It’s all about me……
So you would like to engage a new bookkeeper and during your search you’ve ended up here at my website! You’ve seen what software is supported, you’ve got the idea that I work virtually (or remotely) and you’ve probably checked out some of my blogs. That’s all fine but none of this tells you anything about who I am. If you’re looking for a new bookkeeper then you really want to know who you’re dealing with and whether you can trust them. I aim to tell you all about me, no holds barred, so that you can get an idea of exactly who you’re dealing with!
I was born in 1966 in Melbourne and was adopted by my parents. They brought me up in the country town of Colac, Victoria along with my brother and sister, who were also adopted.
When I was 10, we moved to Hoppers Crossing, also in Victoria due to my father’s job. After high school I started primary school teacher training and during this time met my future husband. We married when I was 21.
We had 3 children fairly quickly. Our second child was born with various disabilities. This made it difficult for me to work but as we had just purchased our first home in Lara, Victoria, I didn’t really have any choice! With the help of family and trained disability carers I was able to work part time at our local primary school for a number of years.
When he was 30, my husband went into business for himself as a mechanic. Like many sole traders, he did everything in his business, even the book work. At the same time, the principal of my school asked if I would become involved in the school’s disability integration program. Since I had a disabled child, he believed that I would have a better understanding of what was required both from an educational and personal point of view. I threw myself into the position for over 3 years, even going back to university and obtaining my Graduate Diploma of Education, Integration whilst working. By 1999, although the position was very rewarding, I found myself totally exhausted! Having 3 young children, one with disabilities, working full time and studying all took its toll. At the same time, the Howard government announced the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was set to begin from July 2000. My poor husband, who is a great mechanic but not such a great bookkeeper, asked if I would help him do the books especially as the GST was coming and things were about to get a whole lot more complicated! I resigned from my teaching role and immediately went to work for my husband.
I hadn’t done any bookkeeping before so wanted to learn as much as possible about what was involved. I spent many hours researching, studying and learning about the new GST system. My husband had gotten away with handwritten invoicing, paying bills via cheque and using spreadsheets for the first 3 years of his business (how, I don’t know!). As a teacher, I had a long history of working with computers and there was no way I was going to do any bookkeeping on paper! The first thing I did was buy accounting software. I chose QuickBooks Pro mainly at our accountant’s suggestion. I enrolled in a QuickBooks short course at our local TAFE College and learnt the basics of the software. I organised a filing system, created template forms for the business, organised Eftpos for payments, revised advertising and marketing and created a customer database – all things I knew the business needed. Coming from a completely different career, I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to be a bookkeeper but as time went on, I surprised myself at how good I was at this new job and how much I enjoyed it. I think the thing that I really liked (and still do) was that I was able to bring much-needed organisation to a business that really was in a mess admin-wise (sorry husband!). Now my husband could get on with what he was good at, the actual work and leave the paperwork to me. We made a very good team. Did we ever fight? You bet your life we did but that’s a topic for whole other blog!
Three years after beginning my “career” as a bookkeeper, some of our friends who were also self-employed, started asking me about getting some help with their bookkeeping. I was very busy working for my husband but agreed to assist them where possible, more as a favour than anything. As time went on, these favours turned into actual work and our friends wanted to take me on as their paid bookkeeper. It’s one thing to do your own bookkeeping but quite another to be responsible for others’ accounts. I did feel a little pressured and thought it was time to get some professional assistance. If I was to become a trusted and professional bookkeeper for other businesses, I would need to step up to the mark. After doing some research online, I decided to join Australian Bookkeepers’ Network (ABN) and later on, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). Both bookkeeping associations provided endless amounts of technical information and of course, much-needed advice when needed. I now felt I had the backup I needed to be able to really assist my friends (now clients) . My clients engaged me to do lots of different tasks such as data entry, accounts receivable and payable, payroll and of course BAS preparation and lodgement.
In 2008, I got wind of a new legislation being written which would essentially make it
illegal for bookkeepers to provide BAS services for a fee. Known as TASA 2009, this legislation required any bookkeeper who wished to provide BAS services to meet certain requirements in order to register as the newly termed, “BAS Agent”. One of the requirements was obtaining a qualification called “Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping)”. I studied and passed this course over the next 18 months via distance education with the Bookkeeping Institute of Australia. I was glad that I got the chance to get a formal bookkeeping qualification because coming from a non-bookkeeping background I always felt a little inadequate, especially when assisting my clients – I always wondered if I was good enough. Turns out I must have been okay because in 2010 I was awarded registration as a BAS Agent by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
In 2012, my husband sold his business. This was quite a relief for me because by this stage, my client-base had grown considerably and maintaining his business as well as my own was pretty stressful, doable but stressful! Finally I could operate my business on a full time basis and I was super excited about it! I set up my office at home, had this awesome website built by Chris Finnegan of Click Web Design and put 100% of my energies into developing my virtual bookkeeping business. Things went from strength to strength and now this business is thriving. I’m really busy like any self-employed person but I don’t mind because I love it. I’d work everyday of the year if I could!
So what are my plans for the future of e-BAS Accounts and for my life in general? For the business, I’d like to keep it small and manageable and perhaps employ another bookkeeper at some stage to help with the load and/or allow me to take time off from time to time. According to Tony Abbott I’ll have to work until I’m 70 so that’s about another 28 years – plenty of time to develop and grow the business! I don’t mind working until I’m 70 if my health allows it, because this job is awesome. Ideally, I’d like to eventually sell the business so my husband and I can travel and do some of the things we’ve not been able to do due to marrying and having kids so young. I guess that’s the plan; work hard for the next 10 plus years, perhaps sell the business and/or work part time and in between travelling around and enjoying life! Who knows? I may even be lucky enough to be blessed with some grandchildren (hint hint kids!) at some point which will make me reassess the situation all over again. But that’s life isn’t it? We never know what’s around the corner; we can only live for today and do our best.
There you have it….. a bit about me, your potential new bookkeeper. I hope you liked what you read and that you feel that you know me just a little better than before. If you decide to get in contact, I look forward to getting to know you and what you and your business are all about 😉