When I first started out as a Bookkeeper, I would take on any work. I needed the work, the money and the experience. I learnt a lot, about my clients businesses, about bookkeeping and all the different scenarios that each company or sole trader can face. Different software, processes and methods.
After 14 years, I have now streamlined my client base. I have downsized twice in order to have maternity leave, and have built the business back up again twice. The second time, I had worked out exactly what kind of client I wanted to work with and set out to look for them. I also decided which software I wanted to work with. I wanted to save time where possible, and paper.
Also during this time, bookkeeping software completely changed and new options on how to process data became available.
So my ideal client is a limited company or LLP with a turnover of £300,000 or above. I find that this level of turnover means that I can offer a full bookkeeping service and really add value to the business. My ideal client also embraces new bookkeeping technology and likes a paperless office where possible.
I can raise sales invoices to customers as and when needed, or can use the software to set up recurring invoices for repeating services. These can be e-mailed direct to the client. I can then send statements and provide credit control services, and mark invoices as paid when the payment comes in.
To help me to do this, I set up bank feeds so the transactions are regularly brought into the software and I can match them to sales or purchase invoices.
I send e-mailed purchase invoices to automatic data capture software, where the data is extracted and then sent to the bookkeeping software together with a pdf of the invoice which is then available to view for any queries.
I also check supplier statements to make sure all invoices have been received, If not, I will request copies. I can manage an accounts@ e-mail address and deal with any queries that come in.
Any remaining transactions on the bank feed are matched or posted. I also offer payroll services and then post the entries into the software. I also submit pension contributions.
I remember VAT and year end deadlines, send reminders and ensure I have all the information I need to prepare the VAT Return and the accounts so that these deadlines can be met. With the use of an accounts@ e-mail, I find it takes a lot of the chasing away, as I regularly see the information coming in, and queries can be dealt with much quicker.
I can login to suppliers websites to obtain invoices.
I try to take as much bookkeeping work away from the client as possible, and find that this means I know more about their business and how it works and this helps me to provide a better service.
I am always looking to offer more services, currently I am streamlining fixed asset registers, expense claims and credit card matching.
I work remotely, however I usually only work with clients who I can physically travel to, as I like to meet face to face when taking on the work and feel this helps to have a better relationship going forward. I can also then offer to meet if required.
I am based in Essex.