If you’re a business owner, chances are you’re flat out with day-to-day activities. That includes servicing customers, managing staff and keeping your business ticking along.
The last thing you might have time for are non-billable activities like bookkeeping, but you’re conscious that timely and accurate bookkeeping is essential. If you’ve ever spent hours handling your own books you’ll understand how much work can be involved. You’ll also understand the importance of getting it right.
A great bookkeeper can be worth their weight in gold. So it’s no wonder many businesses outsource this activity.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when looking for a bookkeeper, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great bookkeeper?
Choosing the right bookkeeper can save you time and money. It can free you and your staff to do what you do best, which is to service clients and grow your business. It can provide you with reliable information on which to make sound decisions. Choosing the right bookkeeper gives you confidence that this essential element of your business is being done well. Last, but not least, it supports you to meet your tax requirements.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a bookkeeper:
- Organised. Bookkeepers need to be highly organised to meet deadlines and manage routine tasks like expense tracking and invoicing. Your bookkeeper should be familiar with your financial records and be able to retrieve information for you quickly.
- Experienced. Your bookkeeper should be qualified and experienced in working with businesses similar to yours (size and industry). They should also be familiar with your chosen accounting software (for example, MYOB, QuickBooks). And they should be experienced with the ins and outs of important tax matters like PAYG, payroll tax and GST.
- Reliable. Bookkeeping can be time-sensitive, especially when it comes to paying your Business Activity Statements and at the end-of-financial year. Look for a bookkeeper you can rely on to deliver what you need when you need it.
- Detailed. Your bookkeeper should take the time to learn the details of your business and how it works. This is the best way for them to provide quality and accurate bookkeeping services and be in a position to flag potential financial issues.
- Cost effective. It’s important to engage a bookkeeper who charges a fair rate for their services and who works efficiently to keep costs down. Check out different price structures online so you get a competitive rate.
The best bookkeepers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
PAQ Group Bookkeeping aims to provide a stress-free bookkeeping experience, so business owners can buy back time and start focusing on their core business. The firm’s progressive bookkeeping and payroll services solution supports businesses of all types, including with payroll.
Armed with the latest technology, PAQ Group offers fixed-fee ongoing packages that suit individual business needs. What makes PAQ Group unique is its focus on regular communications, reporting and becoming a trusted advisor. PAQ Group has been ranked Australia’s number one bookkeeping solution in the market.
PAQ Group’s bookkeepers are certified BAS agents and certified Xero advisors, who provide timely, accurate and safe financial support. Clients have ready access to their financial information through PAQ Group’s shared folder—every time, any time. Services are streamlined for maximum efficiency.
Clients also have easy access to PAQ Group experts, with multiple communications channels available. Experts are on a mission to put client bookkeeping services on autopilot.
PAQ Group provides set response timeframes. A free 30-minute review session can be booked online.
Steve Harris wrote on Google, “Justin and the team go above and beyond in making sure all our bookkeeping requirements are met. They go out of their way to assist. I would highly recommend them for any business looking to streamline their processes.”
AdvisorCorp first opened its doors in 2016, to address financial services for small to medium-sized Canberra businesses. Its full-service approach assists businesses with accounting, taxation, and financial service needs. AdvisorCorp’s team of qualified and experienced consultants is structured within a single advisory hub, fulfilling all business needs under the one roof. Through this strategy, clients reduce overheads and double handling, thus promoting greater efficiency and profitability.
A key service is comprehensive, end-to-end bookkeeping and payroll. Efficient, reliable and professional bookkeeping services allow clients to focus on nurturing and growing their businesses. Services include accounts payable and receivable, as well as reconciliation and end-of-month reporting.
AdvisorCorp focuses on paperless systems where possible.
Jonathon Partrick wrote on Google, “As a small business owner with a young family I struggle to find time for most things. AdvisorCorp is the best accounting and bookkeeping service I have ever dealt with in 20 years in the Canberra region. I highly recommend this practice.”
