Date published: 10 May 2023
I'm Just a Bookkeeper - Debunking the Myth and Celebrating the Profession
I'm taking a bit of a literary license here, and changing the word from "Believe" to "Belief", but I think it is an apt adaptation.
For anyone that watches Ted Lasso (and if you don’t..... why not....it's brilliant!!), you will know that he has a strong focus on self and
Jamie Tartt: “Coach, I’m me. Why would I want to be anything else?”
Ted Lasso: “I’m not sure you realize how psychologically healthy that actually is.”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "I'm just a bookkeeper," I'd be rich enough to hire a team of bookkeepers to manage my finances. But here's the thing: bookkeeping is more than just crunching numbers. It's a profession that requires a unique set of skills and expertise that goes beyond basic math skills. As fellow bookkeepers, we know this, but it's time to spread the word and debunk the myth that bookkeeping is just a mundane task.
Let's start by taking a closer look at what bookkeepers actually do. We're responsible for maintaining accurate financial records for businesses of all sizes. This includes recording transactions, reconciling accounts, and generating reports that provide insights into a company's financial health. We're also responsible for ensuring that financial records comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
As the administrator of the Bookkeepers in Practice (Australia) Facebook Group, I am tapped into over 2,000 Bookkeeping Practice Owners.
I polled the group recently to find out the depth and breadth of work that is being undertaken by "Just a Bookkeeper".
This list is by no way exhaustive, but provides a snapshot of the type of work** that bookkeepers undertake on a daily basis.
BAS Agent Services
Software Management and Integration
**Please note that in Australia, unless you are a Registered BAS Agent, then you may not legally be able to provide many of these services.
Now, you might be thinking, "Well, that all sounds pretty straightforward. What's the big deal?" Here's the thing: bookkeeping is not just about following a set of rules and procedures. It requires critical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail. We need to be able to analyze financial data, identify trends, and provide insights that help business owners make informed decisions.
The list above represents the technical skills that bookkeepers hold, however we also need to be good communicators with well-developed soft skills. We work closely with business owners, accountants, and other stakeholders, so we need to be able to explain financial information in a way that's easy to understand. We also need to be able to communicate with clients who might not have a strong financial background, and help them make sense of their numbers.
So, when someone says, "I'm just a bookkeeper," they're doing a disservice to themselves and their profession. We're not just number crunchers; we're problem solvers, communicators, and trusted advisors. We're an essential part of any business's financial team, and we should be proud of what we do.
Of course, there are challenges that come with being a bookkeeper. It can be a thankless job, and it's not always easy to get clients to see the value in what we do. But that's where our sense of humor comes in. We've all heard the jokes about how boring bookkeeping is, or how we're just glorified data entry clerks. But we know the truth: bookkeeping is anything but boring, and we're much more than just data entry clerks.
So, let's celebrate our profession and all that we bring to the table. Let's educate our clients, colleagues, and friends about the
important work that bookkeepers do. And let's stop saying, "I'm just a bookkeeper," because we know that we're so much more than that. We
ARE bookkeepers, and we ARE proud of it.
Keep an eye out for our next post, to see what opportunities are out there for those of us that are "Just a Bookkeeper"