is bookkeeping still relevant or is it a dying profession?

I'm thinking of starting out as a bookkeeper and I don't know whether I'll be able to catch up or it's too late for me.

1

You need to ensure that you adapt – I would say this is 2-fold. It is challenging, given the speed of innovation, but you need to stay on top of the technological changes in our industry.

The cloud and apps are where it’s at these days. You also need to be able to offer more to your clients than traditional bookkeeping services – value add advisory services are key. While accountants are good at providing more high end advisory like taxes and trusts, bookkeepers know the day-to-day operations of their client’s business far better. You can advise on daily decisions that can make a real difference to your client such as owner remuneration, purchase/lease of vehicles or equipment, setting up SOP, etc.

To be honest, I think most of us feel like we’re always behind because of the speed of technology, but it’s absolutely not too late. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, but I’ve practically had to reinvent myself over the last few years with all of the changes.

You’ll want to spend a lot of time early on before you get too busy setting up systems, deciding what accounting software and tax software (if applicable) you want to use, and looking into all of the apps – things like CRM’s, workflow, payment platforms, document management software, etc. There are a lot of good ones out there.

I’m not sure if you’re American, Canadian or otherwise, but there are also a lot of great Facebook pages to help you gather info and advice, some vary by country or software platforms. In Canada, I use The Successful Bookkeeper, The Workflow Wateringhole, Canadian Sage Advocates, QB-HQ.

Finally, look into joining a local bookkeeping association – in Canada it’s IPBC and it has truly helped me transform my business.

Good luck!

Leanne Woodhead Borden is the Founder and Owner of Borden Bean Counters. Offering bookkeeping, accounting and income tax services. Specializing in all aspect of Sage 50 and Sage Business Cloud Accounting.