For over 30 years, RSM’s team of Canberra-based professionals has been partnering with individuals, business owners and organisations from all sectors and of all sizes, offering a suite of specialist corporate and advisory services. This includes with bookkeeping, tax and other financial services.
RSM’s full suite of specialist advisory services is based on strong local knowledge but informed by international best practices, allowing the team to keep up-to-date with contemporary methods.
The firm’s business advisory services includes a comprehensive range of bookkeeping services—from payroll structuring to superannuation services, to practical and qualified financial management advice. RSM’s Canberra-based professionals help individuals and businesses keep their books balanced and meet tax requirements.
RSM is always upfront and transparent about its fee structure. Its bookkeeping services support clients to find efficiencies, reduce costs, control risks and more.
Completely Taylored, established in 2016, is one of only a few Canberra organisations that works with a team-based approach at no extra cost, making it a more affordable option for bookkeeping needs. Completely Taylored’s comprehensive bookkeeping services include processing payrolls, debt collection, managing accounts payable and receivable, end-of-financial-year tidy-ups and more.
On Facebook, Pamela Gonzalez wrote, “Completely Taylored has a great team. The variety of experience of Courtney and her staff, ensures that the work is done in a timely manner.”
Figures Matter tailors bookkeeping services to suit client needs, compliance requirements and budget. Services include payroll, invoicing, superannuation and/or migrating from MYOB to Xero. Figures Matter’s bookkeepers and registered BAS agents have the skills and experience to help businesses of all types.
Matthew Lindsay wrote on Google, “The team at Figures Matter are professional … I now have all company financial information at a glance, BAS sorted & paid, invoices, superannuation and payroll taken care of easily and on time.”
For accurate, meaningful, and organised bookkeeping services, you cannot go wrong with the experienced team at Everest Business Consultants. These experts offer a comprehensive range of affordable bookkeeping services, from day-to-day activities to training staff and more. If sound record-keeping is what you are looking for, get in touch with the bookkeepers at Everest – they have experience with MYOB, Quick Books, XERO, Saasu, and Bank Link software, among others.
As Google reviewer Taylor Victoria writes, "Such an amazing help right from the start! Sanjay helped me set up my business correctly from day 1 and is setting me up for success in the future. He set up my Quickbooks for me, showed me how to make my invoices and is helping me with absolutely everything I need."
Are you looking for financial help and advice for yourself or your business? Check out our articles on the best tax accountants, the best chartered accountants, the best auditors, the best financial planners and the best real estate trust accountants Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with bookkeepers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the bookkeepers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper is responsible for overseeing your business's financial information, keeping it up-to-date and accurate. They can perform a wide range of duties, depending on what your business needs. This includes accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and daily entries and reconciliations. They can also prepare your Business Activity Statements and annual financial reports and tax returns.
Why should I hire a bookkeeper?
No matter the size or scope of your business, you can’t run it successfully and efficiently without accurate and consistent bookkeeping. Hiring a professional bookkeeper has many benefits. They can support you to stay up-to-date with changes in tax requirements and award payments. They will manage your books in a way that is most beneficial to your business. They can save you time, money and stress. They can free you to concentrate on what you love doing best, which is supporting customers.
What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?
Bookkeeping is responsible for the recording of financial transactions whereas accounting is responsible for interpreting, classifying, analysing, reporting, and summarising the financial data. So, an accountant may not be qualified or knowledgeable in the areas a bookkeeper specialises in, and vice versa.
How do I choose the best bookkeeper?
To choose the best bookkeeper you’ll want to consider a range of factors. This includes the extent of services you require. It can also include the size of your business and how complex your financial affairs are. When choosing a bookkeeper, you’ll want to consider their training, expertise and experience. You’ll also want to work with a bookkeeper you get along with and trust.
How much does it cost to engage a bookkeeper?
The cost to engage a bookkeeper depends on factors like the amount and type of work you want them to perform. Check how much a bookkeeper will charge before engaging them. Also ask for a detailed quote or proposal covering how much and how they charge, with some bookkeepers preferring hourly rates and others fixed fees.