Bookkeeping FAQs

Below we've answered some FAQs on bookkeeping services for small businesses. Contact us if we can help further

What does hiring a bookkeeper cost?

The cost of hiring a bookkeeper is not such a straight forward question. There are many factors that can influence this, such as size of the team and frequency of the pay cycle. Although it may seem to be a big cost to outsource bookkeeping, it’s not always the case. Having a qualified bookkeeper taking care of your payroll has many advantages.

Don't underestimate the value of skilled, diligent bookkeeper. Bookkeeping may seem easy, but wait until you make a mess of your books. It can cause troubles for years.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping can be considerably cheaper than hiring an employee internally to carry out bookkeeping tasks. Fixed fee bookkeeping is a good way to ensure your costs don’t blow out come end of year, end of quarter or end of month processing. See how Carbon can help here.

To put this in perspective, let’s use payroll to illustrate. What is the hourly rate of hiring someone internally to process your payroll? Normally an hourly rate of around $30. But what if that person takes a long time to do something say four hours one week? Costs blow out to $120 just to process a pay run. All these unexpected costs add up quickly.

Consider outsourcing your bookkeeping to keep costs fixed, helping with cash flow and to fend off those surprising bills. An all-inclusive payroll package can cost as little as $50 per pay cycle, processing this internally could be considerably more than. Carbon Bookkeeping offer a fixed-fee structure, click here to check out our pricing.

What is a bookkeeper's role?

Business owners use information processed by bookkeepers to evaluate the performance of their business. Therefore, it is a bookkeepers primary responsibility to ensure 100% of a business’ transactions have been picked up and recorded accurately. Now-a-days, being a bookkeeper is more than just processing transactions. Having sound knowledge of accounting and tax concepts is critical in enhancing a bookkeepers’ output. It is essential for all businesses to engage a bookkeeper with professional training and qualifications in the area of accounting to ensure there is reliable data to gauge a business’ performance. The Carbon Bookkeeping team is run and managed by a team of qualified accountants (CPA and CA), ensuring your business data is relevant and reliable. Click here to check out our team.

What is good bookkeeping software?

Good bookkeeping software is invaluable to businesses of all sizes. You can have a manual system, electronic (spreadsheets) or use bookkeeping software which would be the most efficient method. Each business has their own unique requirements for bookkeeping software and there are many to choose from. In this day and age, so many more bookkeeping software has become available to use in the cloud. There is no better way to be able to access it from anywhere in the world. Gone are the days when everything is stuck on your desktop and only one person can use it at the one time when making important changes. People can now have a business without an office and travel the world while they run their business.
When choosing the bookkeeping software, you need to make sure that it will do what your company requires. Ensuring also that if the bookkeeping software does not do what you require, that there are possible add-ons so it will make everything work smoothly and you can ensure the correct figures are being accounted. Each feature has an important role to play and can help with the smooth running of your business.

Some features that you need to look for in bookkeeping software can include:

  •  Affordability and accessibility
  •  Ease of use
  • Time saving features
  • Ease of bank reconciliation
  • Multiple bank accounts - foreign currency
  • Chart of accounts – ability to have sub groups or tracking systems
  • Automated entries
  • Invoicing and quoting online with multiple software options (ipads, iphones )
  • Purchase orders which switch easily to bills for payment
  • Manage your cash flow with scheduling of payments
  • Inventory
  • Payroll
  • Expense reports, financial reports
  • Customer service – tutorial videos
  • Integration with other apps or systems
  • Amount of Users – unlimited?
Online accounting software, Xero, is capable of doing all of these features. Being cloud-based, it allows the user to access information anywhere, on any device, at any time, meaning you don't have to be in your office to access your information! Carbon Bookkeeping at Xero's only platinum partner in WA. Give us a call to see how we can get you started on Xero!

What are the benefits of hiring an off-site bookkeeping company?

If your business is currently doing its bookkeeping internally, why not consider outsourcing? Below are the top benefits of hiring qualified bookkeepers to take care of your accounts.

More Time - It frees up your time so that you can focus on dollar productive activities. If you are not skilled in this area then the time it takes to enter transaction is much higher then necessary. Think about cost not just in terms of the dollar amount you can save by doing it yourself but also the amount you could earn for your business in the same time.

Saving Money - You do not have to employ someone who you pay regardless of what they do, so you are only paying for what you need. You also avoid all the hidden costs like super, worker compensation insurance, annual leave, sick leave, training, providing equipment, consumables, etc, etc.

Expertise - You have access to experts on a fulltime basis without having to pay for it around the clock. Putting your accounts into the hands of highly skilled staff who understand industry leading best practice and technology your job becomes a whole lot easier and effective.

Focused - It is hard for a bookkeeper to do their job around the hustle and bustle of a business tucked away in the corner, having them offsite allows them to focus on your business

Team vs Individual - Unfortunately one bookkeeper is often not enough to effectively cope with everything that occurs within a modern business. When you go offsite you place your financial records in the hands of staff that thrive on teamwork.

Scalability - Allows you to expand or cutback in the blink of an eye. Whether you are looking to grow your business or cut down on spending, having an offsite team gives you the flexibility that in-house bookkeepeers can’t provide.

Accuracy - When you hire a bookkeeping service you are engaging experts who know how to enter and classify your transactions.

Lower Turnover - Many internal bookkeeper simply leave a business due to boredom, a better opportunity comes along or they feel underappreciated by the business sooner. No matter what the reason the absence of a bookkeeper it causes major financial turmoil for your business. If you engage an offsite company then you never have to hire again.

