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Four reasons bookkeepers are more important than ever in 2017

Bookkeepers are an essential parts of their clients success, especially in 2017. Read on to find out why.

Today kicks off ICB’s annual Global Bookkeeping Week, which runs until Friday – and of course we’re taking part! In one of our favourite weeks of the year, we'd like to celebrate the role of the bookkeeper, which is more important now than ever before. Here are four reasons why.

1. Legislation is changing fast

Over the next year and a half or so, businesses in the UK will have to make the move to the Making Tax Digital system. HMRC is encouraging the trend toward ‘real-time’ accounting, so that businesses don’t have to wait until the end of the year to know how much tax they need to pay.

For a lot of businesses, this can be an overwhelming time as they try to wrap their heads around the new system. This is where a bookkeeper in shining armour can swoop in and save the day – you’ve been aware of this new system for much longer than they have. Not to mention you know the domain inside out.

Given that Making Tax Digital will be compulsory for all businesses above the VAT threshold by April 2019, more and more businesses will be needing a trusty bookkeeper by their side to guide the way.


C2FO’s 2016 Working Capital Outlook Survey reported that 55% of businesses cite cashflow problems as their biggest obstacle to growth. This is hardly surprising - few people start their own business looking to keep books. However, the end result is that many entrepreneurs struggle to establish and maintain the visibility they need over their numbers. 

This could all be avoided with the aid of a bookkeeper. Businesses need to know that a bookkeeper isn’t just for tax season. Simply having a clearer, up-to-date view of money going in and out of the business can make a world of difference. And having a well kept records of these transactions creates the opportunity to trace growth, forecast finances, and achieve more.

3. Authorities are CRACKING DOWN ON VAT

According to an August report by Accountancy Age, the UK HMRC collected £3.4 billion in VAT underpayments for the year 2016/17. And it's not just big businesses in the crosshairs.

The huge sum comes as a result of the effort to crack down on VAT compliance in SMEs in the UK. Not having your records in order is a major issue if the authorities come knocking, and might results in a hefty fine. The advice and services of a qualifies bookkeeper are essential for keeping businesses compliant and audit ready.

HMRC have stated that the focus on small businesses will only continue, which means that inevitably SMEs will start scrambling for bookkeepers. Get ready to take on lots of new clients!

4. SMEs are still lagging behind

A 2017 survey by the UK200 found that not only do 65% of SMEs not use any software for their accounts, but 16% of SMEs do nothing at all to record their business transactions

As well as wasting time on inefficient bookkeeping, they are also missing out on crucial business opportunities. With no visibility over incoming and outgoing capital, these businesses will struggle tracking growth, securing funding and finding important trends in their performance? Imagine the difference you could make for one of these SMEs by simply showing them their current financial status.

In addition, 63% of entrepreneurs spend at least one day a month on admin. That time could be much more efficiently used on growing their business – but instead they are struggling over admin tasks that they might end up doing wrong. You can swoop in there, give that day back to them, and watch their business flourish.


The rise of automation has left a lot of bookkeepers worrying that robots were going to "steal" their jobs. As we can see, the answer is quite clearly no, they won't. Instead, robots can do the “chores” of the operation and bookkeepers have more time to diversify their services and grow their clientbase.

Receipt Bank works with over 5,000 of the world's leading accountants and bookkeepers. We remove the burden of document collection and data entry from the bookkeeping process, so that you have more time to help your clients succeed. No more stacks of paper, no more last-minute madness, just easy, efficient bookkeeping.

All of our product development is devoted to making bookkeepeing more efficient and useful. Among the new features we're currently working on are:

  • Sales invoice extraction to extract the key details from your clients accounts receivable paperwork. 
  • Fetch, which syncs with your clients suppliers and fetches invoices automatically.
  • Sweep, which identifies receipts and invoices in your email inbox and automatically posts them to Receipt Bank.

All of these features are for you to further streamline your bookkeeping – and we can't wait to announce many, many more features over the coming months that will help you optimise your processes even further.


We love bookkeepers and we strongly value all the work that the ICB does – so much so that on Thursday we are holding a Tea Party Webinar exclusively for ICB members!

In the webinar, we’ll be discussing the changing role of bookkeepers in the automated world and how to adapt your work processes to new legislation, such as Making Tax Digital. If you can’t make it, make sure to #RaiseACup2017 on social media and show your support for the incredible global bookkeeping community.

Plus, if you register by Tuesday 17th October, you'll receive a goodie bag with a few treats to enjoy during the webinar. Make sure to check your inbox for your exclusive invite.

So happy Global Bookkeeping Week, and let’s all raise a cup of tea to the world’s amazing bookkeepers!

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