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I’m getting a cleaner for the same reasons you should get a bookkeeper

I did something different this week – I employed a house cleaner. Do I really need a house cleaner? Probably not. Can’t I clean my own house? Yes, you bet I can – after 30 years of marriage I’ve had loads of practice! So why a cleaner now? Basically, I’ve decided that my time, especially in terms of my business, is precious and I need to spend it wisely. I’ve finally realised spending 3-4 hours per week cleaning, washing etc, is NOT a wise use of my time. I should be using that time to work in/on my business or just simply relaxing. It’s time to stop trying to do everything myself and give myself a break.

So this move to outsource my cleaning got me thinking…….

There are probably hundreds of business owners out there like me trying to do it all – the actual work, the marketing, customer relations, administration AND…… the bookkeeping. While outsourcing is nothing new, it is certainly hard for some to do and when it comes to bookkeeping, some find it very difficult to let go! But I promise you, by outsourcing your bookkeeping, your business will improve and you will certainly be happier! In my honest opinion, you should engage a bookkeeper for the same reasons I got a cleaner. Here are those reasons:


Like me and my house cleaning, you’ve looked after the bookkeeping for your business for ages and are doing a pretty good job, so why outsource it? Simple! You’ll get more time to get your work done or to work ON your business. You’ll also get more time for YOU. Instead of working after hours and on weekends on your bookkeeping, you can do something else, something you like doing. It’ll be good for the soul, your sanity and your business!


I’m pretty good at cleaning. I’m careful and do a thorough job. I’m good at it but are my cleaning skills better than those of a professional cleaner? Probably not. My cleaner uses better cleaning agents, better tools and seems to get tasks done much faster (and better) than I can – obviously she knows a few tricks that I don’t know! If you engage a bookkeeper, you’ll find that story will be exactly the same. Even though you’re pretty good at your own bookkeeping, your bookkeeper will always do a better job because s/he has been trained and educated in the field. Like my cleaner, your bookkeeper will do the work faster and better than you’ll ever be able to do it.


By outsourcing your bookkeeping (or in my case, the cleaning), you’ll be giving someone a job or helping someone else’s business grow. This can only be good for your local economy. It’s a win-win. You get back some much-needed time and your bookkeeper gets a job or a new client – yay!


Getting a bookkeeper could be a great networking opportunity – no, really! A contract bookkeeper has many clients and some of those clients might just need the type of service you are providing. Your bookkeeper might even need your services – who knows! The point is, we are more likely to buy from those we know and trust. Your bookkeeper could be your greatest advocate (I’m hoping my cleaner will be one of mine!).


There’s an old saying, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Sure, I could have battled on, working full time and then spending the weekend cleaning, washing, ironing etc – I’m certainly more than capable! The problem with that scenario is that there is a distinct lack of FUN involved! I’m sure if I continued in this vein, I would have ended up burning out, not enjoying my work, my family or my life! Here’s my tip for all you hard-working solopreneurs – in the words of Molly Meldrum, “do yourself a favour” and stop trying to do everything yourself! Outsource what you don’t need to do (even if you can do it) and focus on doing what you’re best at – the actual work! This could be the bookkeeping or perhaps another aspect of your business; whatever it is, delegate it and get your life back!

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Why You Should do Your Own Bookkeeping

There’s a big push at the moment to outsource every task in your business that you don’t want to do. While this concept has merit, there is one business task that you probably shouldn’t outsource, your bookkeeping.

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How to Work with Virtual Bookkeeper

Many SMEs are outsourcing their bookkeeping and BAS tasks to professional bookkeepers. This frees them up to get on with running their businesses and gives them peace of mind that their bookkeeping is correct and compliant. It’s a great thing to do especially if you loathe bookkeeping! While some SMEs prefer to employ an on-site bookkeeper, many are turning to virtual bookkeepers for assistance. So just what is a virtual bookkeeper and how do you work with one?

What’s a Virtual Bookkeeper?

A virtual bookkeeper is someone who works remotely, utilising current technologies and the internet to complete bookkeeping and other tasks for his clients. Virtual bookkeeping is not location-dependent. A virtual bookkeeper can offer services to clients Australia-wide (or perhaps worldwide), without leaving his office. The internet, current technologies, and cloud services all make this possible.

