How to Find the Best Local Bookkeeping Services in Sydney’s Small Business Sector

April 22, 2024

Bookkeeping is an essential part of running any business, whether you’ve just launched, are in a growth stage, or maturing as a business. 

Both small businesses and big businesses need to keep track of their finances and have effective bookkeeping practices in place. 

As your business grows, you will need to likely make a call as to whether you continue doing your own bookkeeping or you may consider outsourcing to a professional. One of the key benefits of engaging an experienced bookkeeping professional can tailor services specifically to suit your business. A tailored bookkeeping service can drive business growth and enable you to focus on other important areas of your business instead. 

Small Business Owners Need Help Getting Their Books in Order

As a Sydney small business owner, there are real advantages to using a local bookkeeper in Sydney. The main benefits are: 

You’re getting local expertise

By outsourcing your bookkeeping to a trusted, Sydney-based bookkeeper, you’ll be working with someone familiar with Australian tax laws and compliance standards. And, someone who is also familiar with Sydney’s business environment and the unique, dynamic market you are working in. This will give you peace of mind that you will comply with all of your tax obligations. It will also give you confidence that your books will be accurate and up-to-date so you can make informed decisions about your small business. 

A Sydney-based bookkeeper will also have a better understanding of your business than a bookkeeper from outside of the area. They may even be a customer if you’re in the same suburbs or close by. 

Faster response times

Need a bookkeeper to pick up your receipts and financial records and work their magic to organise your books? Another key advantage of engaging a Sydney-based bookkeeper instead of someone in another location is they can do this.

Working with a bookkeeper in the same time zone also is great news for communications. It means you can easily schedule meetings and get responses to any questions you may have quickly. 

You will be supporting the Sydney business community

By engaging a bookkeeper in Sydney, you will be supporting Sydney’s business community that you are a part of too. This helps to create a thriving business sector, opportunities to expand your business networks, and strengthen relationships with other businesses in your local area. 

Overcoming Challenges with Bookkeeping as a Small Business Owner in Sydney

Navigating the complex world of compliance  

It can be tricky to maintain compliance as your small business grows. The goal posts are likely to change as you expand and grow. There may be different tax regulations, payroll requirements, tax withholding, superannuation, as well as additional reporting. This complexity can be difficult to navigate as a business owner when bookkeeping isn’t your area of expertise, and you don’t have specific qualifications and experience in that area. It can also take your precious time away from your core business. A bookkeeper can help you to take care of business more efficiently, and you can be sure that it’s done properly as you scale. 

Balancing the small business juggle… and the stress that comes with that

Being a small business owner can be stressful. With a regular job, there is a defined finish time, but often a small business owner’s work extends well beyond the regular work day. There’s the planning, the marketing, and all of the behind-the-scenes paperwork. For many small businesses, there is also the accounts and bookkeeping to manage. Invoices to send, expenses to log, receipts to upload (and perhaps receipts to find if your recordkeeping isn’t quite on point). This hectic work schedule doesn’t exactly inspire creativity, new ideas, and the development of new strategies for growth for your business, does it? 

Are you on a fast path to burnout trying to juggle too many things in your business?

Having a local bookkeeper on your team can take the stress out of managing your books.

How Engaging a Local Bookkeeper Can Help Your Small Business Grow 

Engaging a professional bookkeeper allows business owners, just like you, to focus on more strategic and important tasks within the business. You can look for opportunities to scale your business, instead of logging receipts and trying to piece together your last quarter’s operations three days before your GST return is due!

Knowing you’re in compliance with all of your tax and financial obligations gives small business owners the freedom to explore other opportunities. Being confident your records are accurate means your books can start working for you. A well-kept accounting system brings valuable insights into your business that can help you propel towards growth. 

You can:

  • Identify your highest-performing products or services so you can focus your efforts on what is working best. 
  • Closely monitor your cash flow and identify any patterns in your financial records that can help you improve cash flow in your business. 
  • Better manage overdue invoices and accounts.
  • Identify trends in your business that can help you create highly accurate financial forecasts for the future. 
  • Ensure you’re not underpaying or overpaying taxes.

