’s actually very good for us in that I’m affiliated to a professional body and they’re very good at providing that training that we need to enable us to be more competitive in the market and give our clients a more holistic approach to the services that we can offer them.

“I’m not going to say a ‘one stop shop’ because obviously there are clients who need the input from accountants as well, but from the accounting side they’re also starting to offer bookkeeping. Some of them are bringing bookkeeping in-house.

“We’re moving closer as professions and it’s nice because sometimes you can meet accountants and you can have that collaboration and between the two we can offer that full service.”

Asked about the rise of digital accounts software businesses can now use, Marie said modern business life had moved beyond “bringing your paperwork to us in a bag” and gave an insight into why this is such a positive development.

“There are so many options out there for clients that will fit the way they work.

“There aren’t two of my clients who use the same means of providing me with the information that I need to do their work. Which is obviously good from our point of view as it means that we’re providing options for clients that’ll fit with them, some clients aren’t very good with IT and we can sit with them and work through and figure out a method that works for them.”

Marie added that GDPR represented a major impact in how companies handle data.

“I think GDPR has been a big shock to a lot of people…you realise all of a sudden that this is serious. So we have all, not just my business but all businesses, had to adapt to that and I think some people are maybe not quite there.

To explore more on these subjects, and topics such as making tax digital, watch Marie’s full Business Leaders Series video.

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