How to Work with a Virtual Bookkeeper

Some business owners are hesitant to use a virtual bookkeeper because they just don’t understand how the whole process works. They can’t get their heads around using a bookkeeper who lives in another town or state for their bookkeeping needs. So just how does this virtual thing work? For the virtual relationship to be successful and beneficial, the virtual bookkeeper must have a proven system in place which nurtures this success. Here is the virtual bookkeeping system we use at e-BAS Accounts:

1. First Consultation

After the initial contact with a new client, an appointment is set for the first consultation. This meeting can be held via telephone, Zoom, Google Meet, and other video conferencing apps e.g. Any Meeting. At this meeting, the client’s bookkeeping assignment is discussed in-depth and created.

A client and confidentiality agreement is drafted and sent to the client via email, mail, or fax for signing. Once the agreement is signed, the bookkeeping can begin! Some practices call this an engagement letter.

3. Accounting Software

Clients can choose between desktop-based platforms like MYOB or QuickBooks and cloud-based software like XeroSaasu, or MYOB Live Accounts. Desktop data files can be emailed (file size dependent), shared via Dropbox, uploaded to our secure online storage facility, and/or sent via mail on a USB drive or CD format. Cloud-based software files are shared with us via an invitation that the client sends to us to become a user of their file online.

4. How Clients Send us Source Documents

Firstly, we send our clients a checklist to help them prepare their source documents for us. We list all data required and provide guidance on how to organise this data before sending it. Clients use various methods to send their bookkeeping documents to us! These include:

  • Our free secure online transfer system via our website. Clients are provided with login details and can upload/download their files to us anytime. This of course means that some data needs to be scanned first by the client in order to create files for upload. Many new printers/scanners can scan documents quickly and in bulk and we recommend that our clients purchase one of these machines in order to do their scanning. If clients don't want to do this then we also recommend that they use Shoe-boxed, an online scanning service. Files created by Shoe-boxed also have the added advantage of being able to sync across to online accounting platforms like Xero and Saasu which is a great time-saver!
  • Adding their documents to Dropbox. Dropbox is an online storage facility that users can share with others as required. Clients simply share their accounts folders with us and we can access the information from the Dropbox account on our computers. Another online sharing service is Box - this is an alternative to Dropbox but works in a similar fashion. Google has announced their file storage offering called Google Drive which works in a similar fashion to Dropbox - another option!
  • Posting their documents to us via Australia Post's Express Post. Some clients also choose a courier service to send documents if they have lots of documents. Some client simply fax their data across to us although this becoming less common.
  • Emailing data. (Some files are too large to be emailed so other methods such as those mentioned above are used instead).
5. The Bookkeeping Stage

Once we receive the client’s documents, we get to work! We will process the data into the client’s chosen accounting software whether this is cloud-based or desktop-based. Clients are kept up to date with the progress of their bookkeeping assignments on a regular basis via email and/or telephone.

6. The Reporting Stage

Once all bookkeeping is complete, we process various financial reports for the client. We then send these reports via email or share them via the client’s chosen method e.g. Dropbox.

7. Monthly Meetings

Every client is required to attend a monthly meeting at which the previous month’s bookkeeping is discussed. This is compulsory as communication is the key to a successful virtual bookkeeping relationship. Because we do not see or visit our clients regularly (sometimes never!) in person, it is possible for the virtual relationship to fall over – “out of sight, out of mind” as the saying goes. Not only are these meetings necessary to ensure that nothing is forgotten or misinterpreted in relation to a client’s accounts, but they also ensure there is a personal level of contact maintained between the bookkeeper and client, something that no amount of emailing and texting can accomplish!

8. Returning Data to Clients

Data that is posted to us is posted back to clients at no cost to them. Data that is shared with us via Dropbox (or another sharing app) is retained in the shared folder at the discretion of the client and data which has been uploaded to our secure online storage facility remains in the client’s account until such time as the client may wish to terminate the bookkeeping agreement.

So that’s how we make virtual bookkeeping work at e-BAS Accounts! Does this work 100% of the time? No of course not! Things do go wrong but most of the time this system is fail-safe. It allows us to operate a successful virtual bookkeeping business that is not location-dependent all from the comfort of our lovely seaside office here in Torquay, Victoria! Perfect!

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