What is a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper?
In Canada, there is currently no government mandated certification process for bookkeepers. Any individual can purchase accounting software, print business cards and call themselves a bookkeeper. In order to test the competency of bookkeepers who are not certified through any of the recognized organizations, like Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IPBC), we (AIS Solutions) have created our own in-house examinations, both written and practical. Before we hire a new bookkeeper to become a member of our team they must score 80% or better on each of our examinations. We have now made these examinations available to the public so if you are a business owner and would like to test your own bookkeeper please visit our Online Bookkeeper Training and Testing site.
We know that choosing a bookkeeper can be daunting, and we want to make sure that you find the best fit for your needs, even if that is not with us.
Here is some information that we hope you will find helpful on how to choose between a Data Entry Bookkeeper (DEB) and a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper.
A Full Cycle Bookkeeper is a liaison between you and your CPA (Certified Public Accountant). We perform everything, from accounts-payable and accounts-receivable, payroll, data management, and account reconciliations to recording journal entries, creating detailed reports, software training and interfacing, and working with your CPA to ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and on time.
Most “bookkeepers” that you will encounter are Data Entry Bookkeepers (DEB). A DEB will often know how to do the basics of invoicing, applying payments, and writing cheques. However, they lack the more in-depth accounting knowledge of how your software works with Debits and Credits, troubleshooting, correct reconciliation techniques, and reporting. Many businesses will hire a DEB thinking that they are getting a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper at a cheaper rate. Make sure that you find out what background and certifications they have. Be aware that a QuickBooks ProAdvisor® is very different from a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor®.
Having an under-qualified bookkeeper can cost your business a lot of money in time needed to correct entries, poor financial planning, and government penalties. Even though you may be saving money with a low hourly rate, an experienced Full-Cycle Bookkeeper will be able to manage your books more completely and correctly – usually in under half the time, saving you money in the long run. The real question is: how much is your time and peace of mind worth? How important to you are accurate and up date financial reports?
Even more important to know is that the DEB is quickly becoming extinct, and being replaced by the fantastic emerging technologies that can save you time and money. We don’t need to enter all of your data manually. We have an app for that. Several of them, in fact. For the little bit of data entry that is occasionally needed, the title for that role has been changed to Data Entry Technician, as that person is no longer considered to be a bookkeeper.
The team at AIS Solutions consists of both “Kninja” Full Cycle certified Bookkeepers as well as our apprentice “Ninja” Junior Bookkeepers. It is our junior bookkeepers who perform any required data entry as they progress through their apprenticeship training until they too become “Kninja” Full Cycle Bookkeepers.
We believe that excellence in bookkeeping is fundamental to the success of a small business. We are committed to education and training in order to raise the standard of bookkeeping across the country. With that in mind we created two initiatives. First, Online Bookkeeper Training where small business owners can go and test their current or prospective bookkeepers so they can have some peace of mind as to the quality of that bookkeeper. And, second, our Nationally recognized online training and education community exclusively for bookkeepers “Kninja Knetwork“.
The old definition – A bookkeeper (or book-keeper) is a person who records the day-to-day financial transactions of a business. He or she is usually responsible for writing the daybooks, which contain records of purchases, sales, receipts, and payments.
That definition is no longer correct.
The NEW definition – A bookkeeper (or book-keeper) is a management accounting professional, often specializing in financial compliance, business strategy, technology setup, execution, and maintenance.