What’s the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

A bookkeeper is predominantly responsible for recording the day to day transactions of a business.  Generally an accountant is engaged to provide a business advice at a higher level, such as structuring, tax planning and compliance.

Where a business engages their accountant on a proactive basis, it is beneficial if the bookkeeper works alongside with the accountant to ensure all the business’ transactions are recorded and transacted in accordance with the accountant’s advice. Carbon have divisions in both bookkeeping and accounting, with qualified specialists in each team. Contact us to see how we can help.

How do I hire a good bookkeeper?

Many small businesses don’t have enough work for a full time finance officer and so it is more beneficial for them to outsource their bookkeeping services until they grow large enough to warrant hiring someone for the job.  How do you know that you are hiring a good bookkeeper?  Will my bookkeeper do a good job?  Where should I look to find a good bookkeeper?  See how Carbon can help here.

It is important to ensure you can rely and trust your bookkeeper to handle your books efficiently.  Hiring a good bookkeeper, is like hiring a staff member, so treat it the same.  Remember to review their background, achievements, find out what other people think about them by asking around for their references and whether they get the job done. 

When you know that your bookkeeper comes highly recommended, it takes the stress away from the transition period.  Once you have chosen your bookkeeper, ensure you are clear with them from the start what your expectations are and keep the communication up so that no unexpected issues arise. 

When is superannuation due?

Superannuation is due quarterly, 28 days after the end of the quarter for exact dates of the quarters and their relevant due date see below table:

Super Quarters & Due Date

1st July – 30th September: 28th October

1st October – 31st December: 28th January

1st January – 31st March: 28th April

1st April – 30th June: 28th July

It is extremely important superannuation payments are made on time as you can face severe penalties and interest for late or missing payments.

How much do I need to contribute for superannuation?

The minimum super you must pay each quarter is called the Super Guarantee (SG) current SG contribution rate is 9.5% on ordinary earnings.

Ordinary earnings is the amount your employee earns for their ordinary hours of work. It includes things like commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments.

To calculate supers contributions simply multiply your employee’s ordinary earnings for the period by the current rate of 9.5%.


Do I need to clean my books before I hand them over?

Not at all. We can assure you that you are not alone and we see this all the time. We know how busy life can get sometimes and often compliance is not your number one priority but we can absolutely get you up to date and keep you up to date. We find its easier, quicker and more efficient for us to start with the source data and enter it rather than trying to interpret and fix incomplete and missing entries.

Do not worry whatever state your accounts are currently in we can guarantee we have seen and fixed a lot worse.

I am behind in my BAS and tax; how do I get up to date?

You are probably aware that it is compulsory to lodge a business activity statement at least quarterly. But maybe you have been a bit “naughty” and you have some overdue. You might have been too busy, the forms might have looked too complicated or there may have been legitimate reasons (like health or relationship issues) that stopped you from lodging. Do not worry, it is very common, and (with the right help) the problem is easily fixed. Whatever the reason you fell behind, you need to get up to date. And once you do, you’ll get a better night’s sleep as well.

The easiest way is to drop in for an obligation free coffee and we will run through your situation or give us a call if you don’t live locally. We deal with situations like this day in day out and can guarantee we have seen and fixed a lot worse. We will even liase with the Australian Taxation Office and will go into bat for you to see if we can get penalties and interest waived on your behalf (no guarantees but our track record is pretty good).

Stop stressing about it and let us handle it.

Why do I need a bookkeeper?

Having a good bookkeeper in Perth will ensure you have efficient accounting systems which helps you manage critical components of your business.

Why should I outsource my bookkeeping?

Most small and medium business owners do not have the knowledge, time or ability to effectively perform their bookkeeping duties. Outsourcing a bookkeeper will provide you with the time required to focus on your business operations. Click here for more information.

How do we get started?

Give us a call or send us an email and we'll arrange for you to come into our office so that we can learn a little more about you and your business, as well as telling you about ourselves and letting you know how we might be able to help. The first meeting is complimentary and obligation free.

I'm already set up with Xero, but I'm not 100% sure how to use it.

Xero is a very user friendly software, but there are still tips and tricks that can make your life easier- even for the savviest of users. The Xero Community has a wealth of information and ‘how to’ manuals for completing different tasks, but if you need a little more hands on and personalised help, Carbon can help with a one-on-one personalised training session, see here for details: Pricing Training

I'm not on Xero, can I still use your services?

We generally find that Xero is the most suitable software for the majority of small business owners at the moment. 

However we are not a one size fits all company and our bookkeepers are also accredited in all versions of MYOB and Quickbooks (QBO) as well as various other software packages and programs. At our complimentary initial meeting we will run through what your business does and where you want to get to in the future, and from there we can make recommendations about what software would suit you best. The decision is yours, and we are more then happy to use the software you are most comfortable with. 

We currently spend too much time on payroll. Is there a more streamlined solution?

Payroll can be a complex area especially for small to medium sized businesses who are not familiar with it.  A simple solution for small to medium sized businesses is to outsource their payroll function.  At Carbon we have a team that specialises in processing payroll.  We understand payroll is an integral part of your business and needs to be completed with accuracy as it can have a significant impact on your employees personal circumstances. We tailor our services to meet your business’ needs whilst ensuring all your compliance needs are met with regard to Tax and Superannuation.
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if you have a bookkeeping query

Our friendly team live and breathe cloud-based bookkeepig and we're armed with knowledge to answer your queries. Fill in the form below and we'll be in touch shortly.

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