Every company requires a bookkeeper to properly function but the duties and responsibilities vested in a bookkeeper can vary from company to company depending on the size of the enterprise and the manner of the distribution of duties among its employees. However, notwithstanding the type of company, bookkeepers deal with at least the mandatory facets of the financial record-keeping of a firm. Bookkeepers are part of a company’s accounting department or in smaller companies are wholly and solely the accounting department, who engage in the day to day execution of financial transactions and record-keeping. Bookkeepers are even sometimes regarded by business and financial institutions as the backbone of an organisation.
Among the typical tasks, a bookkeeper would execute on a day to day basis are the management of payable and receivable accounts, update of profit-and-loss statements, balance sheet and trial balance, and the establishment of BAS and PAYG liabilities, reconciliation of bank statements, and recording of financial transactions. Bookkeepers are also often responsible for the recording and calculation of the payroll function and often are responsible for the process of transferring the funds to the employees.
Bookkeepers are generally the individuals responsible for coordinating and constructing a Company’s profit and loss statement over any given time frame. They, therefore, have to ensure that every account in the Chart of Accounts stays in balance on at least a monthly basis and properly investigate any financial transactions within the company that are not routine or appear out of the ordinary. By doing this a bookkeeper is able to balance and check for staff members and privileged stakeholders who may be out to defraud or embezzle funds or liquid assets of a company.
In executing the tasks above it is a bookkeeper’s responsibility and professional obligation to represent their company or employer by conducting themselves with a high standard of honesty and integrity when dealing on behalf of a company. A high level of confidentiality and discretion is required when dealing with the financial matters of a company as many issues that a bookkeeper may deal with are of a sensitive nature. But beyond this it is highly likely a bookkeeper will also be exposed to sensitive details of individuals within the company including staff and even the shareholders a company and for this reason, it is important that the individual entrusted with these privileges must be trusted to manage this information appropriately.
Bookkeepers are often called upon to provide expert opinions in regards to internal operations from a financial perspective primarily because they have the best understanding of the financial day to day operations of a company. A bookkeeper will often deal directly with the directors or shareholders of the company whilst the company is going through a contracted or expansive business phase as directors and shareholders need to keep their finger on the pulse at a greater level than usual as this is generally a more volatile time for the company.
Finally, it is important that a high level of communication between the bookkeeper and management exists as this fosters an environment for business success. At all times the bookkeeper is responsible to look out for the best interests of the business and not the direct manager as a manager’s view can sometimes become clouded by the opportunity of personal gain which presents itself when a high level of autonomy and resource is left at a managers disposal. For this reason, it is important that a Bookkeeper has access to the directors or shareholders of a company.