There are many possible answers to this question, from ignorance of bookkeeping to the proprietor focusing exclusively on the business growth leaving no time for other activities. However, this article will focus on the size of business – as a rule of thumb.
Most of our bookkeeping clients seem to fall into a certain size bracket. There may be many reasons for using us but we mainly act for businesses turning over up to £700,000 per annum. I could analyse this all day but it seems when a business reaches this sort of size, the bookkeeping starts to be done in house by an employee.
I am always more than happy to be involved in the hand-over of the books from our bureau back to a dedicated employee and I will train them in the use of the package so that the client gets maximum benefit from them as soon as possible. I do not try and talk the client out of this move because I heartily agree with it. I will actively help them find and interview suitable people.
There have been two occasions in the last year when clients have got to that point and set on a bookkeeper but then it has not worked out. We have then taken the books back into the bureau temporarily. It is not because I have an underlying agenda to sabotage the client taking back the books, it is just that the vast majority of people see bookkeeping as beneath them as a job. In the two examples, both bookkeepers were excellent at the job but quickly became bored and moved on to proper jobs.
Personally, I can understand this as I see it from practising accountants all the time. They view bookkeepers as failed accountants and not worthy of acknowledgement and would they attach a bookkeeping service to their client offerings? not on your Nelly! They are qualified accountants after all, not bookkeepers! Professionally, I think they are barking mad. Every one of their clients keeps books so why is it beneath the average accountant to help small businesses with their books, or even take them off their hands altogether.
I love bookkeeping myself and I have never hesitated to help out or take over the books of even the tiniest of clients. Most of the downloads from the VT Software website are from our smaller clients! So. As far as the size of business who mainly look to us for help goes? From £1,000 to £700,000 turnover per annum. These are generally growing businesses who are too busy to be involved with the books, who do not understand how to keep them anyway and who realize there are dedicated bookkeepers waiting to help for a reasonable cost, with all the backup of a full professional accountancy practice behind them.