This year, Certified Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (CPB Canada) launched the first-ever National Bookkeeping Week. It’s important to recognize the professionals who have a significant impact on society, and for too long, bookkeepers have not been recognized.
Why is National Bookkeeping Week Important?
As a CPA-registered firm, we recognize the importance a good bookkeeper plays in supporting businesses. We regularly promote and support good bookkeeping firms and strive to have collaborative relationships with them.
They are the first step to ensuring business owners and managers have the information they need to support their business decisions.
Recognizing what bookkeepers do and why they’re important to businesses and society at large is long overdue.
National Bookkeeping Week will shine a spotlight on the profession, striving to help the public understand the role a bookkeeper plays, and encourage new entrants into the profession.
What Does a Good Bookkeeper Do?
There are virtually no barriers to entry in the bookkeeping profession, and unfortunately, there are a lot of “bookkeepers” out there who lack the theoretical and practical knowledge to do their jobs completely and correctly.
Further, there are several out there who lack the ethics and confidence to stand up and do what’s right.
A bookkeeper tracks the transactions of the business and helps keep them onside with the regulations and legal requirements they face. They help keep the business out of trouble.
Some examples include:
- Recording and reconciling all the transactions in the bank and credit card accounts as the first step to the completeness of records and quality control of the books.
- Ensuring that customers are being invoiced in a timely fashion and are paying what they owe.
- Helping businesses file and pay GST/HST, PST, and payroll taxes and ensuring compliance with filing requirements.
- Ensuring that all expenses are business-related and are recorded properly.
- Ensuring that expenses aren’t getting out of control by identifying negative trends.
- Helping identify potential fraud, theft, or other leakages from the business.
- Helping coordinate year-end tax filings and preparing reports for accountants, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.
- Helping keep the business, the business owner, and the management out of trouble.
Beware the “Bookkeeper”
Watch out for “Bookkeepers” who tout their experience, but lack qualifications. (We’re using “Bookkeepers” in quotation marks to refer to the bad segment of the bookkeeper market that really shouldn’t be in the profession.)
CPB Canada has released a Bookkeeper Knowledge Assessment tool that can help businesses identify the bookkeeper they are working with or considering hiring.
It’s linked below:
“Bookkeepers” need to know what to do and do the right thing. Unfortunately, this can create friction with management and business owners who may try to bully the bookkeeper into doing something ethically dubious.
They will often abdicate responsibility for their complicity in ethically questionable behaviour as being someone else’s fault.
At KATA Accounting Solutions Professional Corporation, we take our responsibility to our clients and the general public very seriously.
As such, we have identified some items that “Bookkeepers” may do that could get the business into trouble:
- Claiming GST/HST on every expense without any supporting documentation (There’s a reason you get asked for documentation)
- Recording personal expenses as business expenses
- Recording transactions years in the future because they don’t know what to do with them
- Recording all transactions on a cash basis (Most Canadian businesses are required to use accrual-based accounting – a bank statement write-up is cash-based accounting)
- Not filing year-end forms creating exposure for the business (and possibly the directors of the business)
- Creating fake vendors to get themselves paid more
In the end, the bookkeeper you choose can have a big impact on the financial success of your business. We’d strongly recommend making sure you’re working with a qualified bookkeeper.
What’s on the Agenda?
National Bookkeeping Week runs from January 15th to January 19th, 2024.
During this week, several events are scheduled to promote the profession and help the public understand what it is that bookkeepers do.
For a full schedule, click the link below:
Some highlights follow:
January 16th, 2024
A podcast with “The Successful Bookkeeper” is being released that will address many of the hot topics bookkeepers face. (Listen to our own Jonathan Carter, CPA, CMA, CPB as a guest on this podcast.)
January 17th, 2024
A keynote speech by Jake Karls, co-founder of Mid-Day Squares, sponsored by Intuit. This will be followed by a virtual cocktail reception.
January 18th, 2024
There are in-person celebrations in 5 cities across the country: Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Ottawa.
January 19th, 2024
There will be an online panel discussion specifically tailored to those considering entering the profession or pursuing a CPB designation.
We Appreciate CPBs
At KATA Accounting, we have a deep appreciation for CPBs. They provide better quality information and work closely with their clients to help further their success. They show up with a passion and driving desire to help – not just get a paycheck.
This week, make sure you show your gratitude to the bookkeepers you work with.