However, people that do not have the expertise and integrity needed to offer credible bookkeeping services, put the businesses employing them at risk. Furthermore, these imposters give career bookkeepers a bad name, and threaten the progress being made in a bookkeeper’s role at companies nationwide.
A bookkeeper has typically been a multi-hat office worker or secretary who paid bills, sent invoices, reconciled bank accounts, and cut checks for employees but as offices have modernized so has the role of an experienced bookkeeper. Bookkeeping has become a much more transformative role.
Today’s top bookkeepers are more tech savvy than ever before. They know how to use apps and new platforms to keep financial business operations running efficiently, leading to higher output and better accuracy. Modern bookkeepers are more than just data monkeys – some are asked to bridge the gap that traditionally existed between bookkeepers and accountants.
Shifting business demands, new technology, and cost reductions have changed bookkeeping expectations. Skilled bookkeepers are sometimes asked to give input for budgeting and forecasting, which has led some businessowners to assume that bookkeepers should handle anything related to the company’s finances.
So, is that an accurate assumption or is it overreaching?
Assuming your bookkeeper is not a marginal performer, which responsibilities should be included in your bookkeeper’s role and which should not?
The word ‘downsizing’ is often accompanied by a cloud of negative connotations, but it is rarely the result of poor employee performance or leadership mismanagement. Instead, downsizing usually results from other factors like an economic slowdown, overcrowded market, plant closure, or manufacturing outsourcing. Downsizing is simply part of running a business, just like managing rapid growth, which means that leadership must plan, manage, and execute it correctly.
At the most basic level, managing downsizing requires four steps: developing selection criteria, determining how much notice to give, providing outplacement support to employees that have been let go (where applicable), and protecting employee productivity and morale among retained workers. These activities are typically considered part of HR’s purview, but downsizing has implications that trickle down into other areas of the business. There are numerous bookkeeping implications during downsizing as well.
During a recession, too many organizations try to cut costs indiscriminately. The savviest organizations, however, lean on the data to determine when to trim and when to ramp up spending to capitalize on new opportunities. A Harvard Business Review study from the 2009 recession showed that companies that strategically increased spending sooner actually weathered the downturn better. Shrewd business owners who knew when to cut and when to spend recovered lost revenue more quickly and positioned their businesses better for long-term success.
Companies that do not currently employ an accountant may be hesitant to hire one during this downturn due to the expense associated with doing so. However, some circumstances call for an experienced accountant, and a recession is one of them.
Remote work has always been an attractive proposition to employers because they can maintain productivity while cutting costs. Prior to 2020 having a remote workforce was an optional decision. Despite the benefits, many companies still chose to maintain employees in-house to foster a positive organizational culture and reduce technology needs. However, the recent pandemic has proven that external factors can influence the workforce at any time. This has necessitated organizations to be ready to manage the challenges that accompany virtual work even if they do not plan to have employees working remotely permanently.
Managing a remote workforce creates numerous barriers to “business as usual.” Cultural shifts occur, technology demands increase, security risks arise, performance criteria change, and bookkeeping must keep up as well.
While some states like Oregon do not have sales tax requirements, other states, like Washington, double down with both statewide and local sales taxes. Washington’s state sales tax of 6.5% combined with local taxes can total as much as 10.4% depending on the municipality, creating a sizable figure for businesses selling in these areas to manage.
As an e-commerce owner, you need to understand what your sales tax obligations are, determine how shipping costs factor into the mix, and practice crucial oversight.
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