How to choose a bookkeeper

Choosing a bookkeeper, or any other service provider, is an important decision. You are entrusting another person with an important part of your business. So, of course, you need a bookkeeper who demonstrates qualities such as honesty and integrity, reliability, and someone who can do the job well. 

Other things to look out for when choosing a bookkeeper are:

Where they are located

If you are a Sydney-based business, it makes sense to engage a Sydney-based bookkeeper. Having a local presence can help to facilitate better communication and you’ll be dealing with someone who has a strong understanding of the Sydney business landscape. 

Their availability 

Make a list of all of the bookkeeping tasks that you need to be done so your bookkeeper can tailor a service that specifically meets your needs. Check their availability to ensure it’s a good match for your business. For a small business, you may only need someone for a day or two per month. But if you are scaling your business and going through a growth period, you should look for someone who can also scale their hours to accommodate your growing business. 

Their qualifications and experience 

When engaging a bookkeeper, you’ll want to ensure they have the appropriate qualifications and experience. The level of training and experience required will depend on the complexity of your books. For example, if you manage a team in your small business, you should look for a bookkeeper that has experience in payroll processing. It’s important to find a bookkeeper who has the right mix of capabilities to match the demands of your business. 

How much you are prepared to invest in professional bookkeeping services

Calculate how much you are prepared to pay for a professional bookkeeper and start your search with a realistic budget in mind. Keep in mind that your bookkeeping costs are a valid business expense and an investment in keeping your financial records accurate, compliant, and in good shape. A good bookkeeper will save you money and do what you need to do in far less time than you can do yourself. 

How much to budget for a bookkeeper in Sydney? 

A valuable exercise in determining your small business bookkeeping budget is to:

Calculate your current bookkeeping costs

  • Record the time you currently spend each month navigating your own bookkeeping (also factor in any of your team’s time if they help in any way)
  • Multiply that by an hourly rate that accurately reflects the value of your time.

This will give you a picture of your current costs for bookkeeping. 

Consider the opportunity cost

Now, think about the things you could be doing to grow your business if you didn’t have to handle your own bookkeeping yourself or with limited in-house assistance. Imagine the growth strategies, new initiatives, products and/or services you could focus on if only you had the time. 

Factor in the risk of non-compliance

How certain are you that your books are 100% correct? Poor bookkeeping can lead to costly financial penalties, such as late payment fees and fines for non-compliance. Inaccurate financial records can also affect your cash flow, and make it difficult to secure loans or attract investors. If your books are inaccurate, it’s impossible to make good business decisions which can affect the long-term sustainability of your business. 

Bookkeeper Rates in Sydney vs Australia

Every bookkeeper sets their own rates and so bookkeeping prices can vary greatly. A small business bookkeeper could charge anywhere from $50 per hour to $150 per hour. A monthly retainer may be an affordable option if you have consistent and regular work available for your bookkeeper. 

If you’re gathering quotes for bookkeeping services, you will likely find average rates quite similar, whether you plan to engage a Sydney-based bookkeeper or someone based in another Australian location. 

As a small business owner, the best option is to ask your bookkeeper to tailor a package, especially for you. This way you can be sure that all your bookkeeping needs will be covered. Packages also typically offer better value for money compared with one-off, short-term projects. 

Are you a Sydney small business owner looking for a Sydney-based bookkeeper? 

If you’re ready to outsource your bookkeeping to reliable a bookkeeping expert in Sydney, it’s important to go with a brand you can trust. First Class Accounts can give you the freedom to do what you do best, while we take care of your books and ensure you maintain compliance. 

First Class Accounts can help you to organise your books, take control of your cash flow with accurate reporting, and keep on top of your tax obligations. We also offer tailored support to suit the unique needs of your business. 

Find a local bookkeeper in Sydney

Alternatively, feel free to contact our friendly team at First Class Accounts to find out more about our services. 

Even if you’re not Sydney-based, you’ll be pleased to know we have 120 bookkeepers across five Australian states. We’re sure to have a bookkeeper near you. 

The First Class Accounts team looks forward to helping you with your bookkeeping and taking the stress out of managing the books for your small business. 

Bookkeeping FCA Blog