Finding a great bookkeeper or accountant for your tradie business

As easy as it is to do your books with MYOB software, sometimes help is needed. Or maybe you’d rather relax with a cold one after a long day rather than spend time on your numbers.

Either way, shelling out for a whip-smart accountant or bookkeeper can be the best investment you’ve ever made.

The first thing is to figure out if you need a bookkeeper, accountant, or both.


Do I need a bookkeeper or accountant?


Knowing what’s what between an accountant and a bookkeeper is a puzzle before you’ve hired one and seen them both at work.

The short version is this:

A bookkeeper helps with business management software, payroll, data entry, recordkeeping and reconciliation of the bank accounts. If they’re a registered tax agent, then bonus – tax returns are their game too.

An accountant, on the other hand, can play a broader role. They offer tax advice and related matters to make sure that you’re running your business as efficiently as you can.

We’re now moving towards a future where both roles are morphing – so both roles may have wider application.

If you just need help with the books, start out with a bookkeeper. If you’re after deeper tax advice, start out with an accountant.

READ: The 4 tax-time claims that catch out tradies


Finding an accountant with tradie experience


Start with someone who knows the drill, so to speak. An advisor with experience in the trade and construction industry will know things have their own quirks in the trades.

The way contracts are settled can affect cashflow, numerous suppliers bill on different cycles, while cash jobs still are (but really shouldn’t be) a huge part of the industry.

So, it’s best that the people you have looking after your business’ money have some handle on the way the industry operates and the different factors that affect the books.

You can ask for a tradie’s recommendation, but we have a handy list of accountants and bookkeepers who are ready to help you out.

RESOURCE: Find an A-grade accountant or bookkeeper today


Find one who offers tech solutions


The best accountants and bookkeepers are across new tech, and how they can use it to help your business succeed.

Technology is moving at a faster pace now than at any point in human history, and there’s new tech solutions coming out daily.

So, it’s best to have an accountant or bookkeeper open to new methods instead of using tired systems the same old way.

That’s like sticking with a Yellow Pages ad listing and playing snake on your phone during smoko.

READ: The secret weapons to boost your trades business


Expertise for your business, not busy work


Bookkeepers and accountants are repositioning themselves as business advisors – and there’s a reason for that.

New tech is making compliance and transactional work much easier and within the grasp of business owners themselves.

It’s why these professionals differentiate to offer niche services, like marketing, business structure set up and advisory.

It’s silly not to take advantage of their wealth of experience in these fields.

They’re people who’ve immersed their heads in the books of so many companies over the journey, sharing in the hundreds of problems and challenges of those businesses.

So, although your business may be unique, your recurring problems have been seen before.

Why not tap into their knowhow?

READ: Why a bookkeeper’s value isn’t in dollars, but sense